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Metzelder focused on three points

Christoph Metzelder will put personal friendships aside when Werder Bremen arrive at his new club, Real Madrid CF, to kick off their Group C campaign tonight.

Christoph Metzelder will be more than a little familiar with Real Madrid CF's first UEFA Champions League opponents but he will put friendships aside when Werder Bremen come to the Santiago Bernabéu on Tuesday.

Bremen height
The 26-year-old defender moved to Madrid from BV Borussia Dortmund in the summer, which gives the German international a keen insight into the Group C visitors to the Spanish capital. Any personal feelings will be irrelevant for 90 minutes, though. "After we finish our work on the pitch, we will shake hands and hug, but during the game we will be battling for three points," Metzelder said. He also pointed to the height of Bremen's players as a particular problem. "Werder are a very strong team and we know we'll have to work hard to beat them. After the good start we've had in the league, we feel we want to begin just as well in the Champions League."

Busy calendar
Although Madrid defeated UD Almería 3-1 on Saturday to become the only side on three wins out of three in the Primera División, there were media suggestions that the squad were jaded from their various international duties the preceding week. "We know we will have a lot of games and that there are a lot of internationals here, so we realise it's going to take a big physical effort from all of us this season," Metzelder said. "We are just getting back into the rhythm of playing two games a week, so little by little we'll get used to it and begin to enjoy the games more."

Defensive cover
Metzelder is still settling into Madrid life but his Spanish, he says, is good enough for everyday tasks and he is enjoying the style adopted by compatriot Bernd Schuster as coach. "I'm playing for a team whose philosophy is to play attractive, attacking football," Metzelder said. "Because of that, we defenders have to work a lot to cover our team-mates' backs. But I like working and covering players so that they can go and attack."