Tuchel relishing Dortmund’s Real showdown


Dortmund (Germany) (AFP) – Thomas Tuchel is relishing the prospect of Borussia Dortmund’s showdown with Cristiano Ronaldo-led Real Madrid in Tuesday’s Champions League group stage clash.

Dortmund have never lost at home to Real, who have won just four times in 29 away games against German clubs.

The hosts’ Signal Iduna Park stadium has particularly bad memories for Madrid, who have lost their last three visits to the Bundesliga giants.

Real won their first Group F game with a 2-1 comeback win against Sporting Lisbon, while Dortmund romped to a 6-0 victory at Legia Warsaw. 

But Tuchel says none of that will count against the defending European champions with Ronaldo just three away from being the first player to score 100 goals in Europe.

“Cristiano is one of the best footballers in the world,” said Tuchel.

“He’s an incredible winner, who can help his team at every stage of the game.”

Ronaldo was furious to have been subbed in Saturday’s 2-2 Spanish league draw with Las Palmas.

Draws with Villarreal and Gran Canaria’s Las Palmas ended Real 16-game winning streak in the Spanish league, but Tuchel reads nothing into that.

“We are preparing to face the best Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo in top form,” said the Dortmund coach.

“Their quality is exceptional.

“Players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema or Alvaro Morata are very dangerous.

“We’ll need our utmost attention and solidarity, plus a lot of hard work. 

“It’s the Champions League, it brings out the best in players on evenings like this.”

Tuchel said his stars Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Marc Bartra, Andre Schuerrle and Adrian Ramos are all fit after sustaining knocks.

Real’s midfielder Casemiro will be missing with injury and Tuchel says it will be a blow to Zinedine Zidane’s team.

“He is a very important, very strong in the tackle and he’s a strong runner, who Real will of course miss,” said Tuchel.

Borussia have scored 20 goals in winning their last four games.

Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Burki says it will be a dream come true to face Real’s BBC attack – Benzema, Bale and Cristiano (Ronaldo).

“This is like a childhood dream. Everyone dreams of playing against Real in their career,” said Burki.

“We go out there with our heads held high, we’re in great shape.”

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