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Fearless Thun target élite

Published: Wednesday 24 August 2005, 9.32CET
FC Thun were contemplating potential trips to the Santiago Bernabéu, San Siro or Old Trafford after clinching a place in the group stage.

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Published: Wednesday 24 August 2005, 9.32CET

Fearless Thun target élite

FC Thun were contemplating potential trips to the Santiago Bernabéu, San Siro or Old Trafford after clinching a place in the group stage.
Swiss club FC Thun were relishing potential trips to the Santiago Bernabéu, San Siro or Old Trafford after clinching an unexpected place in the UEFA Champions League last night by defeating Sweden's Malmö FF 3-0 on the night and 4-0 on aggregate.

'A dream'
"I would love to take this team to England or Italy," said coach Urs Schönenberger. "Playing teams like [FC] Barcelona or Real Madrid [CF] will be a dream for us. It's something I can hardly contemplate right now." Brazilian recruit Tiago Bernardi and Mauro Lustrinelli both scored before half-time, with the recently-capped Switzerland striker compounding Malmö's misery in the 66th minute when he curled in a speculative lob from 30 metres.

'Perfect match'
"Now it's over I think we can say that was a perfect match from start to finish," said Thun captain Andreas Gerber, who will watch tomorrow afternoon's draw from Monaco with excitement but no fear. "I don't care who we get to play in the group stage - I just want to enjoy this moment."

Impressive crowd
With their own Lachen stadium failing to meet UEFA requirements, and also under water following a weekend's heavy flooding in Switzerland, Thun had set a new milestone even before the game started by attracting a club-record 31,243 spectators to the Stade de Suisse in Berne. It was an impressive crowd considering the town of Thun boasts just 41,000 inhabitants.

'Great solidarity'
Malmö coach Tom Prahl was gracious in defeat, saying of Thun: "They're a very compact side and probably possess a few qualities that some bigger teams might not. They have great solidarity on and off the pitch, great home support and right now they're riding a wave of success. I don't think it's impossible that Thun could now go on and beat a top club."

Last updated: 25/08/05 12.19CET

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