Diarra eyes CL final

Skipper believes French champions can make European final

Diarra: Backing Bordeaux

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Bordeaux captain Alou Diarra believes his side can reach the UEFA Champions League final this season.

The French champions go into Wednesday night's second leg of their last-16 tie with Olympiakos with a one-goal advantage following Michel Ciani's winner in Greece.

But since that victory Laurent Blanc's side have slipped up in Ligue 1, taking just two points from a possible nine, although they still top the table on goal difference, with a game in hand over second-placed Montpellier.

Despite this poor run of domestic form, Diarra believes the French side can still get the result they need against the Greek outfit, as well as progress all the way to the final of the elite European competition in May.

He told L'Equipe: "We play less good, that is true. You just have to notice the points we have recently lost. We have to win again and several times in a row.

"The CL group stage gave me a lot of hopes (no defeats for Bordeaux). We defeated big teams.

Competitor

"Reaching the final? I am a competitor, so why not? That would demand a lot of energy, but we can't make any calculation. Yes, I would like to play in the final.

"There are still differences between us and the biggest European teams. They are still ahead. But the gap has reduced year after year, and we have proved it."

There has been speculation linking Blanc with a move away from the club and Diarra agreed the coach's future will have an influence on the players.

"Of course," he said. "Knowing he will remain at the helm or not is very important. It could lead some players to think about a departure.

"I would like to know what will happen, what will be the club's ambition next season, will Bordeaux be as strong as before or even stronger?

"It is important the club will be managed by a man with huge ambitions."