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Mar 6, 2013

Badstuber: Pep can make Bayern better

Bayern Munich defender Holger Badstuber believes Bayern could become the ultimate team in Europe when Pep Guardiola takes over the German giants next season.

• Sammer wary of distractions

The German international defender admitted the appointment of the former Barcelona boss - made despite current incumbent Jupp Heynckes enjoying a dominant season at the helm - was unexpected, but believes the Bavarian giants could be taken to another level when he takes over in the summer.

"Like everyone else I was surprised," he told t-online. "Just his name says a lot. The many titles he has won with Barcelona, how he perfected the game, how he celebrates football and gives great pleasure to many people.

"Bayern could become the ultimate team in Europe. Right now there is no better team to play for. This has developed over the past few years. People did their homework in this club. Certainly, titles were missing but we learned from that. And now we have a great team that has a lot of quality."

How much Bayern need to improve at all is open to debate, as the club look real contenders to claim the treble this season. With a seemingly insurmountable lead in the Bundesliga and having recently eliminated last year's DFB-Pokal winners Borussia Dortmund in this season's competition, Badstuber is hopeful of claiming the Champions League this term after finishing as runners-up in their own stadium back in May.

"Looking at the results in the round of the last-16, we could go far," he said. "Who knows? Maybe we end up playing the final again."

The 23-year-old, currently ruled out after suffering a knee injury last December, hopes to return to the Bayern team before the end of the season.

"It is difficult to say when exactly I will return," he said. "I would love to end this season feeling good and to have a normal pre-season during the summer. It would be great to return to the pitch and play one competitive game." Despite Badstuber's absence the Bayern defence seems set to break Bundesliga records this season. With 10 games to play, Bayern have only conceded eight goals and, with 63 points, are only 18 points shy of recording the highest ever total in the competition's history.

"That is also a result of the past two years," Badstuber said, referring to them not winning a major trophy since 2010. "We have learned from the results, which were severe and meant heavy set-backs.

"We have developed mentally and have come out of that situation positive. We have drawn the conclusion from it and turned them into hard work."

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