Hecking: Wolfsburg cannot show Real Madrid too much respect
Dieter Hecking believes his Wolfsburg side can pull off a shock when they host Real Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday, as long as they do not show their opponents too much respect.
Wolfsburg are playing in the competition for only the second time in their history and the Bundesliga side booked their last-eight place by beating Gent.
Hecking revealed he would have preferred to have drawn Benfica in the Champions League quarter-finals but said he is looking forward to seeing his side take on “the ‘creme de la creme’ of Europe”.
“From a sporting point of view, I would have preferred Benfica, because that would be a 50-50 tie. But then there is the glamour of Real Madrid,” he said.
“I think we can succeed if we don’t show too much respect for Real Madrid, the club and their individual players. They are a team just as we are, and we have to try to make it as difficult for them as possible with what we have.
“You have a chance in any match. We are big underdogs in this tie, but outsiders are there to be cheeky, and I would like to see my team doing that in both matches.
“Anyone who knows Real Madrid knows their strengths. They have great quality in attack and have shown that in the Champions League. They’ve won seven of their eight matches this season, so we’re facing great quality, but we shouldn’t underestimate ourselves as we also have something to offer. I hope we can show that.”
Hecking added that it has been a “special experience” for Wolfsburg - who are eighth in the Bundesliga - to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
“It was a special experience for the club and for the fans, but also for the team. It’s also a milestone for me in my career,” he said.
“Now we are in with the ‘creme de la creme’ of Europe – we have to face the teams who have dominated Europe in recent years. And we’re part of that with Wolfsburg, from a city of 120,000. That’s extraordinary for the club.
“It is a huge amount of fun to play in the Champions League. Every single game has been a highlight. It’s a massive experience and an experience that I don’t want to miss out on.
“We deserve to be in the quarter-finals, we’re having a great season in the Champions League, so let’s see what we’ve still got in store.”