Champions League, Main Round, Day 2 PRE-GAME QUOTES

Group A – Tuesday

19.00 Jadran Split (CRO) v Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO)

Mile Smodlaka, coach, Jadran

“We play against Dinamo at home and it seems like a good chance to get our first win. Dinamo is a good team, but not as strong as some other teams in group. We are better, we have better roster and everything besides win would be failure for us. In the first game against Barceloneta our extra player realisation was poor. Everything else was in order, but with so poor performance in 6 on 5 we couldn’t do more.”

Jerko Marinic-Kragic, player, Jadran

“We hope that this is the time for our first victory. We respect Dinamo, but if we want to keep our chances for Final 8 open, we must win this game, especially since we are playing at home.”

Dejan Stanojevic, coach, Dinamo

“Every game in the Champion League against the best teams and with the best players is a chance and a new opportunity for us, for our team, our players. In this season we have 14 extremely hard games against the best sides, and we must use these to improve and build us to be better team and better player.Also, no matter which team we play with, we prepare, practice and think only to give our maximum and and aim to win. We know that all other teams are strong and powerful but we must think on ourselves and not about them. We respect everyone but we also believe in ourselves and we are ready to play. Jadran Split made this year a team with lot of excellent a d high level players. Jadran wants to win the Champions League next year and they started to build tram for that. We, like I already say, respect Jadran, all those players but we will put that aside when the game starts and we will fight and play for every ball, in every possession in defence and in attack. I ask my players to think and to act like that, to play and to try to take every chance which occurs during the game.”

Giorgi Magrakvelidze, player, Dinamo

“Our first game in the Champions League against Olympiacos showed us that we were physically in a very good condition. We have analysed our next opponent’s game style. The result of this match depends on who worked harder for it and I’m sure that we will be the ones.”

19.45 VK Novi Beograd (SRB) v Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE)

Vlado Vujasinovic, coach, Novi Beograd

“We are playing against a very strong team, who is among the candidates for the championship title. For sure, both teams will try to show the best possible performance in this game. Olympiacos has a new squad, with a lot of new players, they completely rebuilt the team, the same as we did. I think that we are very well prepared for this tough contest. This match, in this part of the season, isn’t crucial but should mean a lot for us if we win it in the end, especially for our self-confidence. So, we will try to do our best.”

Photo Djordje Kostic

Strahinja Rasovic, player, Novi Beograd

“We are expecting a great game, a real water polo spectacle. Olympiacos is among the best teams in Europe this season, and I am sure that a very interesting and quality match is in front of us. We are preparing to give our best, and I really hope that we will continue with our good performance. The game against Olympiacos will be the toughest match for us in this season so far.”

Theodoros Vlachos, coach, Olympiacos

“A series of very important games start on Tuesday in Belgrade against Novi Beograd as the first opponent. Each game of this series has particular importance because of the points each team could gain – and take away from its rival. We are travelling to Belgrade to play with confidence and claim a positive result against one of the best teams in the group. We do not characterise it as a game without tomorrow for us but as the first possible test for our team this year, and a possible positive result will stimulate us for the following matches.”

Andro Buslje, player, Olympiacos

“We expect a very difficult match as we play against Novi Belgrade. A great team that has great players and is well covered in all positions. We hope that we will offer very good resistance and that we will be satisfied after the game.”

20.30 VK Radnicki Kragujevac (SRB) v FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN)

Uros Stevanovic, coach, Radnicki

“Ferencvaros had the greatest success in the Champions League in the last two editions, by winning that competition and reaching the finals. It’s a big honour and a great pleasure for us to host such a great team, the representative of Hungary, in our first home game in Kragujevac after a six-year break. We have great respect for Ferencvaros, but as we said before every game this season, we are going for the win, especially in our pool, in front of our spectators.”

Luka Pljevancic, player, Radnicki

“We expect a victory, regardless of the fact that Ferencvaros is a team with a great tradition, a long-term participant in the Champions League, and one of the favourites to win the competition. They are filled with very good players in all positions and we must minimise the number of mistakes because such teams do not forgive mistakes. We will do our best because we play in our pool, where we will not allow anyone to beat us easily.”

Zsolt Varga, coach, Ferencvaros

“Kragujevac is the current Serbian champion which commands respect. We’ve seen their games against Novi Beograd and they obviously have a really good team. Having said that, we’re in good form and all the points on offer are important, so we’re going for the win.”

Soma Vogel, goalie, Ferencvaros

“Apart from the CL game in Brescia, we only had must-win matches so far this season, but from now on the big ones will come in fast succession. Since we haven’t met yet, we don’t really have first-hand knowledge on Kragujevac. However, we analysed two of their recent games and they seem to play in a typical Serbian style, aggressive and fast-paced. They’ll be at home which is another hurdle for us but we want to win, even more so after the game in Brescia which we could’ve won as well. Four points after two games on the road would be a good base to build upon before the home fixtures against Olympiakos and Novi Beograd.”

20.30 AN Brescia (ITA) v Zodiac Atletic Barceloneta (ESP)

Alessandro Bovo, coach, Brescia

“Like Ferencvaros, they are a different team this season. All the players are Spanish and they are the national team. They are still a good squad:”

Vincenzo Renzuto, player, Brescia

“We are working hard to be ready for these matches. We are growing in defence and we have to be more careful. Barceloneta is a great team. We are in a very hard group and we need to win home matches.”

Photo Jordi Lopez

Elvis Fatovic, coach, Barceloneta

“We are playing against a really organised team which is playing really aggressive water polo, with great attack but defence as well. These two teams know each other very well, they had a chance to play many games. This year both teams have changed its structure. We know that they have a great counterattackwhich is their biggest weapon and we have to keep that on a minimum. One thing is clear in this game: we need to be very focused in our defence.”

Marc Larumbe, player, Barceloneta

“Playing AN Brescia it’s always a tricky match because you have to be very focused in both halves of the pool. Last year they played an amazing water polo. It’s true that they have lost some key players, even though they are a magnificent team and they have very good quality players, so we expect a tough game.”

Miguel de Toro, player, Barceloneta

“We face a very important Champions League match against AN Brescia, a rival we know quite well. Last season we were lucky enough to face them on several occasions and we know that they are a very difficult team playing at home, with very experienced players. It is a team that will undoubtedly make things very difficult for us, but we will try to counter their weapons and for that we are working very hard every day. We hope to come home with a good result.”

Group B – Wednesday

19.00 Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO) v CN Marseille (FRA)

Vjekoslav Kobescak, coach, Jug

“This will be the biggest challenge for us so far in the season. Marseille is an excellent team, they play very fast in both way. I hope Fatovic and Argyropoulos will be ready for the game. Anyway, it will be great match.”

Stylianos Argyropoulos, player, Jug

“We know it’s going to be a very difficult game. Marseille is improving year by year. We must be very aggressive and do our best to win the game. I have a broken finger but I hope I’ll be ready to help my team.”

Konstantinos Kakaris, player, Jug

“For sure, this will be a very tough match for us. We hope that our injured players will be ready and we will do our best to win the game and continuing our winning streak.”

Milos Scepanovic, coach, Marseille

“We are not disappointed with the loss against Pro Recco. We work daily to face each team in this competition, and we gain experience. Pro Recco is the defending champion and we certainly lost, but we played well, the score is still very encouraging. We will correct the mistakes we committed. Every European team is a challenge, so every match is a challenge. But we are confident, and we continue to work to excel in the big matches of the Champions League.”

Mathias Olivon, captain, Marseille

“We train every day to face the best teams in the Champions League. We are ready, we are confident to impose our pace and apply our tactics.”

19.00 Spandau 04 Berlin (GER) v Waspo 98 Hannover (GER)

Petar Kovacevic, coach, Spandau

“We want to get those important Champions League points at home this week. After the opening defeat from Red Star Belgrade, we need the points with a view to one of the top four places in this group. My team is working very focused and the new players are also finding their way into our game better and better. We already played Waspo twice in October and naturally know each other very well. It will be exciting, and we are working on being able to show some surprise.”

Lászlo Baksa, goalie, Spandau

“After the game in Belgrade, we want to make amends in our first home game. Our goal for the new season is to reach the Final 8. We are playing against Waspo for the third time in the last few weeks. We won the last match. The German classic will be definitely a challenge for us, but we know what we are capable of.”

Predrag Jokic, assistant coach, Waspo

“I expect an exciting game, without a big surprise, but with our disciplined and intelligent game in both directions we can achieve a positive result, which we showed at the DWL Cup in the Spandau swimming pool.”

Marco Macan, player, Waspo

“After a bad CL opening, we must look for our first points and here is a chance against a well-known opponent. It is time to wake up. Despite the bad result in our last match against Spandau and Jug, I believe we are ready to come up with good games and I am sure we will grow through the season.”

Ivan Nagaev, player, Waspo

“I think it will be an interesting game. This season we will have at least ten games against Spandau. We know each other well, for the last few years we have been playing in the finals of the championships and cups in Germany. At the moment this season we stand 1-1. This Wednesday two equal teams will play, the game will show who is stronger.”

20.15 Crvena Zvezda (SRB) v OSC Budapest (HUN)

Daniel Varga, coach, OSC

“We have so many games this season, so there were not too much time to prepare for our next challenge against Crvena Zvezda. It is always difficult to play in Belgrade, but I expect victory from my team. My
players are very motivated to play in Champions League, so we will give our 100%.”

Marton Levai, goalie, OSC

“We continue our LEN Champions League-campaign against Crvena Zvezda in abroad. I expect a tough game in Belgrade. Zvezda has many qualified players, with a strong offensive play, fast pace and good centre-forwards. We have to force our play to be on the highest level, with discipline in defence in order to reach a good result.”

21.00 Pro Recco (ITA) v Steaua Bucharest (ROU)

Sandro Sukno, coach, Pro Recco

“We are stronger than Steaua but it will take maximum effort to win the match. We want to play at a high pace right from the start and score three points in the first European home game of the season.”

Marco Del Lungo, player, Pro Recco

“Wednesday will be a different game than the debut, however crucial for our growth path. We want to take a step forward compared to Marseille where there were moments of blackouts. Steaua are a tough team to face, they have many new players, and a 100% mental approach will be needed. Let’s play at the Albaro swimming pools, a beautiful facility; within the limits, I hope there will be many people around because it’s important to start seeing water polo again with the public in the stands.”

Bogdan Matei, team manager, Steaua

“We will play one of the best teams in the group, for sure, we will give our best in this match. Although our opponent lost some important players but they replaced them with, at least, the same quality. Our teams have met before, and it was spectacular every time and this is giving us the confidence we need before this match. Everyone in our team is looking forward to playing this match.”