Franck Ribery has stated in no uncertain terms that Bayern Munich must qualify for the Champions League next season, saying the Europa League is "rubbish".
Bayern are currently fourth in the Bundesliga, which would not be good enough for a place among Europe's elite. The Bundesliga does not become one of the three nations, along with England and Spain, to have four places in the competition until the 2012-13 season when Italy loses a place.
The German champions, who look certain to lose their crown to Borussia Dortmund, currently sit two points behind third placed Hannover 96 and four adrift of Bayer Leverkusen in second, meaning they are still very much in the hunt for a Champions League berth.
And Ribery insists another season in European football's secondary competition is unthinkable.
"The Champions League is incredibly important for the team, the club and the fans,'' he said. "The Europa League is rubbish and we have got to avoid that.
"The best way is not to even think about that. Playing in the Europa League is no fun at all.
"Once you know the Champions League, then you always want to play in the Champions League.''