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Kehl realistic about European ambition

Borussia Dortmund captain Sebastian Kehl has warned his team-mates they are by no means favourites to lift the Champions League this season.

The Bundesliga champions were able to top a group containing Manchester City, Real Madrid and Ajax without losing a game, and were only denied a 100 percent record by late equalisers in Spain and England.

Former Dortmund boss Ottmar Hitzfeld had said Juergen Klopp’s side were among the frontrunners for the tournament, but the veteran midfielder is remaining grounded.

“I wouldn’t say we are favourites for the title,” Kehl told Bild.

“We have done well so far, but we don’t let our dreams get ahead of us. We are being realistic, there is still a long way to go. Shakhtar will be a tough opponent for us in the next round.”

Having claimed the past two Bundesliga titles, Dortmund found themselves 12 points behind league leaders Bayern Munich going into the mid-season break.

Kehl said Dortmund needed a ‘miracle’ if they were to catch runaway leaders and arch rivals Bayern.

“It is still possible to win the league. It will be a huge accomplishment if we manage it, a miracle even,” he said.

“We will work hard, but it is no longer in our hands.”

Thu 10 January, 2013
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