The “Road to Istanbul” in the UEFA Champions League starts for Borussia Dortmund in Group F against, Barcelona, Inter Milan and Slavia Prague.
For travelling BVB fans, this is an absolute dream group with Barcelona, Milan and Prague. But with Inter finding back to strength, it will be difficult for the Black and Yellows to secure a top 2 spot in the proverbial “Group of Death”.
“A huge challenge”
Here are the reactions of BVB’s officials per the club’s website:
Hans-Joachim Watzke (chief executive officer): “The group is obviously a huge challenge. However, I still have fond memories of our successful 2012/13 campaign when we were drawn in a similarly tough group that included Real Madrid, Manchester City and Ajax. We’re really looking forward to the matches!”
Michael Zorc (sporting director): “We’ve been handed the most difficult group. It conjures up memories of the ’90s and the clashes we had with Barcelona and Inter Milan back then. Barcelona are among the favourites for the title in the Champions League every single season. Inter Milan have strengthened significantly this summer, including the signings of Romelu Lukaku and possibly also Alexis Sanchez from Manchester United. The group is a challenge for us. We gladly accept it.”
Lucien Favre (head coach): “It really is a very difficult group. But more to the point it’s a huge challenge for us. Not much needs to be said about this Barca team with Messi & Co., while Inter want to return to the top in Italy and have invested heavily over the summer. Slavia, meanwhile, reached the Europa League quarter-finals last season before going out to Chelsea. We’re thinking positive: on the one hand, it’s nice to play against such teams and they’re not bad travel destinations either; on the other hand, we’ll have to give our best in every match in order to achieve our first objective and get through the group.”
Marco Reus (team captain): “A few players from our team were together at breakfast today and we were all of one mind: we’d love to get Barcelona in the draw. Amazing that it turned out that way! Obviously the group is a very difficult one; we’ll be up against opponents against whom we’ve not played in recent years. The games against Barcelona will certainly be special occasions for us and the fans. We believe in our quality. Our objective is to get through!”
Look out for our assessment on the next Yellowwallpod Episode, which will drop later today.