Dante is quietly confident VfL Wolfsburg can cause a major upset by knocking ten-time winners Real Madrid CF out of the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League.
The Wolves go into Tuesday's quarter-final first leg at the Volkswagen Arena as underdogs, but the Brazilian defender told bundesliga.com that Los Blancos are fallible...
bundesliga.com: Dante, before the quarter-final draw was made, you said you wouldn't mind being paired against either FC Barcelona or Real Madrid. Now you're about to face Real. Are you looking forward to the two games?
Dante: Absolutely. It's a real career highlight. Even though it's going to be a really difficult challenge, we're in for two cracking games. We wanted to draw one of the favourites because we just want to show where we're at and that we deserve to be in the last eight. It's a huge hurdle – we're well aware of that.
bundesliga.com: Have Wolfsburg got a realistic chance of springing a surprise?
Dante: First of all, it's great for the city, the whole club, our team and it's also a great story for our fans. We want to enjoy every second and we’ll do everything we can on the pitch to write a new chapter in Wolfsburg's history. We can reach the semi-finals with two perfect performances, but everything will need to fall into place for that to happen.
bundesliga.com: What exactly?
Dante: How we play on the day, that Real have an off-day, that we take our chances and that we're completely switched on from the first to the last second and never let up.
bundesliga.com: Is the current Real Madrid team beatable?
Dante: Definitely. You only need to look at their results in La Liga. Real weren't particularly dominant against AS Roma in the Round of 16 either, but the Champions League is another competition altogether. This club is used to competing for titles year-after-year. I get the feeling the Champions League brings the best out of Real somehow.
bundesliga.com: The biggest threat will probably come from megastar Cristiano Ronaldo. How do you rate the Portugal international?
Dante: I played against him a few times when I was at FC Bayern München. He's just a phenomenon, an exceptional player. Physically, he's always in top shape. He's also quick and very good technically. He's got a brilliant shot and can score goals from anywhere. He can decide a game anytime.
bundesliga.com: The first leg takes place at the Volkswagen Arena. What's the ideal outcome ahead of the return leg in the Spanish capital?
Dante: It'd be great if we could decide the game in our favour. Above all, we have to play without fear and play with an element of a carefree attitude, but I'm pretty upbeat because we rarely lose in front of our fans. We have to be in a position to hurt Real and show early on that we mean business.
bundesliga.com: You've been playing in the Champions League for a number of years. What makes this competition so special?
Dante: The crème de la crème of European football play in the Champions League. Even now, you can really sense the adrenalin in training. Everyone wants to play, everyone is really motivated. We want to have fun against Real and write history.
Dante was talking to Alexis Menuge