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UEFA Champions League

'We agreed we'd love to draw Barcelona' - Dortmund star Reus relishing Champions League test

02:13 GMT+3 30/08/2019
Marco Reus - cropped
The captain of the Bundesliga club claims he and his team-mates hoped for a pairing with the La Liga giants and are looking forward to the challenge

Borussia Dortmund are relishing taking on Barcelona in this season's Champions League group stage following Thursday's draw, with Marco Reus claiming the Spanish giants are exactly who the Bundesliga side wanted to face.

Barca, Dortmund and Inter were paired alongside Czech champions Slavia Prague in Group F, with the action set to get under way in mid-September.

Dortmund captain Reus said he and his team-mates had been hoping to end up alongside La Liga holders Barca, who have not reached the final in any of the past four years.

"A few of us from the team were stood together at breakfast this morning and we all agreed that we'd love to draw Barcelona," Reus said on UEFA's official website.

"Buzzing that it's actually happened! Obviously the group is extremely difficult; we're coming up against teams who we've not tested ourselves against in recent years.

"The games against Barcelona will have a party atmosphere for us and our fans! We believe in our quality and our aim is to go through."

Serie A side Inter have been drawn in the same group as Barcelona for the second successive season.

Inter finished third behind group winners Barca last term, but Nerazzurri vice-president Javier Zanetti feels they can thrive under new head coach Antonio Conte.

"Barcelona have been protagonists in the Champions League for a very long time, they have players of extraordinary value but there are also two other strong opponents in the group," Zanetti told Inter's official website.

"We will have to play our cards and see what happens on the field. We are a well-built team, we have purchased experienced players and we must aim for a good group stage to make the round of 16. There are the conditions to do well, we face great teams but we are Inter.

"Against Lecce [a 4-0 win] I saw a team that will always try to make the match theirs. It is an important point: the coach is very happy with the work of the boys, he knows that a demanding season is waiting for us, but he has brought the right mentality.

"You know how Conte lives football. He transmitted to the team all his enthusiasm and his desire to win."