Ilkay Gundogan says Borussia Dortmund’s semi-final opponents Real Madrid are the best team left in the Champions League.
Juergen Klopp’s Dortmund took four points from Real during the group stages of this season’s tournament and, while he feels Jose Mourinho’s men have improved since then, the Germany international has stressed his side will have no fear ahead of the encounter.
“(Real Madrid) is one of the best clubs in the world. I think they’re the best team in the Champions League, but we have beaten them in the group before,” he told AS.
“Undoubtedly Madrid are now better than they were in the group, but at we showed we could beat anyone and that leaves us with a positive feeling.
“Reaching the semi-finals of the Champions League is very important for Dortmund. In fact, nobody had marked us as favourites to reach the second round because of the group we had with Real Madrid and Manchester City. The work we have done has been perfect.
“We are not worried about playing against Real Madrid. Whatever happens we will try with all our might to reach the Champions League final on May 25.”
Gundogan went on to reveal his admiration for Real coach Jose Mourinho, and said he is relishing the prospect of playing against Cristiano Ronaldo and Mesut Oezil.
“There is no question that Madrid has a lot of quality in midfield. But most important for me is that it has the best coach in the world,” he said.
“I feel happiness (at the thought of playing against Ronaldo and Oezil). Those two are the best in the world. Three years ago I saw them both on television and now I have the opportunity to play and share the same field against them. It’s a unique feeling.”
Dortmund host Real at Signal Iduna Park on Wednesday, before the return fixture at Santiago Bernabeu on April 30.