BERLIN: Bayern Munich midfielder Arturo Vidal is relishing the Champions League last 16 clash against his former club Juventus, but says he would have preferred to meet them in the finals.
Bayern play Juventus in Turin in the first leg on February 23, then host last season’s finalists at Munich’s Allianz Arena on March 16 for a place in the quarterfinals.
It will be Vidal’s first return to Turin since signing for Bayern in July and the Chile international is wary of resurgent Juve, who have climbed to fourth in Serie A on the back of six straight victories.
“They are very strong. They had a few problems at the start of the season, but that was to be expected because they changed many players,” Vidal told German daily Bild.
“I would have preferred to have had them in the final.”
Bayern are set to face their former striker Mario Mandzukic, who joined Juventus from Atletico Madrid before the start of the season, while France Under-21 winger Kingsley Coman joined Bayern in August on a two-year loan deal from Juve.
“It will be a great match,” said Coman, who has scored four goals for Bayern since his arrival.
“I am looking forward to it, because I came to Bayern to play in big games like this.”
Bayern are eager to reach this season’s Champions League final in Milan on May 28 having exited in the semifinals for the last two years running.