Kehl realistic over Dortmund's Champions League ambitions

The veteran captain is ignoring suggestions that his side are favourites to conquer Europe this season, and has accepted their Bundesliga chances are slim
Borussia Dortmund captain Sebastian Kehl has warned his team-mates that they are by no means favourites to lift the Champions League this season, despite their impressive form in the competition thus far.

The current German champions were able to top a group containing Manchester City, Real Madrid and Ajax without losing a game, and were only denied a 100 per cent record by late equalisers in Spain and England.

Former BVB boss Ottmar Hitzfeld had claimed that Jurgen Klopp's side were among the frontrunners for the tournament, but the veteran midfielder is remaining grounded.

"I wouldn't say we are favourites for the title," he told Bild.

"We have done well so far, but we don't let our dreams get ahead of us. We are being realistic, there is still a long way to go. Shakhtar will be a tough opponent for us in the next round."

Having claimed the last Bundesliga titles, Dortmund found themselves 12 points behind league leaders Bayern Munich going into the winter break, and Kehl has acknowledged that domestic glory will be a tough goal.

"It is still possible to win the league! It will be a huge accomplishment if we manage it, a miracle even. We will work hard, but it is no longer in our hands."