"I watch every Leverkusen game," said Dimitar Berbatov as he returns to his former club with AS Monaco FC looking to end a goalless run since their opening win.
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Eight years after leaving the club where he made his name, Dimitar Berbatov will step out at the BayArena as Bayer 04 Leverkusen host the club he joined nearly 12 months ago, AS Monaco FC.
Since his 2006 departure from Leverkusen, after 97 goals in 201 appearances, the former Bulgaria forward has represented Tottenham Hotspur FC (for who he scored at the BayArena in a 2006/07 UEFA Cup game), Manchester United FC and Fulham FC before quitting England for Monaco, turning a loan move into a permanent one this summer. The principality team began UEFA Champions League Group C with a 1-0 defeat of Leverkusen but since then Monaco have not scored while the German side have won three games to open up a four-point lead.
Ahead of the match, Berbatov spoke about returning to Leverkusen, the fixture itself and Monaco's wait for a European goal.
On his return to the BayArena …
I've come home basically. This is where I spent a lot of time and I feel really happy to be back. I can see all the changes the club have made with the stadium and being honest I watch every Leverkusen game. Everything seems perfect and it's going to be difficult for us. I'm happy to see some of my friends as well and I will enjoy it.
On the match …
Although we won the reverse fixture, it was difficult. They had lots of opportunities to score. It'll be difficult for us here and I know they want to beat us. But for us it is also important. We want to go to the next round. So we have prepared very well for the game. We need to avoid the mistakes from the first game where Leverkusen almost punished us. If we correct some of those mistakes we will have a better chance.
On Monaco's group position …
Even though we have scored just one goal so far, you can see that one goal can be enough to win games. If this happens again tomorrow we would be happy. If we play our game, even one goal can make the difference. It doesn't matter who scores, we want to win the game.
On their preparations …
We have prepared like for any game, nothing special. We need the points to go to the next stage. So we've prepared as we always do. We listen to the coach, to what he wants us to do. If we try what he says, we have a chance to win. If we stick to the plan, we have no problems.
On the early game between FC Zenit and SL Benfica …
I don't need to know the other result from St Petersburg. We will focus on our own game and if we do our job, we don't have to take a look at others.