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Monday, September 17, 2012
Bayern's season starts here, says Lahm

Stephan Uersfeld, Germany Correspondent

Bayern Munich captain Philipp Lahm has told his team-mates that the season really begins when they welcome Valencia to the Allianz Arena on Wednesday for their first Champions League game since losing last season's final.

The Bavarians are top of the Bundesliga table with maximum points from three matches, but Lahm told Munich's TZ newspaper that they now had to concentrate on winning Champions League Group F, which also contains Lille and BATE Borisov.

"Valencia are a great team, they are regulars in the Champions League and usually come third in Spain behind Barca and Real. They are the strongest competitor in our group," he said.

And Lahm told kicker he believed Munich would soon get a chance to put the disappointment of last year's final - lost to Chelsea on penalties - behind them.

"I have four years left on my contract, and it is my belief we will get another chance in the final," he added. "When we played the Netherlands at the Allianz Arena three days after the final, it was bitter to come back to the place you missed out on winning the title a few days earlier.

"You have to let go. And I'd have a big problem if I did not get the chance to play for that title again. I know, with this team at this club, I will get the chance again."

Lahm said he believed Bayern had more squad depth than last season and could bring an end to a run of two seasons without a trophy.

"We are a top team, and you need competition," he said. "A strong bench makes the difference in a long season. That was missing last season."

And he stressed that Bayern were desperate to regain their domestic superiority, explaining: "We want to win the league. We always want to be on top. But we are not allowed to not make it out of the [Champions League] group."

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