Borussia Dortmund can maintain their Champions League ambitions, says CEO

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Borussia Dortmund can win the Champions League despite their ongoing domestic problems, according to club CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke. 

The Bundesliga side have struggled for form and consistency this term, and head into 2015 in the bottom three of the league table, two points clear of safety.

But despite their poor showings on the home front, Watzke sees no reason why they cannot lift Europe's major prize even if staying in the top-flight of German football is the obvious priority. 

Life at the Signal Induna Park has been unhappier than any time in recent years, with Jurgen Klopp's side now paying the price for seeing their star assets jump ship to Bayern Munich. 

Robert Lewandoski and Mario Gotze have both moved to the Allianz Arena in the past two years, and Marco Reus could be the latest casualty with Carlo Ancelotti keen to bring the German winger to Real Madrid as a possible replacement for Manchester United target Gareth Bale.

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The arrival of Ciro Immobile and return to Shinji Kagawa from United was expected to see them tussle for the title with Bayern, but instead they have been unable to stop the rot with the champions of two years ago having clocked up 10 defeats from 17 games, more than any other team in the division. 

They face high-flying Bayer Leverkusen when the winter break ends at the end of next month, and must get off to a good start in 2015 if they are to have any hopes of turning their fortunes around. 


Their form on the European front has been a stark contrast to that of the domestic scene, with Dortmund topping their qualifying group ahead of Arsenal, Anderlecht and Galatasaray. 

Immobile's goals have come predominantly in the games against those sides, with the highlight a 2-0 victory over the Gunners that ultimately proved decisive in determining the final group stage standings. 

They are set to face Serie A champions Juventus when the tournament resumes in February, and will be hoping to proceed to the quarter-finals for a third year in a row.  Speaking to German newspaper Bild, Watzke was confident that Dortmund can still have a a successful campaign despite the misery of the first half of the season.


"The focus should be clearly on the Bundesliga for now, but we do not write off the Champions League," he said.

"It might make it a lot easier if we were not in the Champions League, and we only needed to focus on the Bundesliga.

"But that would not only be grossly unfair to the competition, but a disaster to German football. We have a responsibility to German football."

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