Alves relishing Bayern challenge

23 April 2013 12:16

Barcelona should relish the challenge posed by Bayern Munich's recent form rather than feel intimidated ahead of the first-leg of their Champions League semi-final in Munich on Tuesday, according to fullback Dani Alves.

Bayern sealed their 23rd title with a record six games to spare earlier this month and also dispatched Italian champions Juventus 4-0 on aggregate in the quarter-finals.

However, Alves says he relishes coming up against the best and is convinced Bayern would not have wanted to draw Barca in the last four.

"The people are scared but I like difficult things, I like to face the best," he told Spanish newspaper El Pais on Tuesday.

"The goal we have is to reach the final and we need to show that we deserve it. If we don't, we will be out.

"We are going to have a very difficult rival in front of us. But, without doubt, if you asked them they would not have chosen Barca. We are equal."

Barca in contrast have been far from their sparkling best in recent weeks, although they too stand on the verge of sealing the title at domestic level.

And whilst Alves admits the physical demands of reaching six successive Champions League semi-finals has had an effect on the squad, he believes they are too quickly written off when they hit a run of poor form.

"The wear of playing all the games takes its toll. The physical and mental demands are huge and you arrive at the point when you are a little below your normal level.

"What we can't ever do is doubt our own chances, because at the end of the day it is everyone against Barca.

"Barca have extended a little more the greatness of this side. At the slightest opportunity everyone is waiting to say that the cycle has ended.

"If we hadn't won anything, no one would speak. But we have become a great side, one considered to be the best of the decade.

"This bothers people. Now we need to keep going because we are the ones who have achieved it and are happy."

Source: AFP