2. November 2018
2. November 2018
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Pre-game quotes day 2, 2018/19

Group A

20.30 Steaua Bucharest (ROU) v FTC Telekom Budapest (HUN)
Last season:
Steaua: 6th in Group B – 4W, 0D, 10L, 109-152
FTC (Ferencvaros): Winner of Euro Cup
Best results in CHL history
Steaua: Quarter-finalists in 1992, 1995
FTC: semi-finalist in 1989
Day 1
Steaua: 5-8 b Brescia (home)
FTC: 13-6 v Dynamo (home)

Andrei Iosep, head coach, Steaua:
“These games are good for my players because they have the opportunity to play against some of the best players in the world. It is a big test for them to demonstrate that the gap between them and those excellent players is not as big as you may think at first sight. Of course we are big underdogs, but we will show up and try to display a good game.”

Jerko Marinic Kragic, player, Steaua:
“Against Ferencvaros we can expect a very hard game. They are not only one of the favourites in the group, they are one of the favourites to win the Champions League. We are prepared for the game and we want to show that we can play with the best and that we deserve to play on the highest level.”

Zsolt Varga, head coach, FTC-Telekom:
„I saw the first match of Steaua against Brescia, it was a good, tough game. Steaua is a good, complete team. Our main objective is to play solid in defence and to concede as few goals as possible. This is necessary to take home the three points.”

Nikola Jaksic, player, FTC-Telekom:
„This will be our first away game in Champions League and it’s difficult as all away games in the CL. I’m optimistic, although we are a stronger team at this moment, the game is not going to be easy at all. We have to be focused from the first to the last second. ”

13.00 ZF Eger (HUN) v Dynamo Moscow (RUS)
Last season:
ZF Eger: 6th (F8) – Prelims: 2nd in Group B – 10W, 1D, 3L, 134-87
Dynamo: 5th in Group A – 6W, 4D, 4L, 141-133

​Pre-game quotes
day 2, 2018/19

Best results in CHL history:
Eger: 4th in 2017
Dynamo: runner-up (3x) in 1964, 1969, 1987
Day 1
Eger: 7-12 v Barceloneta (away)
Dynamo: 6-13 v FTC (away)

Nobert Dabrowski, head coach, Eger:
“The truth is that the Dynamo Moscow is the same as Russia men’s national water polo team plus they have three Serbian players. We know that they are really strong, but our goal is to keep the three points at home.”

Tamas Gyarfas, player, Eger:
“First of all, we have to win the match. For the Final Eight, every point is important. I think that these two teams are at the same level, so we will have a difficult match. We had a lot of trainings, so I think if we concentrate enough, we will get the three points.”

Adam Decker, player, Eger:
“In my view this match will be our first real test in the Champions League. Against Barceloneta we didn’t have the chance to win, but at home we have to beat Dynamo.”

Marat Zakirov, head coach, Dynamo:
„To stay in this race we have to demonstrate our best team’s aspects and we are ready for this.“

Nikolay Lazarev, player, Dynamo:
„We did a great job and prepared well for this coming game against ZF and now with a nice mood we are going to Eger for the victory and to collect our first points.“

19.00 VK Crvena Zvezda (SRB) v Atletic Barceloneta (ESP)
Last season:
Zvezda: eliminated in the 3rd round of qualifications (v Sabadell, ESP)
Barceloneta: Bronze medallist (F8) – Prelims: 3rd in Group A – 8W, 3D, 3 L, 137-102
Best results in CHL history:
Zvezda: winner in 2013
Barceloneta: winner in 2014
Day 1
Zvezda: 4-17 v Recco (home)
Barceloneta: 12-7 v Eger (home)

Aleksandro Kralj, player, Zvezda:
“It is a fact that we’re in really powerful and high-quality group. Since we’re quite a young team, our goal is to learn as much as possible from every game we play. We strive to point out all the benefits when it comes to facing CNA Barceloneta. First of all, the game will be played in Belgrade, in front of our people and that for sure will push us to put up a great water polo fight! Although Barceloneta is this game’s favourite we’ll make sure that those three points are hard ones to take.”

Chus Martin, head coach, Barceloneta:
“We are in a very difficult group and each match will be very complicated and a good start is very important for the future. Even so, we respect Red Star a lot because it doesn’t stop forming great young players of outstanding talent. We must be very focused and play a perfect match if we want to add the three points. We know the difficulty of playing in this swimming pool so we must be well prepared.”

19.00 AN Brescia (ITA) v Pro Recco (ITA)
Last season:
Brescia: 7th (F8) – Prelims: 4th in Group A – 8W, 2D, 4L, 114-106
Recco: Runner-up (F8) – Prelims: 1st in Group B – 13W, 0D, 1L, 186-80
Best results in CHL history:
Brescia: 5th in 2014
Recco: winner (8x) in 1965, 1984, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015
Day 1
Brescia: 8-5 v Steaua (away)
Recco: 17-4 v Zvezda (away)

Alessandro Bovo, head coach, Brescia:
„We’re going to face the strongest team: for us, it will be the first game on highest level and we’re longing to compare ourselves in a great challenge. Against an opponent like Recco you can do nothing but give your best and we’re ready to do it; nevertheless, it will be also necessary to manage the stress of the big match. Saturday’s game will be useful to evaluate our current conditions.”

Mladjan Janovic, player, Brescia:
„It will be a very tough task and we will give our hundred-ten per cent to achieve a good result. Even though we play at home, Recco is the favourite, they’re a great team but they have also more pressure than us and we must be ready to profit by this angle.”

Ratko Rudic, coach, Pro Recco:
“Tomorrow will be a very important match for us. Brescia plays well, has improved a lot compared to last year with a player, Figlioli, already integrated into their mechanisms. In Europe, they played five games more than us and this certainly can be a small advantage, but we have prepared well and I expect a good match.”

Matteo Aicardi, player, Pro Recco:
“We have a great desire to take what we missed last season by a whisker. Just in the quarter-finals of the Final 8 of Genoa we faced Brescia and we didn’t play a good match. We are motivated and prepared, ready for this tough battle. Ours is a competitive group, but I think it’s good because we will be more ready in the crucial phase of the season: weak groups does not prepare you enough for the big battles.”

Group B

18.30 Waspo 98 Hannover (GER) v Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE)
Last season:
Hannover: 6th in Group A – 4W, 0D, 10L, 133-150
Olympiacos: Winner – Prelims: 1st in Group A – 12W, 1D, 1L, 153-102
Best results in CHL history:
Hannover: 11th in 2018
Olympiacos: winner in 2002, 2018
Day 1
Hannover: 11-11 v Mladost (away)
Olympiacos: 6-7 v BPM (away)

Karsten Seehafer, head coach, Hannover:
“I expect a challenging game, especially after the defeat of Olympiacos on the first match-day. They will be highly concentrated in Hannover and they will not underestimate our team. Even a reigning champion needs the points, but we will not give way voluntarily. Let’s see how good our team is right now.”

Darko Brguljan, player, Hannnover:
“It will be a real challenge against the European champion from last season. That is enough to classify the Greek team. For us it’s a big opportunity to see how close we are to the top clubs in Europe. I hope we’ll have a good day and if we play like a team we have some chances to offer some surprises to our fans.”

Predrag Jokic, player, Hannover:
“Olympiacos is a great team, the European champion in the last season, certainly one of the main favourites to win the Champions League again. I expect a tough game. With a disciplined game during the whole match, I think we can achieve a positive result.”

Theodoros Vlachos, head coach, Olympiacos:
“The next Champions League game against Hannover is very important for us. We want to win this game, against a team that is stronger than last year and doesn’t have stress about qualification for the Final Eight, since it is the organiser and already qualified. We must impose our rhythm and fight with our well-known features to win the match.”

Giorgos Dervisis, player, Olympiacos:
“It is an important game for us to get our first points in the Champions League. In the first game we saw what went wrong and that we have to play better. Against Hannover it will be a difficult clash because our opponent strives without pressure while we need the victory not only to better our ranks but also for our self-confidence. We are expecting a difficult match since Hannover is a good opponent. We must fight with great energy, concentration and intensity.”

19.00 HAVK Mladost Zagreb (CRO) v Spandau 04 (GER)
Last season:
Mladost: eliminated in 2nd round of qualifications
Spandau: 8th (F8) – Prelims: 4th in Group B – 8W, 1D, 5L, 133-125
Best results in CHL history:
Mladost: winner (7x) in 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1990, 1991, 1996
Spandau: winner (4x) in 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989
Day 1
Mladost: 11-11 v Hannover (home)
Spandau: 6-7 v Jug (home)

Zoran Bajic, head coach, Mladost:
“Twenty-nine years after Mladost won the European Cup in Zagreb against Spandau we will play a very good game with them this Saturday. Spandau is a very good team, has good players and a rigorous playing system. If we approach the game in the right way, I’m sure it will be an interesting clash with a good ending.“

Cosmin Alexander Radu, player, Mladost:
“I saw the same last year when Spandau started to play with same intensity as in this year. I know it’s going to be a hard game. They have good players and a very disciplined system and that’s why I think it will be a good match.”

Petar Kovacevic, head coach, Spandau:
„Looking at the results of day 1 does give an idea, how hard it’s going to be to reach the Final Eight. The fact that we have Waspo in the group, already qualified, doesn’t make the road easier. We have reached a result to be respected in the fist round against Jug, but that doesn’t help us. We need every single point, therefore we have to try making up the missing points against Mladost Zagreb. Mladost has managed a draw in the first round at home against Waspo. Even though that was a good result, they still have lost two points at home. Therefore both teams are already under pressure if they look for the Final Eight. It will be hard enough to go for a point in Zagreb, however we will try to be successful.“

20.30 BPM Sport Management Busto (ITA) v Szolnoki Dozsa (HUN)
Last season:
BPM: Runner-up in Euro Cup
Szolnok: 5th (F8) – Prelims: 3rd in Group B – 10W, 0D, 4L, 169-99
Best results in CHL history
BPM: –
Szolnok: winner in 2017
Day 1
BPM: 7-6 v Olympiacos (home)
Szolnok: 10-9 v Jadran (home)

Marco Baldineti, head coach, Busto:
„They represent a very strong team that won the LEN Champions League two years ago and last year in the Final Eight lost in quarterfinals against Jug Dubrovnik. Andrija Prlainovic is certainly their top player, but they have many other champions. We will try to do our best, playing with speed against this very physical team.”

Andrea Fondelli, player, Busto:
„It’s going to be another tough game, maybe not of the same level as against Olympiacos, but certainly Szolnok is also a very strong team. We have nothing to lose, so we will not play under this pressure and it can be our advantage. But surely we should not risk to lose the game without fight.”

Zivko Gocic, head coach, Szolnok:
“The biggest surprise on the first game day was that the Italian team beat the title-holder Olympiakos. Their play is fast and aggressive. They don’t have world-class players, they play together as a real team has to. I expect my team coming up with its best game so we can and play a good match with BPM.”

Bence Bátori, player, Szolnok:
We will definitely play a very tough and exciting game in the home of the Italian team. It is always difficult to play against Italian teams, and Busto Arsizio is playing a fast-paced and counter-attacking water polo. It won’t be an easy game for us, but we know that at this stage there are no easy rivals.”

20.30 Jadran Split (CRO) v Jug Dubrovnik (CRO)
Last season:
Jadran: newcomer
Jug: 4th (F8) – Prelims: 2nd in Group A – 9W, 1D, 4L, 147-113
Best results in CHL history:
Jadran: winner in 1992, 1993
Jug: winner (4x) in 1981, 2001, 2006, 2016
Day 1
Jadran: 9-10 v Szolnok (away)
Jug: 7-6 v Spandau (away)

Ivan Asic, head coach, Jadran:
“I’m sad that we are not able to play this first Champions League match in Split and to have a crowd behind us. We are officially the home team, but will play in Dubrovnik. Jug has once again a strong squad, great players in every position. They lost in Regional league to Mladost Zagreb, but Jadran has different type of players and we can’t play the way Mladost did. Nevertheless, players are ready to fight.”

Ante Viskovic, player, Jadran:
“Jug is a very strong team and they are favourites in this match. It is a pity that we can’t play at our city pool in Split since its renovation is in the final stage, but we are eager to see how close we are to Jug this season. I don’t know when Jadran beat Jug last time, but we are going to give it all in this game and keep up hope until the end. I have spent two years playing for Jug, I was too young to make a bigger impact, but I grew both as a player and as a person there.”

Vjekoslav Kobescak, head coach, Jug:
“After a very good start of the season with a win in Berlin, we lost the home game against Mladost in the Regional League and our self-confidence was a little bit shaken. But our game is in progress and I hope we will show it in the game against Jadran.”

Marko Macan, player, Jug:
“In our last game in the Regional League against Jadran Herceg Novi we showed some progress in our game but against Jadran Split that will not be enough. They started their season with three easy wins in the Regional League and in the first round of LEN Champions League they narrowly lost to Szolnok. They are serious team and we must give the best of our abilities to win the match.”

2 November 2018