Jerome Boateng has admitted that he and his Bayern Munich team-mates remain bitterly disappointed by the manner of their Champions League exits over the past two seasons.
With Jupp Heynckes at the helm, the Bavarians swept all before them in 2013, winning the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal before completing a historic treble by defeating Borussia Dortmund in an all-German European Cup final at Wembley.
However, Bayern’s defence of their continental crown was ended in embarrassing fashion, with Pep Guardiola’s men losing 5-0 on aggregate to eventual winners Real Madrid in the 2013-14 Champions League.
Further last-four followed last season, with the Bavarians losing 5-3 on aggregate to Barcelona, who humiliated Bayern – and Boateng in particular – during a 3-0 first-leg triumph at Camp Nou.
Consequently, Boateng, who suffered horribly at the mesmerising feet of Lionel Messi, says that the German titleholders are desperate to make amends this time around.
“We’re in the Champions League semi-finals almost every year,” the centre-half told Goal ahead of Thursday’s group-stage draw in Monaco. “But the way in which we have gone out was bitter.
“So, our goal is to get back in the final this season.
“The most important title for us is the Bundesliga but the Champions League is something special; a trophy that everyone wants to win.
“But there are other top teams in the Champions League of a very high level.
“So we will have to fight against them.”
Despite having won three successive Bundesligas, wrapping up last season’s title in record-breaking time, Boateng is expecting Bayern will have a tougher time of it this season.
“I think that Borussia Dortmund will be very strong,” the centre-half added. “Wolfsburg and Bayer Leverkusen too.
“We’ll also have to see how Schalke and Borussia Monchengladbach will develop over the season.”
Despite being beaten on penalties by Wolfsburg in the DFL-Supercup, Bayern have kicked off their Bundesliga campaign in fine style, routing Hamburg 5-0 on the opening weekend before triumphing 2-1 at Hoffenheim at the weekend.
However, it is free-scoring Borussia Dortmund who top the table after racking up eight unanswered goals in their wins over Borussia Monchengladbach and Ingolstadt.