Daniel Van Buyten billed FC Bayern München's semi-final meeting with Olympique Lyonnais as "very special" but rates his side's chances of victory as no greater than 50-50.
Article top media content
"We have the chance to go through to the final – it's an opportunity a footballer doesn't get many times in his life." Daniel Van Buyten needs no reminding of the importance of FC Bayern München's UEFA Champions League tie against last-four debutants Olympique Lyonnais.
Bayern, themselves at this stage for the first time since winning the competition in 2001, were on the brink of exiting at the group stage but stayed afloat courtesy of a 4-1 win at Juventus on Matchday 6. Van Buyten is eager that Louis van Gaal's men – two points clear at the top of the Bundesliga – do not rest on their laurels.
"We will try to win as many trophies as we can and we want a very strong end to the season," said the defender. "Our motivation is very, very high. [Lyon's] confidence is back. The Champions League is their focus now. We are wary but we are also looking forward to this game. Bayern have won the Champions League several times, but we also are very hungry and want to win this competition."
Van Buyten, 32, has been an integral part of Van Gaal's team this term adding six league goals to his reliably stoic defensive displays. After a slow burning start to the campaign Bayern, 7-0 victors against Hannover 96 at the weekend and with a German Cup final to come next month, remain in the hunt for a treble but Van Buyten is cautious of the threat posed by Lyon.
"Our chances against Lyon are 50-50," he added. "Lyon beat Real Madrid [in the round of 16] and played very, very well, especially in the second leg in Spain. Lyon's defence is very well organised and they know how to counterattack. Their keeper Hugo Lloris is one of the best in Europe. He has been their match-winner several times this season. But we also did very well. We won our ticket to the semi-finals during the second leg at Manchester United."
Van Buyten's defensive partner Philipp Lahm is confident Bayern have sufficient momentum and focus to overcome their Ligue 1 opponents, explaining: "We are in very good shape. We are still top of the Bundesliga and put in a very strong performance against Hannover. But the Bundesliga counts for nothing at the moment. Now we are concentrating on the Champions League."