Champions League, Main Round, Day 14 PRE-GAME QUOTES

Group A (Wednesday) 

18.30 FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN) v AN Brescia (ITA) 

Zsolt Varga, coach, Ferencvaros 

“Thanks to our efforts in recent rounds, now we secured our place in the Final Eight. We’d like to finish  in the second place, so we have to handle this kind of pressure, while Brescia could play without  worrying about the result. Furthermore, we reclaimed our top form and none of us wants to lower his  standards!” 

Marton Vamos, player, Ferencvaros 

„We will play under pressure, for we want to get the second position in the group. Brescia won’t have  to, so this is a double-edged sword. Either way, we have to play at the level of the first game of the  Hungarian championship final, then we can win.” 

Niccolo Gitto, player, Brescia 

“The match will be important for us. It doesn’t matter for the rankings, but for ourselves as we arrive  from a bad defeat in our national playoffs. Ferencvaros is a strong team with champions in the roster.  We need this kind of match to improve our psychological condition.” 

19.00 Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO) v Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) 

Dejan Stanojevic, coach, Dinamo 

“This is the last game for us in the Champions League but just as important as the first and like every  other in this season. ur opponent is the team that, in my opinion and according to the quality of their  game, is in the top three teams in the last 6-7 years. My players will have the opportunity to play against  Filipovic, Buslje, Fountoulis and all other great players, and that is the biggest challenge and the biggest  opportunity to see if we can have a breakthrough against such players and against such a team. I am sure  that we will give our maximum and that we will fight for every ball, we will do every duel with the  maximum effort.” 

Theodoros Vlachos, coach, Olympiacos 

“We are travelling to Tbilisi for our last European game. Unfortunately, this year did not turn out as we  expected in the Champions League, however, we want to end our quest with a victory and then turn to  the playoffs of the Greek championship to claim the double.” 

Andro Buslje, player, Olympiacos 

“In our last European game for this year, we want a victory. We wanted to continue playing in another  Final 8 but we did not succeed. We want to finish our European games with a good victory and then  focus on the finals of the Greek championship.”

19.00 Jadran Split (CRO) v Zodiac Atletic Barceloneta (ESP) 

Mile Smodlaka, coach, Jadran 

“This is a chance to bounce back after our defeat to Jug Adriatic Osiguranje in the first game of the  Croatian Championship Final. Barceloneta is great team, it will be good test for us. And we need to get  back on track.” 

Jerko Marinic-Kragic, player, Jadran 

“We are focused on the Croatian Championship Final against Jug, but we would also like to finish this  year’s Champions League in style and to get back on winning track again.” 

Elvis Fatovic, coach, Barceloneta 

“This is our last game in Champions League before the Final 8. We are well prepared and ready to play  as well as we can.” 

Miguel de Toro, player, Barceloneta 

“On the last day of Champions League group-stage we are facing a rival that has nothing to lose. That  can go in our favour, but we have seen them achieving victories especially at home against teams that  have already qualified for the Final 8. We have to go to Split with a lot of confidence and with the  desire to win the match. We will not let them use their best weapons, because we know how to stop  them. Like we did in the first game, which at first seemed like a more complicated one, but as the game  progressed our offensive strategy hurt them. It should be noted that they have two great centre-forwards  and some good shooters that we have to neutralize. We are ready and eager to finish this group stage.” 

Alvaro Granados, player, Barceloneta 

“While it is true that we are already qualified for the Final 8, it would be a mistake to think that this  game is unimportant. Between now and the grand final we have very few opportunities to play quality  games, and this will be a great opportunity to test ourselves, to see how the team is doing and to  continue growing as a group from there. Split is a great team, which we respect, but I do believe that we  have to play our game, play strong and that will help us focus on the Final 8 in the best possible way.” 

20.30 Radnicki Kragujevac (SRB) v Novi Beograd (SRB) 

Uros Stevanovic, coach, Radnicki 

“Although we lost the chances for the Final Eight, we want to show a good game as we did against  Ferencvaros and to demonstrate that we deserve a place in the elite, among the best European teams.  We are in good shape, and we want to continue like that before the finals of the national championship.  There are no unknowns between us and Novi Beograd, we have already played six games and we know  each other very well. For them, the victory is certainly more important due to better placement and an  easier opponent in the finals, but we also have our motives.”

Luka Pljevancic, player, Radnicki

“We no longer have a chance to qualify for the final tournament, but we want to perform as well as  possible in this competition. We will also use this match as a preparation for the finals of the national  championship, which awaits us soon with Novi Beograd.” 

Djordje Filipovic, assistant coach, Novi Beograd 

“This is the last game in a group stage of the competition, and we would like to finish it with a win. We  already qualified for the Final Eight, but we don`t know yet in which position, so we need to stay  focused and for sure we will do our best to play another good game in the Champions League. Also, this  match will be a pre-game for our final play-off series in the domestic league and we expect a very  interesting game. It’s needless to say that the whole team, all the players trained very hard in the past few days and because of that I am sure that we are ready for this match.” 

Dusan Mandic, player, Novi Beograd 

“This is a very important game for us against a top-quality team. Every match in Kragujevac is very  tough, I expect the same also this time, but no matter what, we want to win. We already played a lot of  games against Radnicki this season and because of that, there can`t be any secrets, we know each other  very well. Also, we are full of self-confidence and I strongly believe in my team and my teammates that  we will accomplish our goal and win at the end.” 

Group B (Tuesday) 

18.15 Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) v Jug Croatia Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) 

Karsten Seehafer, coach, Hannover 

“It’s Champions League and not a training game. We are in the right rhythm and want to play a good  match.” 

Predrag Jokic, assistant coach, Hannover 

“Both teams are in the finals, so the result doesn’t mean much. This is a good preparation for the next  important games in the German championship. I believe in a positive outcome at the end.” 

Marko Macan, player, Hannover 

“The position in the group is secured for both teams, so the game doesn’t decide anything, but we want  to continue the good rhythm we have and try to avenge Dubrovnik for a heavy defeat in the first round.” 

Darko Brguljan, player, Hannover  

“We play really good in this part of season, we try to win also this game against Jug, but that is not an  easy job. We are in the Belgrade F8 again so congratulations to my team mates and to staff for great  result.”

Vjekoslav Kobescak, coach, Jug 

“Since this match does not affect the final ranking and we’ve already started the finals in our domestic  championship, I decided to bring players from our juniors to Hannover. I believe this match will help  them to gather some vital experience.” 

Marko Zuvela, player, Jug 

“We are coming to Hannover with a young and talented line-up and I believe it will show that there will  be no problem for the future of our club.” 

19.00 Pro Recco (ITA) v CN Marseille (FRA) 

Francesco Di Fulvio, player, Pro Recco 

“It will be a special game, the first European match in Punta Sant’Anna: we expect to play in a great  atmosphere. In the water it will certainly be a battle, we must play as we could, improve our game and  above all impose it; it will be a very important challenge for us in view of the championship and  Champions League finals, and the result should come accordingly.” 

Milos Scepanovic, coach, Marseille  

“It’s an important encounter, the match will take place in their mythical swimming pool. We know very  well that it will be hard because they are the reigning European Champions but precisely it will allow us  to test ourselves after the defeat against Dubrovnik to see what level of form the two teams are in. Even  if there is nothing at stake in this match, it is a way of having fun essentially.” 

Igor Kovacevic, player, Marseille  

“The match against the reigning European Champion is a great opportunity to challenge and to  consolidate ourselves before Final8 and the semi-finals and finals of the French Championship. After  our defeat against Dubrovnik, we will see our reaction. It is for all these reasons that we are looking  forward to this very high-level match.” 

19.00 Spandau 04 Berlin (GER) v Crvena Zvezda (SRB) 

Petar Kovacevic, coach, Spandau 

“It is the last Champions League match of the season. It is not an important match for the standings, but  it is important for us as a team. We want to finish the season with a victory, and I hope my players will  give everything.” 

Dmitrii Kholod, player, Spandau 

“Champions League matches are always important. Even if we cannot qualify for Final 8, we need to  use this match for our preparation for the German Championship.” 

Dejan Savic, coach, Zvezda 

“This is the last game we play, and we are glad that we had the opportunity to play in the Champions  League this year. I wish good luck to all clubs which qualified for the Final Eight and may the best  win!”

20.00 Steaua Bucharest (ROU) v Genesys-OSC Budapest (HUN) 

Kristof Varnai, player, OSC 

“Unfortunately, in the Champions League this game won’t matter but because of our next game in the  Hungarian championship final it’s crucial for us to play a good game. We would like to compensate the  bad feelings regarding the first game in the final with a well-played game in Bucharest to build up our  confidence leading up to our next game.” 

Daniel Varga, coach, OSC 

“Unfortunately, we do not have the chance of advancing in the Champions League, but we would like to  play a good game on our last appearance. We consider this match as a way of preparing for the  Hungarian championship final.”