LEN Champions League Final 8 – Press Conference

LEN/Istvan Derencsenyi

Pre-game quotes

Zodiac CNA Barceloneta (ESP) v Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO)

Elvis Fatovic, coach, Barceloneta

“In the past I’ve managed to get used to coaching teams against Croatians and deal with the emotions. I did that on the Australian bench when we played with Croatia and we also met Jug last season here in Belgrade, though in a less important match. Jug have always been a tough rival, especially in a single game, so we need to keep our focus on this match.”

Felipe Perrone, captain, Barceloneta

“Even if we did well and finished first in our group which never happened before, this does not matter here. Tomorrow a new event begins where the chances are equal and you need to do your best to achieve a good result. And even if we come here after a good run in the prelims, we must focus on the next game and not look any further.”

Vjekoslav Kobescak, coach, Jug

“Even not all the players on board as we have to play without Loren Fatovic and most probably Filip Krzic, we are not lowering our ambitions. Of course, even if we have them, Barceloneta would still be the favourite for this game but I hope other players will step up and we can play a great game. We already reached one goal by qualifying – last year we finished eighth, so we want to do better – now let’s take the first step in the quarter-final.”

Maro Jokovic, captain, Jug

“Practically, we’ve achieved everything we had wished for in the season, with the exception of winning the Croatian championship. We are two key players less, but that doesn’t mean we hold up our hands. We want to play good games, and this event and this situation is also a great opportunity for our young players. Unlike most of the teams here, we are playing without any pressure – and this is when we are the most dangerous!”

LEN/Istvan Derencsenyi

Novi Beograd (SRB) v Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE)

Zivko Gocic, coach, Novi Beograd

“We are playing at home, we have a great chance. However, this is a very balanced tournaments, we have eight teams with almost equal chances to win the trophy. We are well prepared for the first game, we play Olympiacos, it’s going to be a huge battle.”

LEN/Istvan Derencsenyi

Angelos Vlachopoulos, captain, Novi Beograd

“Last year is last year, finished, does not matter anymore. We need to reach a good level, we are well prepared to play three good games and to reach our target.”

Igor Milanovic, coach, Olympiacos

“I feel myself very comfortable in my beautiful city of Belgrade. And we don’t feel any pressure, no one made huge expectations towards me or my team – I was a lot more excited during those three matches in the local final against our great rival Vouliagmeni. We are here to play good games, we showed in the last round in Recco that we can have wonderful periods as well as ugly ones, I hope we bring the good things here. We have problems, we came here with our first centre-forward, but I strongly believe in my players that they can achieve anything as they have such big hearts.”

Konstantinos Genidounias, captain, Olympiacos

“Last year we missed the Final Eight here in Belgrade so we are happy that this season we qualified and can play here. In this event everything counts, the heart, the brain, everything and I think we are ready to give our best.”

LEN/Istvan Derencsenyi

AN Brescia (ITA) v NC Vouliagmeni (GRE)

Sandro Bovo, coach, Brescia

“In the last two years we played the semi-finals but lost both times. I hope we can go one better but first we have to deal with Vouliagmeni. We need to reach a high level in our game, this is the only way we can expect good things here.”

Christian Presciutti, captain, Brescia

“This is going to be my last tournament, so I’m already full of emotions. We have a great team, and we can achieve great things, we just need to bring our best efforts to the pool.”

Vladimir Vujasinovic, coach, Vouliagmeni

“For us, this is already a great thing to be here for the first time. We played great games in the prelims, now we want to play good games too and let’s see how far we can go.”

Marios Kapotsis, captain, Vouliagmeni

“We are really happy to be part of the Final Eight and we just want to enjoy the games here. Our first task is really easy, to play with Brescia (smiles). This is going to be a really tough match, they are a fantastic team, so I think we need to do our best to be on level with them.”

LEN/Istvan Derencsenyi

Pro Recco (ITA) v FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN)

Sandro Sukno, coach, Recco

“Everyone expects us to win but for that you need to win three matches and our first one against Ferencvaros is already a big challenge as they have an excellent team and they can play on a really high level, so we must concentrate on that game and not thinking of the cup.”

Aleksandar Ivovic, captain, Recco

“We won the last two editions, but this is another tournament where we face Ferencvaros in our first game. This is going to be a very big game where we have to do our best to beat them. We are ready for this tournament and of course our goal is to win it again but we have to focus on the quarterfinal now.”

Zsolt Varga, coach, FTC

“We are preparing solely for our upcoming quarter-finals against Recco. Their line-up is the strongest here, no doubt, but we are determined to put up a good fight. You cannot invent anything big in order to beat them – there is only one way, and that is to win every little duel in defence, then in offence. You have to make one good defence, then one good offence. And again, and again, and again. That can work, nothing else.”

Denes Varga, captain, FTC

“It has always been difficult at the Final Eight, but this is going to be the most difficult one for sure. We came here to play and not giving away anything for free. We should fight, be disciplined and united.”