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Champions League

Boateng: "You can see Ronaldo is a great athlete when he takes off his shirt"

The defender joked about Cristiano Ronaldo's propensity for muscle-bound celebrations ahead of Bayern Munich's clash with Real Madrid.

Boateng: "You can see Ronaldo is a great athlete when he takes off his shirt"
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Bayern Munich defender Jérôme Boateng is relishing the chance to stop Cristiano Ronaldo from flexing his famous muscles in the Champions League semi-finals.

The Bundesliga champions host Real Madrid at the Allianz Arena on Wednesday as both sides seek to secure a first-leg advantage in the fight for a final berth.

Ronaldo, the competition's all-time top scorer, will be integral to the visitors' hopes, having netted the decisive penalty to see off Juventus in the last eight.

The 33-year-old celebrated that stoppage-time winner in typically exuberant style, dispatching his shirt and roaring with delight.

"I think he's a great athlete. You see that whenever he scores goals and takes off his shirt," Boateng joked.

"I always look forward to playing against these players, even Ronaldo. It's always fun to play against the best players. That's how you improve yourself."

While admitting it will be tough to overcome a star-studded Madrid, Germany international Boateng is confident of atoning for last year's quarter-final exit to the same opposition.

"Real are really powerful in attack, really strong in defence and have a balanced midfield. There's a reason they've won two Champions Leagues in a row," he said.

"But we're confident and will do our best to beat them.

"Last year's elimination isn't in our minds anymore. We have a great chance to make the final this year, and that's all we're focused on."