Casillas: “Real want to reach final in Munich”

Iker Casillas has revealed that Real Madrid’s target is to reach the Champions League final in Munich, but that they are also taking Tuesday’s Group D opponents Lyon extremely seriously.

Jose Mourinho’s side have maximum points from two games played in the group stages of this season’s competition and are preparing to face Lyon for the third consecutive season in the tournament. Goalkeeper and captain Casillas reflected on their last meeting in a Press conference on Monday.

“Last year we gained a step after six years of not getting to the quarter-finals. The balance with Lyon is unfavourable for Real Madrid, with just the one win from last year.

“I think that game allowed us to forget the ghosts of the past and break through a barrier with Lyon.”

That was a Round of 16 second leg 3-0 win over the French side during last season, with goals from Marcelo, Karim Benzema and Angel Di Maria. It was Los Blancos’ first win over Lyon in the competition from their eighth attempt, having failed to get the better of the team in the group stages in 2005-06 and 2006-07 and the Round of 16 in 2009-10.

“I think pressure is not the right word. Everything comes in spurts and to break the barrier with Lyon was positive. Now we have removed that burden that we carried for some time, we can be good. Hopefully that will serve as experience to then reach the semi-finals and final in Munich.

“What happened last year is there, and now we think again about winning the Champions League. What was said at that time, the feelings of our Coach and the club remains there. Now we think about this year’s competition.”

Casillas revealed Mourinho’s hunger and desire is driving the dressing room forward.

“He is more ambitious and that’s positive. He must be ambitious spread it through the team, he wants more than last season. We want to overcome what happened last year where we won the Copa del Rey – we want to recapture that title and to go one more step in the League and in Europe. Mourinho is the first that wants to do this to get over the first season.”

To reach the final, Real must first overcome the double-header with Lyon.

“They have our respect because they have always gotten through to the next round and is an uncomfortable opponent for us. It is also a nice game and as the Coach has said, we would like to take six key points to get into the next round. We have to think about winning the home games. That is the way forward.”

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