Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann on Tuesday rejected any talk of his team being favourites for the Champions League title as too early, ahead of Wednesday’s second Group E match against Dynamo Kyiv.
France’s former world and European champion Robert Pires had praised Bayern as the best team in Europe and “a top favourite” for the Champions League title in an interview with Germany’s Kicker magazine.
“First of all he was a great player and when a great player has an opinion then I listen to it,” Nagelsmann told an online news conference ahead of their home game against the Ukrainian side.
“But what is always important is you have to go out and confirm what others say about you. There has only been the first matchday and today starts the second matchday.”
The Bavarians, who last won the Champions League in 2020, beat Barcelona 3-0 in their opening group game in Spain and are on an eight-game winning streak in all competitions while also leading the Bundesliga race.
“Whoever wants to win it (Champions League) must win the highest number of matches and we will try to do that,” said Nagelsmann, in his first season in charge at Bayern.
He will have an almost complete squad to chose from, except for injured Corentin Tolisso and Kingsley Coman, recovering from minor heart surgery.
“There are three points available tomorrow and we want to have six after the first two matches and remain group leaders,” Nagelsmann said.
“Kyiv in their league in most games are the top favourites and have a young, talented team. In the league they leave only two players behind (in defence).”
But in their first group match – a goalless draw against Benfica – they had less possession than their opponents who had 62per cent.
“But you still have to create the space. Benfica failed to score despite their possession. The main task will be to play around that compact block. I trust my team to do it,” Nagelsmann said.