James: Bayern have to be Champions League contenders

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The Colombian playmaker acknowledges that the Bundesliga giants will once again be expected to compete for multiple major honours in 2018-19

James Rodriguez is targeting Champions League glory with Bayern Munich, with the Bundesliga giants expected to challenge for every major honour available to them in 2018-19.

Those at the Allianz Arena have continued to enjoy domestic dominance over recent years, with a sixth successive league crown secured in 2017-18.

That will be the minimum requirement again this season, with DFB Pokal success also there to be shot at.

It is, however, in Europe that Bayern are really looking to make their mark, with 2012-13 the last time they savoured continental glory.

Ahead of Thursday’s group stage draw, Colombia international James told reporters at an Adidas Tango League event in Berlin of his aspirations: "The Champions League is a very difficult competition, but a club like Bayern Munich must be looking to win it.

"No matter who the opponent is, we always have to play for victory. We always have to try to be successful."

As they wait to discover their European foes for 2018-19, Bayern are already up and running in the defence of their Bundesliga title.

New boss Niko Kovac saw his side open their campaign with a 3-1 victory over Hoffenheim, with the German Super Cup having already been lifted after a 5-0 mauling of Eintracht Frankfurt.

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James added on the challenges to come: "I think Borussia Dortmund will be a tough opponent in the Bundesliga, but Bayern Munich have been very successful in recent years, so we aim to be successful again this year, and if we play well we can become deserved champions."

Next up for the Bavarian heavyweights is a trip to Stuttgart on Saturday.

James will be hoping to shine in that contest, with the South American having seen speculation regarding a possible return to Real Madrid brought to a close as he embarks on the second year of a loan spell in Munich.

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