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Fink keen to put one over on his ex-club

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Fink keen to put one over on his ex-club

Postby FCBayernNews » Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:30 pm

Ever since the draw for the Champions League group stages, Thorsten Fink has been looking forward to the clash between his Basel side and his "old friends" from Bayern Munich. It is the highlight of the season for the former midfielder, although the pre-match roles are easily defined. "FC Bayern are among the favourites to win the Champions League," the Dortmund-born coach commented.

Fink and his Swiss champions would consider surviving the group stage as a success. Beaten 2-1 in their opening fixture away to Romanian champions CFR Cluj, his team and its former Bundesliga stars Alexander Frei (Borussia Dortmund), Marco Streller (VfB Stuttgart) and Benjamin Huggel (Eintracht Frankfurt) urgently need points on Tuesday. "Provided Bayern don't give it 100 percent, we can beat them. We're not scared," said Fink.

The Champions League provides the ambitious young coach with an international stage for his talents. The 42-year-old is building a fine reputation for himself in Switzerland, and an obvious step up the ladder would be a switch to the Bundesliga. "What matters to me at the moment is winning trophies. That opportunity's open to me here at this wonderful club. It's good for my CV," he said. Coming to Basel was "like winning the lottery".

He has already succeeded in filling the sizeable hole left by predecessor Christian Gross, now boss at VfB Stuttgart. Fink, who suffered a first dismissal as a coach with FC Ingolstadt in April 2009, guided Basel to the title in his first season in charge. His current contract runs until 2011, but he is likely to extend his stay by another three years, as he is happy and settled where he is: "I'm not planning on leaving the club any time soon."

Schweinsteiger's praise

He was certainly a loyal servant in Munich, staying put for almost a decade after a 1997 switch from Karlsruher SC. Germany star Bastian Schweinsteiger played alongside Fink for a spell. "Thorsten spent a lot of time talking to the younger players," recalls Schweinsteiger, highly respectful of his former team-mate: "The biggest threat to us is sitting in the dugout."

The hard-working Fink collected a cabinet's-worth of medals and consistently achieved first-choice status in Munich's star ensemble. After a typically gritty and tenacious outing against Arsenal in the Champions League, Uli Hoeneß nicknamed the player "Rastelli" after a legendary Italian ball-juggler of the 1920s.

Fink continues to follow developments at Bayern with great interest. "It's my former club, so I'm delighted they're doing so well. Bayern have a team capable of winning the Champions League again at last." However, he is keen to put one over on his ex-club at St.-Jakob Park: "Bayern are clear favourites, but anything can always happen in Basel."
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