Louis van Gaal declared himself "not dissatisfied" after the UEFA Champions League first knockout round draw paired his FC Bayern München team with ACF Fiorentina, who the Bavarian side met for the first time in last season's group stage.
Not too bad
"I am not dissatisfied; it could have been worse," said the 58-year-old Dutch coach, perhaps mindful of the fact that the Viola have never won a competitive game in Germany in four previous visits, earning a draw and three defeats. "Fiorentina are a typical Italian side; well organised, with a good coach [in Cesare Prandelli] and a world star in Adrian Mutu."
Goals from Miroslav Klose, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Zé Roberto saw Jürgen Klinsmann's Bayern beat Fiorentina 3-0 in Munich in October 2008, with former Fiorentina star Luca Toni – who struck 47 goals in 67 Serie A games for the Viola – setting up the first two. While Mutu opened the scoring early on in the return fixture, Tim Borowski replied 12 minutes of time to earn a 1-1 draw.
However, Van Gaal said: "Last season's results against Fiorentina don't count anymore. We beat Juventus [4-1 away in this season's final group-stage game] and I think that the players will take confidence from that." The coach, who joined Bayern in the summer, also took some comfort from the fact he has been a winner against Fiorentina before, with his FC Barcelona side winning 4-2 at home and drawing 3-3 in Italy in the 1999/00 first group stage.
'We can be pleased'
Bayern will host the first leg, on 17 February, and the chairman of the Bayern board Karl-Heinz Rummenigge added: "We must not make the mistake of believing we are favourites in this tie. We would do well to take them very, very seriously." Defender Daniel Van Buyten agreed, but said: "They are a good, strong opponent but this is doable for Bayern. We proved against Juventus that we want to go a long way. We have a chance to go through but they will be difficult matches."
'A great team'
Fiorentina coach Prandelli, meanwhile, bemoaned his side's fate. "Maybe it would have been better to finish second in the group," he joked. "Bayern are a great team; we knew that already and they proved it again against Juventus. However, there is plenty of time to think about Bayern and we have important league games ahead. We will talk about Bayern when the time comes to do so."
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