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Mar 15, 2013

Bayern relishing Juventus challenge

Bayern Munich coach Jupp Heynckes has said everyone at the club is looking forward to a great European occasion against Juventus in the Champions League.

• Schaaf: Big challenge for Bayern
• Rzouki: Another step in Juve turnaround

The clubs last locked horns in the competition in 2009, when Bayern won 4-1 in Italy during the group stages - and they then went all the way to the final, only to lose to Inter Milan.

Heynckes, in his last season at Bayern before making way for Pep Guardiola, said the Bavarians would be taking on a "top-calibre" team.

"Right now, they are the best Italian side," he explained. "They are a well-tuned team with a great defence but also a lot of quality in attack - [Andrea] Pirlo, [Arturo] Vidal and many more.

"This will be great football, a great cup night. This is a strong opponent."

Bayern chief Karl-Heinz Rummenigge echoed those sentiments and said he had hoped to avoid the Italians.

"They are not a dream draw," he added. "We will need two good games to advance to the semis. This is not a sure-fire success."

Bayern midfielder Toni Kroos said he believed that, after Barcelona, Juve were the "most difficult opponent", while goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said: "Juve are a great team, a big name."

Winger Arjen Robben praised Juve midfielder Pirlo, calling him "still one of the best in the world" and warned that Juve had a "much better" team than in 2009. "It will be a very difficult task," he said.

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