Champions League, Main Round, Day 11 PRE-GAME QUOTES

Group A (Wednesday) 

19.30 Zodiac Atletic Barceloneta (ESP) v Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) 

Elvis Fatovic, coach, Barceloneta 

“We are playing with a very well managed team, great players with a lot of experience and  accomplishment. Olympiacos is a team that was created to win Champions League, from whom we  suffered our heaviest defeat this season. We definitely have the toughest match ahead of us. I think both  teams are in better shape now than were a few months ago. We are looking forward to this match and  we will give our best.” 

Alvaro Granados, player, Barceloneta 

“This is a vitally important match against Olympiacos. On one hand, the victory would boost out  confidence and consolidate our belief in ourselves that we are a team that can face anyone. And, on the  other hand, it would put us in a very good situation with a view to qualifying for the Final 8. The only  setback was this month-long break, without European games, but it has been the same for everyone, so  there are no excuses. We have to get over it and enter to the pool with maximum concentration and with  the desire to get this victory at home.” 

Theodoros Vlachos, coach, Olympiacos 

“We are in a kind of final four while facing the remaining four qualifying matches for the Belgrade  Final8. The first of them is in Barcelona and the positive result of the match is very important for both  teams. We both know each other well and I expect a tough battle with passion from my players for a  positive result.” 

Filip Filipovic, player, Olympiacos 

“We hope to beat Barceloneta, we want to qualify for the Final 8, but it is certainly not easy. We are a  bit unlucky this season, once we play with a full roster, then two or three players are missing, it is a  strange year. We know what we want to achieve in Barcelona, it is a challenge for us to get three points  there. In sports you have to believe in yourself, you have to be positive until the final. We had a good  match on Saturday in the league, we tried to pick up the pace and have a good atmosphere for our  preparation for the match with Barceloneta. The challenge is great, we want to take the victory in a hot  pool, against Barceloneta. We will go with the whole team, but I do not know if all of us will be 100%  ready, but we must believe, have confidence in the team and aim for success for the match on  Wednesday.” 

Martin Famera, player, Barceloneta 

“Olympiacos is a great team with highly qualified players. We assume that it will be a very difficult  game, so we have to give 100% of ourselves. It benefits us that we play at home, and we need to secure  our place for Final 8 because the end of the preliminaries is already close.”

19.45 Novi Beograd (SRB) v FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN) 

Djordje Filipovic, assistant coach, Novi Beograd 

“We are very excited about our next game because we are playing against an extraordinary team. FTC  Telekom Budapest is a club with a great history, they won so many trophies in the past and they deserve  a huge respect. They have a high-quality team, great players and very strong team spirit. This is a very  important game for us, but I think that we are ready, and I am sure that we will do our best to win.” 

Strahinja Rasovic, player, Novi Beograd 

“After almost a month we are finally playing the game in the Champions league at home, and we are  very happy about that. We are playing against FTC Telekom Budapest, one of the best teams in Europe.  In the first game this season against our opponent we lost 11-10, and now we have our chance to avenge  that loss and to save our chances to finish in the first position in our group. We are very well prepared,  and we will be ready to play a good game. The key of the game should be our good defence.” 

Zsolt Varga, head coach, FTC 

“We had a couple of rough nights in the Champions League recently. To be able to return to Belgrade in  two months’ time for the Final Eight we now need four very strong performances in the group, and hope  for helping hands as well… The main thing is, however, to do our job first and win against Novi  Beograd, which is a really difficult task, but certainly not impossible as we’ve proved back home. Our  form has improved the past couple of weeks, so we’ll go for the win.” 

Nemanja Ubovic, player, FTC 

“Since I left home to play abroad, I didn’t have many games in Belgrade so I’m happy and excited that I  get to play there after six years. Novi Beograd’s form has picked up compared to the first part of the  campaign, so I expect a tough fight. We want to reach the Final Eight, which makes every game like a  final for us until the end of the group stage.” 

20.30 Radnicki Kragujevac (SRB) v Jadran Split (CRO) 

Uros Stevanovic, coach, Radnicki 

“This is a good opportunity for us to claim more points and give our fans another real spectacle.  Regardless of our current chances of qualifying for the F8, we are trying to win every game. We want to  show our best performance and gain a reputation in this competition in which we are newcomers.” 

Stefan Brankovic, player, Radnicki 

“We played two balanced matches with Jadran in Split this season. Once it was a draw, and once we  lost closely. I hope we will take revenge on them for that defeat. Jadran is a great team, with a number  of Croatian national team players and I think that the audience will enjoy the game.” 

Mile Smodlaka, coach, Jadran 

“In our first match we won against Radnicki. They are a good team, they showed that many times this  season. We have a hard mini-period in front of us with three games in Belgrade in 10 days (Jug AO in Regional League and Novi Beograd in Champions League). Our focus is on Regional  League, but we will do our best in all matches.” 

Mate Anic, goalkeeper, Jadran 

“We are in a good shape, lost by one goal to Jug in the Croatian Championship, but we reached our  goal, to take the first place before the playoffs. Radnicki is strong team, but so we are.” 

20.30 AN Brescia (ITA) v Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) 

Dejan Stanojevic, coach, Dinamo 

“Brescia is one of the best teams in the world, with op players and a top coach. Our task is to play one  good game with maximum motivation. Playing with the best is the biggest motivation.” 

Revaz Imnaishvili, player, Dinamo 

“Brescia is one of the strongest opponents with their pace but I think we are physically well prepared  and we get better from game to game, so I think we will have one decent match in Brescia.” 

Group B (Tuesday) 

18.15 Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) v Crvena Zvezda (SRB) 

Karsten Seehafer, coach, Hannover 

“After a break it is not easy for us to play. We have the chance for the Final 8, it’s one of the important  games. As of now, we are complete, the fight can start.” 

Predrag Jokic, assistant coach, Hannover 

“I expect an exciting game, we are playing in our pool, with a safe and disciplined game we can win.” 

Moritz Schenkel, goalie, Hannover 

Finally, it’s Champions League time again! We have prepared well and have to beat Red Star to keep  our chances for the Final 8. We will try to use our chances and leave the water as winners at the end of  the match. Viva Waspo!” 

Petar Muslim, player, Hannover 

“Although Waspo had a very turbulent period over the last two months, now we are back on track again,  so I expect a tough game and believe we can be the winners.” 

Milos Vukicevic, player, Zvezda 

“This will be a difficult match, our opponents are strong, but we are going to Hannover to win the  match!”

19.00 Spandau 04 Berlin (GER) v Pro Recco (ITA) 

Petar Kovacevic, coach, Spandau 

“We are looking forward to the continuation of the Champions League after more than a month since  the last game. The current champion is visiting us and we see it as the ultimate test before the final two  months of the season. We will try to play a better game than was the case at their pool on 1 December. I  hope that the audience will return to the stands in greater numbers now after the mitigation of C-19  measures.” 

Nikola Dedovic, player, Spandau 

“Once again, it’s time to do something special. The game against Recco is also a good start to the hot  final phase of the season. Recco is the favourite, but even the strongest must first stand up to us. And  then there is the birthday of our coach, to whom we like to create the appropriate birthday gift.” 

Aaron Younger, player, Pro Recco 

“Spandau has a lot of experienced players as they played a long time in the national team. I think we are  gonna have a pretty tough game going to Spandau, we haven’t played the Champions League in a  month now, and Saturday we have a big game with Brescia, so this will be a good preparation for us,  but as per every Champions League game, we need to get the three points.” 

19.00 CN Marseille (FRA) v Genesys OSC Budapest (HUN) 

Milos Scepanovic, coach, Marseille  

“OSC Budapest is a very powerful team in particular in attack. Every match in the competition is a  challenge. We work everyday to perform during all the match against them. We want to confirm our  rank in the group B.” 

Mishka Izdinsky, player, Marseille  

“Together, I think we have been on a very good dynamic for a while and that we intend to stay on it. We  wish to carry on working on the automatisms and the things the coach asks to improve continuously.  This is the way to arrive fully prepared to the end of this season and this is just taking shape now.” 

Daniel Varga, coach, OSC 

“In our situation every point is important. We are not the favourites in France, but we have a real chance  to make a surprise. We are in good shape, and we have good games behind us in the past weeks, so I am  optimistic. I believe we will play a good and effective game against Marseille.” 

Dome Dala, player, OSC 

There was a longer break in the Champions League season since our last game against Pro Recco, so we  are really looking forward to the game on Tuesday. Unfortunately, we suffered a painful defeat at home  in our first game against Marseille, but now we want to show what the true character of our team is! We  know that Marseille is a complete and strong team, thus we must give our best to steal points from such  a high-level squad. We will prepare as much as possible. We have a challenging period ahead of us, the  following games will all be difficult. Furthermore, the playoffs of the Hungarian league will begin this weekend. To qualify to the Final Eight in the Champions League, we must collect  additional points and victories in our upcoming games. Our destiny is in our hands.” 

19.00 Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) v Steaua Bucharest (ROU) 

Vjekoslav Kobescak, coach, Jug 

“This is a very important match regardless of the fact that we secured our place in the Final Eight. It’s  not the same to be third or fourth. We are the favourites, and we have to justify that role. The team is in  good shape, we are ready and can’t wait for the match to start.” 

Loren Fatovic, captain, Jug 

“Steaua is a team that is growing from year to year. We won in Bucharest after great difficulties and that  should be a warning to us. I believe in our victory.”