Lewandowski on par with Ronaldo and good enough for Barcelona, says Santana

The Brazilian defender has nothing but praise for the prolific striker and has urged his BVB team-mates to remain focused ahead of Tuesday’s return against Real Madrid

Felipe Santana believes Borussia Dortmund team-mate Robert Lewandowski is on a par with Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo and has little doubt that the Poland international is good enough to play for Barcelona.

The 24-year-old striker, who netted four goals against Madrid on Wednesday, is widely expected to join Bayern Munich either this summer or once his contract expires in 2014, but Santana feels he would be a fine addition for Barca, too.

“Robert doesn’t get the same media coverage as Cristiano but he is as good as him. Now he has shown the world his quality and proved he is one of the best strikers in Europe,” Santana told AS.

“I think he would fit in well at Barcelona, he has a lot of quality, he is very good with his feet and holds the ball up very well.”

The centre-back then went on to discuss Dortmund’s chances of making it to the Champions League final at the expense of Real Madrid after their 4-1 first-leg win in the semi-final.

“We are very happy with the win over Madrid. We are just over halfway to making the final. We will do everything again to get to Wembley,” he continued.

“But we have to be careful with Madrid, we have to stay concentrated. We are talking about Madrid, a super team, a team that has players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka and Angel Di María, so we’ll have to stay concentrated.”

The second leg takes place at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday.

Frankfurt starlet Rode to join Bayern

Club CEO Heribert Bruchhagen has admitted they are powerless to stop the 22-year-old’s move to the Bundesliga champions due to their financial power

Eintracht Frankfurt CEO Heribert Bruchhagen has revealed that Sebastian Rode is to join Bayern Munich.

The 22-year-old midfielder has been one of the standout players at the Commerz-Bank Arena this season, featuring 28 times in the Bundesliga to date as Frankfurt have kept pace with the Champions League-chasers.

Bruchhagen has admitted the youngster is set to complete a move to the Allianz Arena, reportedly in the region of €9 million, explaining that die Adler are not in a position to compete with the financial might of the champions.

He told Bild: “Why does Jan Kirchhoff go to Bayern? Why does Sebastian go too? My God, these are young people. They can earn four times as much money at Bayern as they can here. End of story.

“The budget at Eintracht is €30m, it’s €150m at Bayern.”

Bayern have already moved to bolster their squad ahead of the coming season, with the news of Mario Gotze’s €37m move surfacing this week after they confirmed the signing of Mainz defender Jan Kirchhoff in January.

It is not yet known whether Rode will complete a move this summer or will wait to join the Bavarians when his contract expires at the end of next season.

Chiellini: Bayern & Dortmund are Martians!

The Italian has been blown away by the performances of the Bundesliga giants in Europe this season and feels that we might be seeing the start of a new era of German dominance

Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini has described Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund as “Martians” on account of the sides’ extraterrestrial performances in this season’s Champions League.

Having swept the Bianconeri aside in the quarter-finals, die Roten hammered Barcelona 4-0 in the first leg of their last-four encounter on Tuesday night, while their Bundesliga rivals were just as impressive in winning 4-1 against Real Madrid the following evening.

Chiellini was left in awe by the performances of the German duo although, as he explained at a press conference on Thursday, he had already witnessed first-hand just how awesome a side Bayern have become.

“Our performance against the Bavarians has to be re-evaluated a little bit,” the versatile defender argued to gathered media, alluding to his side’s 4-0 aggregate loss to Jupp Heynckes’ men.

“Bayern and Borussia are two Martians! In addition to their technical qualities, they are playing with an incredible intensity; they don’t let you breathe.

“In my opinion, the two games against Bayern gave me the idea that they were nearly invincible and now I know it.

“When I saw them on the field they seemed a step ahead of everyone, and that’s how it was [against Barcelona].

“To say, though, that the Germans are about to start a cycle [of dominance], well, we must wait for the return legs, even though, in theory, there has already been a change at European level.

“Nobody thought at the start of the season that there would be too German teams in the final.”

Even though Juve came off a clear second best against Bayern, Chiellini believes that Antonio Conte’s troops can take enormous pride out of their European campaign.

“We were handed the worst possible draw, against a Bayern side whom could and did give us difficulty,” he mused. “We put on a good show and did create some chances, but they fully deserved to go through.

“However, the initial disappointment of going out has gone, and now there’s the awareness of the important progress we’ve made.

“We wouldn’t ever have the possibility of purchasing a world class player. I think it would be impossible for any Italian club to pay the figure that Cristiano Ronaldo commanded, for example.

“Borussia set out on a different path, picking up youngsters from youth academies for relatively low fees and moulding them into a team over the past three-to-four years.

“You can only congratulate the club and its coach [Jurgen Klopp] on their achievements. They’ve created a team that’s gone to the top in Europe.

“I’d say their journey is slightly similar to ours, and that’s why we hope to emulate them soon.”

For now, though, Chiellini is just targeting a win in Sunday’s Serie A derby against city rivals Torino that would edge them ever closer to a second successive Scudetto.

“We should be happy with what we’ve done this season,” he added. “If I had predicted a season like this in the summer I would have been happy. Now we’ll aim to wrap up the Scudetto as soon as possible.”

Juve go into the weekend 11 points clear of second-placed Napoli, who face struggling Pescara on Saturday. If the Partenopei lose that clash and Conte’s men win then the Bianconeri will be crowned as champions.

Dortmund confirm Gotze fee

BVB disclosed the details of the €37 million deal, which will see the playmaker become the most expensive German player in history when he joins Bayern Munich, on Thursday

Borussia Dortmund boss have confirmed that they will receive €37 million from Bayern Munich for attacking midfielder Mario Gotze.

After details of the transfer were leaked to the press on Monday night, die Schwarzgelben announced the following morning that the Germany international would be moving to the Allianz Arena this summer, with their Bundesliga rivals following suit later in the day.

It was widely reported at the time that the buy-out clause Bayern had agreed to meet was €37m and, on Thursday, Dortmund confirmed that this was the case in an ad-hoc press release.

The timing of the announcement of the Gotze deal, coming as it did on the eve of Dortmund’s Champions League first-leg semi-final clash with Real Madrid, caused great controversy.

Gotze, for his part, has apologised for the furore caused by the deal and thanked his club’s fans for sticking by him in Wednesday night’s sensational 4-1 rout of los Blancos.

“[It’s been] a turbulent few days for you, the club and me,” the Germany international wrote on his Facebook page. “Thanks a lot for your support yesterday …”

Gotze’s €37m transfer to Bayern will make him the most expensive German player in history.