Champions League, Main Round, Day 5 PRE-GAME QUOTES

Group A (Tuesday) 

19.00 Zodiac Atletic Barceloneta (ESP) v FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN) 

Elvis Fatovic, coach, Barceloneta 

“This is a really important game for us. Hungarian water polo is famous for playing fast games and  aggressive attacks. This year their team has younger players, but we can’t underestimate them. We are  playing at our pool with our fans, hoping for a good game.” 

Miguel de Toro, player, Barceloneta 

“Tuesday we are facing Ferencvaros in one of the most difficult and important games of the season. The  latest results from our group have created extra pressure. We are confident that playing at home and  doing things well we can earn three points despite the fact they have a team with great players. A win  would be vital for qualifying for the final 8.” 

Oscar Asensio, player, Barceloneta 

“We play one of the most important games so far this season. In addition, we return home after three  away games, that gives us an extra motivation to try to win the duel against Ferencvaros, which is  undoubtedly going to be a great match. Ferencvaros played two finals in a row in this competition, and  they are a great rival to beat. They have very experienced players who are going to make things difficult  for us. But I am sure that with the support of the fans we will be able to measure up against this great  rival to take all three points.” 

Zsolt Varga, coach, Ferencvaros 

“Make no mistake, Barceloneta is one of the strongest outfits not only in our group but the whole  competition as well, so a very difficult game is in store for us. However, the same can be said from their  perspective since we’re riding high at the moment. Our team has been clicking during a really tough run  of games in recent weeks, we are top of the league and just won the Hungarian Cup again. Everyone can  expect elite level water polo played by two European powerhouses!” 

Gergo Fekete, player, Ferencvaros 

“It’d be very important for us to get into the Final Eight, therefore we came here to win! Yes, we  retained our Hungarian Cup title over the weekend, which is nice, but that is in the books now. The  games are coming thick and fast, we have to move on quickly. We still have two big games in the CL  this year, it’s imperative that we get through them successfully.” 

19.15 Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) v Jadran Split (CRO) 

Theodoros Vlachos, coach, Olympiacos 

“Another important game in our home, with high importance of taking points. We need more than ever  to stay focused on specific points in the game and fight passionately for the victory.” 

Andro Buslje, player, Olympiacos

“A difficult match awaits us, against a good team of Jadran. Unfortunately, we have some  players with injury problems, but we play at home, and it is very important that we win and the points  stay in Piraeus” 

Mile Smodlaka, coach, Jadran 

“A very hard qualification tournament for the Final Four of Croatian Cup is behind us. We won all four  games but playing four matches in three days is always hard. And then we had to go and catch the plane  at 5.30 on Monday morning. To be honest, the Final Four of the Croatian Cup is our priority at the  moment, especially because a few of our players have injury problems, such as Niksa Dobud and  Konstantin Kharkov. But we will do our best to try to surprise Olympiacos. They are among the  favourites to win this competition, full of great players. They beat Novi Beograd in Beograd and that  shows how strong they are.” 

Andelo Setka, player, Jadran 

“Olympiacos is a really strong team and a challenge for us. We are not going to sell our skin without  fight, but our focus is on the Croatian Cup competition. It is our opportunity to win the first trophy of  the season. We play Solaris in the semis and then hopefully the first time in this season against Jug AO.  Olympiacos is an extra team with Buslje, Bijac, Filipovic alongside the best Greek players… But we  have our strengths, and we will put them to work in order to get points.” 

19.45 Novi Beograd (SRB) v AN Brescia (ITA) 

Vladimir Vujasinovic, coach, Novi Beograd 

“We had some days off in our schedule in the past couple of days, and we tried to rest a little bit and to  refresh our team. Brescia is our next opponent and that will be the strongest test for us before the Final  Four of Serbian Cup. It will be the best possible preparation for us for that tournament because we have  very strong desire to win the first trophy for our club. Also, we will do our best to win the game against  Brescia, which we respect very much, and to show good performance in front of our fans.” 

Miroslav Perkovic, player, Novi Beograd 

“Brescia has a very strong team, with so many quality players. Among them are for sure Djordje Lazic, Boris Vapenski, and my team-mate from the national team of Montenegro Boris Tesanovic, who is a  very talented goalkeeper. Brescia is among the favourites for the titles in Italy and also in the  Champions League this season. But still, I expect that we will win because I think that Novi Beograd  has the best group of players in Europe in this moment and we will do our best to prove that. With good  preparation for the game, and our focus and dedication through the whole game should earn us another  3 points.” 

Christian Presciutti, player, Brescia 

“In Belgrade we will face a very strong team that was built to win the Champions League. We are  looking forward to playing and testing our improvements during this first period of the season. In  Ortigia, we played a very good defensive game and also our new teammate Constantin-Bicari will help  us to grow.”

Petar Tesanovic, goalie, Brescia 

“We are coming to Belgrade to play against Novi Beograd after a fine victory against Ortigia in the  national championship. The most important thing is that we are all healthy and prepared for the game.  Novi Beograd is definitely one of favourite teams to win this competition. They have an amazing group  of players: Mandic, Pijetlovic, Jaksic, Vlachopoulos, Rasovic and perhaps the longest bench in the field.  We know our strengths and we believe that we can play with anyone, we are going to play without  pressure and do our best to take some points from Belgrade.” 

20.30 Radnicki Kragujevac (SRB) v Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) 

Uros Stevanovic, coach, Radnicki 

“This is an extremely important match for us, the first in which we are the favourites. We have the  imperative to claim our first three points, which we have been trying to achieve since the beginning of  the season. Dinamo is practically the Georgian national team with the addition of three international  players. It is an experienced team that has been playing in that format for ten years and participates as  the national team in World and European Championships. It won’t be easy, but in the Regional League  in Split our team finally showed the desired improvement in shape and I hope that we will continue to  raise the level of our form.” 

Nikola Lukic, player, Radnicki 

“We have raised the level of our game since the matches in Split and I hope that we will continue in this  way. As in every game, we will be extremely motivated. We have minor health problems, but I don’t  think that will affect us too much to achieve the first victory. I hope that the spectators will come in  large numbers and help us achieve that goal.” 

Dejan Stanojevic, coach, Dinamo 

“Our basic task is that regardless of whether we are complete or not, whether everyone will be able to  play or not is to show progress. Improving in the game, progress individually and also as a team. As in  every game, we have to reduce the number of mistakes to a minimum and apply what we practiced,  what we did in training. It is superfluous to talk about the quality of Radnicki or about the individual  qualities of Cuk, Vrlic, Radulovic and all the other players. We all know that. We know where we are  compared to them, but that does not reduce our obligation to play a good game, to fight for every ball  and to have as much discipline in the game as possible. To be smart, brave and with respect for yourself  and the team. I ask that from my players.” 

Sandro Adeishvili, player, Dinamo 

“Unfortunately, we are not complete, we lack one of our main players Andria Bitadze, which is a big  loss for our team. We are facing the Serbian team Radnicki, which is of a different level compared to  our last opponents, however it is a quite strong team, and they have quite experienced players, among  

them is one of the top players in the world Milos Cuk. Our last game was with Brescia, which is one of  the top teams, and compared to them we can say that Radnicki is a more desirable opponent. For us, this  game is a great opportunity to gain 3 points and we will do our best not to lose those points. It is very  important for both Dinamo and Radnicki to win the match as neither of the teams have gained a win yet.  Therefore, I think the match will be quite tense.”

Group B (Wednesday) 

19.00 CN Marseille (FRA) v Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) 

Milos Scepanovic, coach, Marseille:  

“We have had a very good run in the Champions League. But nothing is achieved yet so we have to  keep it going and working to perform well over and over again. This next match is going to be a very  important one for the future classification. It’s a very strong team with a lot of international players.  Winning in front of our audience would be exceptional.” 

Ugo Crousillat, player, Marseille:  

“We are very motivated for this match which is decisive in qualifying for the Final 8. We expect a  tough game against a very good team, but we are ready.” 

Karsten Seehafer, coach, Hannover 

“One more away match and we have nothing to lose. Until know, Marseille, thanks to its very good  players, had a lot of very good games, but it seems that we are in good shape too. I hope we will play  another exciting game.” 

Marco Macan, player, Hannover 

“Marseille is definitely the biggest surprise in our group, but we play better and better and we are going  to take at least one point. Our destination is Belgrade and every game is important.” 

Darko Brguljan, player, Hannover 

“One more very important game for us and we are in a good moment. For sure, Marseille shows big  quality this year, they are the favourites in this match but I’m sure that we will offer a very good  performance and cause them problems.” 

19.00 Spandau 04 Berlin (GER) v Steaua Bucharest (ROU) 

Petar Kovacevic, coach, Spandau 

“Before the fifth Champions League game, the only thing we can say is: we must win our first game!” 

Dennis Strelezkij, player, Spandau 

“It’s a very important game for us. We have to win so that the other teams don’t forget that we are still  there. We have to be disciplined and play as a team to win.” 

Dimitrii Kholod, player, Spandau 

“We didn’t get the points that we should have got from the beginning of the season. The match against  Steaua is very important for us. And we will make everything to get the first victory at the European  stage this season.”

19.00 OSC Budapest (HUN) v Pro Recco (ITA) 

Daniel Varga, coach, OSC 

“Playing against Recco is always a different story. It is not only about the points, it is about the prestige  and the challenge what my players are able to do against the best players of the world. I expect my  players to give 100% while they are working for the team.” 

Balazs Harai, player, OSC 

“We are in the middle of a hard season with a lot of important matches, some of which didn’t turn out as  we wanted. This week we are going up against one of the strongest teams in the league if not the  strongest. We would like to play a confident game against them, fighting like a team.” 

Matteo Aicardi, player, Pro Recco 

“A very interesting match awaits us from a physical and technical point of view, also because after a  long time we return to play a Champions League match away from home. OSC is a team covered in all  positions, with a very strong centre like Harai and quality shooters like Manhercz: we will have to be  careful and concentrated. It will be the first match of this last final rush of 2021 that will lead us in a  few days to play also for the first trophy, the European Super Cup in Szolnok.” 

20.00 Crvena Zvezda (SRB) v Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) 

Aleksandar Filipovic, coach, Crvena Zvezda 

“Our guys are waiting for a difficult and tense match against the Croatian rival. We have been training a  lot lately and we hope that we will be able to be on par with our opponent.” 

Vjekoslav Kobescak, coach, Jug 

“I hope that after a long time we will have a full squad, but I’m still not sure. We have a difficult away  game ahead of us and the three points from Belgrade would mean a lot to us. This is our third away  game in a row and it would be great to make our third victory.” 

Ivan Vukojevic, player, Jug 

“It has never been easy for us to play in Belgrade, I think it will be the same this time. But I believe in  our chances and although Crvena zvezda is a great team, I hope that we can take all three points, which  would mean a lot to us for following stages of the season.”