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Group A rivals reflect on 'most difficult draw'

Published: Thursday 25 August 2011, 22.22CET
FC Bayern München and Villarreal CF were united in believing they face a steep challenge against Manchester City FC and SSC Napoli, who are determined to shine on their debuts.

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Published: Thursday 25 August 2011, 22.22CET

Group A rivals reflect on 'most difficult draw'

FC Bayern München and Villarreal CF were united in believing they face a steep challenge against Manchester City FC and SSC Napoli, who are determined to shine on their debuts.

Coach Jupp Heynckes knows his FC Bayern München side will have little room for error after the group stage draw paired them with Villarreal CF, Manchester City FC and SSC Napoli. Heynckes thoughts were echoed by Villarreal's Diego López with City and Napoli determined to make favourable impressions on their UEFA Champions League debuts.

We will be challenged in every single match and will have to go into every single match with a high level of concentration. Every match will be of the highest significance
Jupp Heynckes
What we all wanted here was to get into the Champions League so that we could play against the best teams in Europe and that's the position we find ourselves in. That's fate
Diego López
This experience is an opportunity to improve and grow. That does not mean that we are already considering ourselves eliminated: we will fight for every match regardless
Walter Mazzarri

Jupp Heynckes, Bayern coach
This is the strongest group in the draw. I know Villarreal and Napoli very well; they really are top sides. And you don't even have to start talking about Manchester City. They have upgraded their squad significantly and want international success. Yes, we are in the most difficult group in the Champions League. We will be challenged in every single match and will have to go into every single match with a high level of concentration. Every match will be of the highest significance.

Diego López, Villarreal goalkeeper
This is the most difficult group in the history of the Champions League as it contains teams from the strongest leagues in Europe. Manchester City were the side that nobody wanted and we got them. The team know it is a difficult task but we are not letting our heads drop, far from it. We showed last season against Napoli that we can win games like these and we are going to fight to get through to the knockout stages. What we all wanted here was to get into the Champions League so that we could play against the best teams in Europe and that's the position we find ourselves in. That's fate, and if we do manage to get through it will be fantastic.

We are as eager as ever and we know that the other sides in our group have also had bad luck in that they have drawn Villarreal. It will be fantastic to play in great stadiums and against brilliant players. This is where Villarreal should be, among the best.

Brian Marwood, Manchester City chief football operations officer
It's a fantastic draw. There are four fantastic sides in this group and it's going to be extremely competitive. This is a fantastic part of Manchester City's history, to be part of the premier European competition for the first time. Our fans are going to enjoy every moment. We really feel we can do well with the squad we have. Bayern are a fantastic club with a proud history; everywhere at this level you are going to be up against some seriously good opposition, but that's what it is all about and we want to compete. We believe we can and we have a squad that is blessed with great talent and endeavour.

Walter Mazzarri, Napoli coach
This is the toughest group of all, but it's exciting too. Playing against teams like these is a reward for the wonderful season we had. We will play against the strongest team in Germany, and what I think is the best team in England; then there's one of the strongest teams in Spain. Our debut in the competition will be a test for us. This experience is an opportunity to improve and grow. That does not mean that we are already considering ourselves eliminated: we will fight for every match regardless of our opponents' pedigree. We will give our all and see where that gets us.

Last updated: 27/11/12 4.00CET

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