Porto - FC Bayern München centre-back has not had the smoothest of seasons in the Bavarian capital, but with the 2014/15 campaign now in the home straight the Brazilian is back in Pep Guardiola’s starting line-up and approaching his commanding best.

Speaking exclusively to bundesliga.com, the 31-year-old spoke of how he dealt with setbacks this term, before looking ahead to his side’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final first-leg clash with FC Porto on Wednesday.

bundesliga.com: Dante, are you glad you’re not facing the likes of Real Madrid or Barcelona but Porto at this stage of the competition?

Dante: FC Porto and AS Monaco were meant to be the easiest potential opponents ahead of the draw but we shouldn’t take them lightly. Porto are playing well together as a team and they’ll be giving everything they've got [against us]. I’ve watched them several times, they’re a dangerous side with good individual players such as striker Jackson Martinez or [Ricardo] Quaresma who pulls the strings in midfield and can be decisive at any time. Yacine Brahimi is also very dangerous at set-pieces. We’ll need to be very focused against them. Personally, I’m happy with the fact we’re traveling to Portugal as I always enjoy hearing my mother tongue [laughs].

bundesliga.com: Bayern will be without a number of injured key players such as , , Bastian Schweinsteiger and David Alaba. How will you cope with that?

Dante: They’re all unbelievably important players to us but we can only try and compensate for them as a team. Any side in the world would miss players of such quality. Our great strength is having a squad that has both the quality and the depth to do well even with several players sidelined.

bundesliga.com: Is it your dream to reach the Champions League final in Berlin?

Dante: You don’t get to play two finals in Berlin within the space of a week very often [the DFB Cup final will also be held at the capital’s Olympiastadion a week earlier]. We’re really keen on reaching both finals, which would be fantastic. But we shouldn’t look to too far ahead; we should try to make the Champions League semis first.

bundesliga.com: If Bayern reach the final it would be their fourth in six years, which would be an extraordinary achievement.

Dante: That’d be outstanding indeed. It’d show how strong the current side is and be another confirmation of the good work we’ve been doing in recent years. To consistently perform at the highest level is the most difficult thing there is, but it's also very rewarding.

bundesliga.com: After Borussia Dortmund, Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Schalke 04 were all knocked out in the last 16, Bayern are the only German side left in the Champions League. How does the Bundesliga compare to both England’s and Spain’s top divisions?

Dante: We’ve been doing well in the competition for years and Dortmund have also impressed many times. To me, the Bundesliga is a very strong league as it’s difficult to win it. Three teams might have been knocked out of the Champions League but it doesn’t take anything away from the Bundesliga. Some people consider the Premier League the strongest league, but then not one English side made it to the last eight. The German, English and Spanish leagues are all on par in my view.

bundesliga.com: You were left on the bench earlier this season but it seems like you’ve become a regular in the Bayern starting XI again. What was your experience of the situation?

Dante: I’m incredibly happy about every single minute I get to play. It hasn't always been easy for me this term, but I kept believing in myself and the coach [Pep Guardiola] also talked to me a lot. I knew I’d get a chance again and I made sure I made the most of it.

Dante was speaking to Alexis Menuge