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Hleb backs BATE in Bayern clash

Aliaksandr Hleb claims all the pressure is on Bayern Munich in Tuesday’s Champions League group match against BATE.

The Belarusian club won at Lille 3-1 in their first match and top Group F, ahead of last year’s runners-up in the continental competition on goal difference.

The former Barcelona and Arsenal midfielder believes the Bundesliga giants possess quality in abundance but that a victory is not implausible.

“The pressure is on Bayern as they’re the favourites,” he told Bundesliga.com.

“It will be difficult, they’re a fantastic team, but anything is possible.

“I believe we (relish the role of underdog). But we’re not looking too far ahead as we know that other teams, in particular Bayern and Valencia, are favourites in this group.

“Likewise, Lille could still progress despite the defeat. We’re just trying to take it step by step and we’ll see how far we’ve got after the six matches.”

Hleb’s contract with BATE runs out at the end of the season, and he wants to use this European charge as an opportunity to announce himself to bigger clubs.

“I haven’t even started thinking about what I will be doing next year,” the 31-year-old said.

“But one thing is for sure: I want to play in a good league and with a club that’s involved on the international stage.

“In a sense, I’m using BATE as a springboard but at the same time I want to help the team achieve their goals and maybe even make a bit of Belarusian football history in the process.”

Hleb said a return to the Bundesliga – where he has played with Stuttgart and Wolfsburg – is not out of the question.

“Definitely, I love Germany,” he said.

“There are no stadiums like those in the Bundesliga. It’s the league with the best atmosphere as well. I’ve always really enjoyed playing in Germany.”

Mon 1 October, 2012
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