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Dante talks to Bavarian Football Works on Pep Guardiola, Manuel Neuer, Rafinha & a possible repeat triple

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Bayern Munich's Brazilian centerback Dante gave us a few minutes of his time.

Dennis Grombkowski

There is no questioning that signing Dante from Borussia Mönchengladbach was one of the key signings made by Bayern Munich over the last few seasons. The Brazilian centerback has been an anchor at the back for 19 months now and has established himself as one of the very best in the world at his position. He's become a regular under head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari with his national team.

We at Bavarian Football Works were very lucky to get the opportunity to ask Dante a few questions. I want to thank Juan Arango for helping us arrange this.

How important was the winter break for you this year? With the Confederations Cup over the summer, you really didn't have a break like you normally do.

That's true. It was really hard to have only two weeks off and have to come back from a small break and have everyone training already for a month. Once I got back, there was no time for me to adjust, as I had to play right away. Some people don't realize how important it is for a player to relax on their offseason coming from a very long season, as well as the need for a proper preseason.

What do you feel like has been the biggest addition to your game under Per Guardiola, and how big of a challenge was it transitioning from Jupp Heynckes to Guardiola?

Pep is a great coach, and it is a pleasure to have him coaching us. He understands a lot about football, and we can learn a lot. Each coach has its own ideas, and we have already incorporated the system and ideal of Pep.

For much of the season you've partnered with Boateng but recently you've been playing alongside Javi Martinez more regularly. How different are the two to play with and is it difficult to transition from one to the other?

Both are very good players, and we have experience enough to be able to adjust to each partner in the back. Therefore, there is no difficulty in playing with one or another.

You've played with some outstanding goalkeepers in your in your career. How good is Manuel Neuer?

He is the best goalkeeper in the world right now. He is playing outstanding, and I am glad he is in our side. He is a key player in our team and is also having a great season.

A repeat triple is legitimately in sights for Bayern this season. How are the players keeping their focus on each individual match and not looking forward to the "big matches"?

It is a very tough possibility. In the Bundesliga, we do have a very good lead in first place. In the German Cup, we are in the semifinals. As you know, there are many good teams that we have to face in order to win the Champions League. We have won the first leg against Arsenal, but they are a very good team and we need to be our best in order to win the return leg. We focus on each game, and that's the key for a long season. We have a very good team, and I am confident we have a good chance this year to compete in all competition as well.

Thanks for you time, Dante. Finally, how happy were you to see Rafinha get the call up to the Brazilian national team after his impressive play this season?

Rafinha is a great player and I am very happy for him. We are great colleagues and friends.