• Champions League

Hyypia urges Leverkusen to focus

ESPN staff
September 16, 2013
Hyypia's side have collected 12 points from their first five Bundesliga matches © Getty Images

Bayer Leverkusen coach Sami Hyypia has urged his players to focus on more than just getting Wayne Rooney's autograph when they face off in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

Leverkusen have collected 12 points out of their first five games of the Bundesliga this season and are in a comfortable position domestically as they begin their European campaign.

Leverkusen arrive in Manchester ready to take on the Premier League champions in their first Champions League game since the 7-1 humiliation against Barcelona in 2012.

"Manchester is a great team. They have won everything in the past ten years," former Liverpool captain Hyypia told Express, before urging his team not to be overwhelmed by the occasion or the opposition.

"We should not stand in awe," he said: "I hope that my players not only want to look around the tradition-rich ground and line up for Wayne Rooney's autograph."

"The players won't watch the stands wide-eyed when warming up," he added to Kicker. "They know this atmosphere. The stadium in Dortmund is bigger."

Hyypia's last visit to Old Trafford with Liverpool came in a famous 4-1 victory under Rafael Benitez in March 2009, which was also the Finn's last full 90 minutes for the club.

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