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Benfica are in the mood to end Bayern Munich's treble dream


Benfica coach Rui Vitoria

Benfica coach Rui Vitoria

AFP/Getty Images

Benfica coach Rui Vitoria

Benfica coach Rui Vitoria accepts his side will have to do it the hard way if they are to progress any further in the Champions League, but has warned quarter-final opponents Bayern Munich against writing them off.

Having reached at least the semi-final stage of the last four editions of the Champions League, winning it in 2013, Bayern are overwhelming favourites to see off the Portuguese league leaders and keep their hopes of a treble alive.

But while Vitoria is well aware of the task facing his team ahead of tonight's first leg in Munich, he insists they are not going to just roll over for the German giants.

"Sometimes the only way to neutralise tougher opponents is to recognise their strengths, be aware that it will be a hard match, and understand that to achieve anything you have to go through difficulties and be ready for them," he said. "We go into this game knowing our opponents are candidates to win the Champions League, but we won't be backing down."

Benfica can be proud of what they have already achieved this season after reaching the last eight for the first time in four years, but now they have a first semi-final appearance in 26 years in their sights.

"We know we've done something the club have not been able to do recently," added the 45-year-old Vitoria.

"Any team that makes this stage won't say they don't want to win the competition. We will think about beating Bayern, regardless of how strong they are, but I am also proud to see this team, in a transitional phase, getting so far in the Champions League."

Belfast Telegraph