Football: Kuranyi wants to play in Champions League with Dynamo Moscow

MOSCOW (AFP) - Former German international forward Kevin Kuranyi, who is currently playing with Russian Premiership side Dynamo Moscow, believes his team are capable of winning a place in next season's Champions League.

"I believe we're ready for that," the 32-year-old striker was quoted as saying by Sport Express daily.

"The club chiefs have set us a task of finishing the season among league's top three but me and my team-mates are striving for the maximum. The entire team want to win a place in the Champions League.

"I've played in the Champions League with Stuttgart and Schalke 04. And I really miss this experience."

Dynamo are currently third in the domestic league with 19 points from nine matches, six points behind leaders Zenit St Petersburg, who have won eight and drawn one of their nine games so far.

But despite Zenit's impressive start to the season, Kuranyi said he believed that the fight for the league title is far from over.

"I believe it's possible to close the six-point gap as we still have more than 20 matches ahead," he said.

"We have everything we need for that. Dynamo are a strong and experienced team composed of skilled players."

Kuranyi added that that the signing of the French international midfielder Mathieu Valbuena had greatly strengthened Dynamo.

"He's a great footballer," the Brazilian-born forward said.

"At this year's World Cup he (Valbuena) was one of the best in the French national side. And his performance in Russia after joining Dynamo confirms his top status.

"It's so fortunate to have him in our team."

Kuranyi also said that he was hoping that the 2018 World Cup, which Russia will host, will help to mend relations between the European Union and Russia.

"I think that the 2018 World Cup will help to reconcile Russia and EU," he said.

"During the four years that I've been playing with Dynamo I can't remember any negative things that happened to me here. Russia have become my second home. And I want it to be on good terms with my first."