Champions League, Main Round, Day 8 PRE-GAME QUOTES

Group A (Wednesday) 

19.00 FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN) v Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) 

Zsolt Varga, coach, Ferencvaros 

“We are entering another busy period: our game against Tbilisi is sandwiched between two huge  domestic clashes against Szolnok and Honved this week. Nowadays not only injuries and illnesses but  Covid-related issues are common for everyone, so the main thing is to be able to adapt and turn the page  quickly. Last time around we had a pretty solid game in Georgia and if we do the same on Wednesday  the rankings will look encouraging.” 

Daniil Merkulov, player, Ferencvaros 

“I hope this game will be relatively easier because we are playing at home and will have big support  from our fans. There are a lot of good players on Dinamo Tbilisi’s roster, especially the foreigners who  help a lot. However, if we will be solid in defence and play tactically sound, we will finish with a  victory.” 

Dejan Stanojevic, coach, Dinamo 

“Building a team is a long, complicated and not an easy process. But we, as a team that is being built  and developed, cannot and must not hide behind the fact that we are playing against the best teams and  the best players and that we think we have time. No, we should be grateful to play against the best and  try to get closer to the best in the shortest possible time. We know our tasks, we have obligations and  responsibilities towards ourselves above all and we must show that with every training and every game  we progress and that we are both individually and as a team better than we were. That’s what I’m asking  of my players this time as well. My players need to show that they have progressed and that we can play  at a serious and high level. There is a difference in quality and that is true, but we have to show that we  have progressed in this kind of competition and quality that all the teams in our group have.” 

19.00 Jadran Split (CRO) v AN Brescia (ITA) 

Mile Smodlaka, coach, Jadran 

“We are playing Brescia once again, after we lost them in a close game in Italy. We played the second  round tournament of the Regional League, had three matches and won against Sabac and Partizan, but  lost to Jug AO. But my players are getting in form after a lot of Covid-19 cases.” 

Antonio Duzevic, player, Jadran 

“Our first game against Brescia was strange because of COVID-19, a lot of players couldn’t play, some  just came back from it… But it was a close call, we were close, hope we can do it in Split this time.” 

Alessandro Bovo, coach, Brescia 

“It will be a tough match against a very competitive team. Of course, it will be a different game  compared to the one we played in Mompiano at the beginning of the month. It is always difficult to  prepare well because of pandemic situation and we still don’t know how many we will be in Split.  Nevertheless, we’ll give our best to win this really important game.”

19.45 Novi Beograd (SRB) v Zodiac Atletic Barceloneta (ESP) 

Dani Lopez, goalie, Barceloneta 

“It’s another great match against one of the best teams in Europe. Also, it’s a very complicated match,  we have had many positive cases on the team in the last two weeks. That makes us somewhat  unprepared because many of us are still recovering from the virus. But despite the circumstances, we are  forced to play the game. It is a pity that the rules of competition are unable to adapt to unique moments  we are living in. We will try to do our maximum although we are aware that we are not at our best.” 

Alberto Munarriz, player, Barceloneta 

“All remaining matches in this phase of Champions League is decisive to get to qualify for the Final 8.  We face one of the best teams that also plays at home. In the first round we played a great game where  victory slipped out of our hands in the last quarter. We are at a point of competition where we cannot let  any more point escape. We will give our best.” 

20.30 Radnicki Kragujevac (SRB) v Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) 

Uros Stevanovic, coach, Radnicki 

“Olympiacos is one of the main contenders for the title. We want to improve the impressions from the  first duel in Athens, where we were competitive until the last quarter. We saw that we could match  them. Above all, I hope that we will rest and refresh ourselves after the hard tournament of the Regional  League and thus be able to give our best against Olympiacos.” 

Nikola Lukic, player, Radnicki 

“We were not with the full squad in Athens, our goalkeeper Dobozanov was missing. In general, we did  not prepare much for that match, because the players had obligations with the national teams and we  have just gathered in Athens. We did not expect to match them so well. In some moments, we even  played great, and we saw that we could be competitive in their pool. In the Regional League  tournament, we played great and got into a good rhythm and I hope we will show that in this game.” 

Theodoros Vlachos, coach, Olympiacos 

“The game in Kragujevac against Radnicki is very important, especially for our team, in order to stay on  track for the Final Eight and high in the group standings. Our management of the game will play a  decisive role in its outcome. We want to play a very careful and determined game, always respecting the  dynamics of the opponent at home.” 

Konstantinos Genidounias, player, Olympiacos 

“It’s the first game of the second round that we have to win to stay in the hunt for the first place.  Radnicki seems to have risen lately and we are called to overcome this obstacle that will be even more  difficult away from home. We have not had time to do a lot of training together because of the national  teams, but I am sure that we will show our good face and we will fight for the victory.”

Group B (Tuesday) 

18.00 Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) v Steaua Bucharest (ROU) 

Karsten Seehafer, coach, Hannover 

“The days after the game in Bucharest were dominated by Corona. Now all players are back, we can  start to work together and want to reach the next level on Tuesday against Steaua.” 

Alexander Radovic, player, Hannover 

“It will be even more difficult than in Bucharest but I believe in our team. We’re not fit yet but this is  perhaps the most important game at this stage of the season and we know what to do. I am personally  and the team are also very, very motivated and we can do it for sure! The F8 is our target!” 

Petar Muslim, player, Hannover 

“After two weeks we are finally back together after almost all players were Covid positive. We didn’t  have many training sessions together, but there is a good atmosphere in the team, so I’m expecting a  good game and a win.” 

19.00 Spandau 04 Berlin (GER) v OSC Budapest (HUN) 

Petar Kovacevic, coach, Spandau 

“The game against OSC is a key match for my team. If we win, we can draw level with them in terms of  points. Then we would have a good platform to reach the Final 8 in Belgrade. In order to do that, we  have to play at hundred percent of our capacity. So far this year, we have not had to play any difficult  matches in the Bundesliga or in the Champions League. Thereforem we need to go into this game with  full concentration.” 

Denis Strelezkij, player, Spandau 

“We have trained hard this year and prepared well for the match against OSC Budapest. OSC has a  strong team with many internationally experienced players, which is clear if you look at the standings of  the Hungarian league. We are highly motivated to show a good game in our own pool and will not give  away any points easily to the Hungarians.” 

Daniel Varga, coach, OSC 

“Last game we didn’t have the chance to play against Spandau. This time I hope I will decide on our  line-up, not the virus. We need these 3 points to reach our goals in the group.” 

Marton Toth, player, OSC 

“It was a difficult time which we left behind us. Almost everybody was infected with covid virus and  that is the reason why we lost the previous game against Spandau without play. Since a couple of days, we have been working together again. Spandau is a really good team with experienced foreign players  

and a great coach, however, we are going to Berlin for the 3 points. It will be tough! I really hope we  will win the first battle before the match and no one produces a positive test…”

20.00 Crvena Zvezda (SRB) v CN Marseille (FRA) 

Mirko Vicevic, coach, Zvezda 

“I came to the club to help the players to get better results in the Champions League and in other  competitions in which we compete. Last week we played the Adriatic League and had three games, it  served us as a preparation for our match with Marseille. We also worked on new tactics, so we hope to  play a high-level match.” 

Milos Scepanovic, coach, Marseille  

“By assessing this first phase of the competition, we can say that we are the favourites in this game. We  remain, however, calm and focused, we continue to work to perform well and we will not change this  mindset that we have had since the start of the season. The Belgrade team remains an experienced team  with good players and nothing will be taken for granted during this match.” 

Mishka Izdinsky, player, Marseille 

“We can’t wait to finally start this second part of the season since returning after the Christmas holidays  we have had 4 matches cancelled in a row. So we trained a lot and we accumulated a lot of motivation  while waiting for this recovery. We know that Tuesday’s game will be a good launchpad to continue to  win. It can also give us a good dynamic to move on to the Coupe de France and all the other challenges that follow.” 

21.00 Pro Recco (ITA) v Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) 

Sandro Sukno, coach, Pro Recco 

“We feel a bit better than in the game in Dubrovnik, the group is almost complete and this has allowed  us to train better these days. It will certainly be another Pro Recco, more ready to face a strong opponent  who has grown a lot and will certainly qualify for the finals in Belgrade; for our part, it will be  important to concede fewer easy goals, supported by a different physical condition. In Croatia, from the  middle of the match, we were unable to keep a high pace, a fundamental aspect if you want to bring  home the matches at the European stage. We will play in Milan, in a fantastic pool just opened which  will give us another reason to play a great match and win.” 

Aleksandar Ivovic, player, Pro Recco 

“We want to cancel the defeat remedied two weeks ago in Dubrovnik and we are waiting for the last  swabs as almost all the players have recovered. It will be a beautiful match, we will play in Milan in a  very modern and truly wonderful pool. It is a pity that due to the pandemic the fans will not be able to  go beyond the thirty-five percent of the seating capacity.”