Champions League Water Polo Main Round, Day 4 pre-game quotes from the coaches and players of the respective teams

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Group A

17.30 ZF-Eger (HUN) v AN Brescia (ITA)
Day 1
Eger: 7-12 v Barceloneta (away)
Brescia: 8-5 v Steaua (away)
Day 2
Eger: 12-10 v Dynamo (home)
Brescia: 8-9 v Recco (home)
Day 3
Eger: 13-9 v Steaua (home)
Brescia: 7-2 v Zvezda (home)

Norbert Dabrowski, head coach, Eger:
“I really respect the Italian team. Brescia has a good coach and they are really difficult opponents. Still, our goal is to win all our home matches in the Champions League.”

Daniel Santa, player, Eger:
“Brescia has a lot of good players, many from the Italian national team. We will have four really strong eight minutes against them. We must be prepared mentally and physically for the victory. Our dream is to be in the Final8, so we have to win this match.”

Tamas Gyarfas, player, Eger:
“This clash is the most important for us in Champions League. With the three points from here we will be in a good position. We are really motivated. I am looking forward to the match.”

Alessandro Bovo, head coach, Brescia:
“The game in Eger will be another crucial step in our path in the preliminary round. Dabrowski’s team is a direct opponent in the hunt for the qualification to the Final Eight. I’ve seen the Hungarians against Dynamo Moscow and I think they’re growing day by day: they’re a complete team with three great players such as Hosnyanszky, Vlachopoulos and Strahinja Rasovic. There’s no doubt, this game requires a very high level performance.”

19.00 FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN) v Atletic Barceloneta (ESP)
Day 1
FTC: 13-6 v Dynamo (home)
Barceloneta: 12-7 v Eger (home)
Day 2
FTC: 9-6 v Steaua (away)
Barceloneta: 14-3 v Zvezda (away)
Day 3
FTC: Recco 6-9 (away)
Barceloneta: 13-12 v Dynamo (away)

Zsolt Varga, head coach, FTC-Telekom:
„Barceloneta is a great team altogether, with one of the best centre-forwards and with an excellent Felipe Perrone who is conducting their playing system all time. I think Barceloneta is one of the most difficult rivals in our group.”

Soma Vogel, goalkeeper, FTC-Telekom:
„It will be as difficult game as the Super Cup final was against Olympiacos Piraeus. Barceloneta is one of the best teams in Europe, they won three bronze medals in the last few years, and won the Champions League in 2014. We are highly motivated to play against them in the Komjadi Pool, in front of our fans.”

Jesus Martin, head coach, Barceloneta:
“This is going to be a really tough challenge for us. We’re up against a great team with individual players of the highest calibre. They’re coming to this game as champions of the European Super Cup, having beaten the mighty Olympiacos. So we’ll be playing with a team in extremely good form and we know that playing on their home territory is going to make this a really complicated match for us. Our aim is to maintain a very tight defence and come away with a good result, following the pattern of the season so far.”

Felipe Perrone, player, Barceloneta:
“Wednesday’s match sees us playing against one of the top teams in the world. Ferencvaros has just been crowned European Super Cup winner and it’s a privilege to have a game with them. The pool itself has a long history and it’s sure to be a great event. Both teams have a very dynamic style with a lot of movement and that’s going to make it fascinating to watch for lovers of water polo.”

Alejandro Bustos, player, Barceloneta:
“The match on Wednesday is going to be really hard. Ferencvaros is coming as winners of the European Super Cup after beating Olympiacos in an impressive showdown. They have a great line-up of players. We could pick Denes Varga, Marton Vamos, and Aaron Younger, among many others, who are capable of deciding a match on their own. We’re aiming for a fast pace and to impose our game on them. We know we need to be 200% focused in defence as they are a team with some great shooters. Sure, it’s going to be an exciting match.”

19.15 Dynamo Moscow (RUS) v Crvena Zvezda (SRB)
Day 1
Dynamo: 6-13 v FTC (away)
Zvezda: 4-17 v Recco (home)
Day 2
Dynamo: 10-12 v Eger (away)
Zvezda: 3-14 v Barceloneta (home)
Day 3
Dynamo: 12-13 v Barceloneta (home)
Zvezda: 2-7 v Brescia (away)

Marat Zakirov, head coach, Dynamo:
“In this year, Champions League is filled with great matches with strong rivals. We expect a good home game against Crvena zvezda and a great atmosphere on our tribunes.”

Igor Bychkov, player, Dynamo:
“We got into a difficult situation within our group and we are going to change it in coming match against Crvena zvezda. This win will give us more confidence in the following games.”

Boris Popovic, captain, Crvena Zvezda:
“Playing away from home never comes without a little bit of discomfort for the team. Confronting a team such as Dynamo Moscow in Russia will present another challenge which we’ll have to try to turn in our favour. Both them and us as teams are kind of at the close level, so the upcoming game is an opportunity for us to bring home some points. It’s crucial to come back home with the feat that we managed to win against the great Dynamo, playing in front of their audience. Dynamo counts on a few Serbian players, so it wouldn’t come as a big surprise to see up there are some people supporting us, too!”

20.30 Pro Recco (ITA) v Steaua Bucharest B. A. (ROU)
Day 1
Recco: 17-4 v Zvezda (away)
Steaua: 5-8 v Brescia (home)
Day 2
Recco: 9-8 v Brescia (away)
Steaua: 6-9 v Ferencvaros (home)
Day 3
Recco: 9-6 v Ferencvaros (home)
Steaua: 9-13 v Eger (away)

Alessandro Velotto, player, Pro Recco:
“Steaua is a physical team, with two quality centres and excellent shooters. It will be a battle, but we are training really well and we are ready to face this clash. We will play in Bologna, a great city with a beautiful pool: it will be an emotion, a spot for water polo and I am sure that fans will push us to give something more to reach the victory.”

Francesco Di Fulvio, player, Pro Recco:
“Steaua has less quality than us but has shown in previous matches to fight until the end even against stronger opponents. We will have to be focused from the start: it will be nice to play in Bologna, the tickets are sold out since days, there is a lot of expectations and we want to repay this affection.”

Andrei Iosep, head coach, Steaua:
“Despite of the fact that we cannot show up with the best team, we will still try to give our best. We will see if it’s going to be enough to have a decent performance against the favourite team to win the Champions League this season.”

Andrei Prioteasa, player, Steaua:
“We are expecting a hard game, playing with one of the most powerful teams in Europe, with good and experienced players, but we go there to play from equal to equal and to give our best. So we will try to do everything we can to stage a good and beautiful game, but also to play as hard as we can!”

Group B

20.30 Jadran Split (CRO) v Waspo 98 Hannover (GER)
Day 1
Jadran: 9-10 v Szolnok (away)
Hannover: 11-11 v Mladost (away)
Day 2
Jadran: 6-13 v Jug (home)
Hannover: 9-9 v Olympiacos (home)
Day 3
Jadran: 10-12 v Mladost (home)
Hannover: 10-11 v BPM (away)

Ivan Asic, head coach, Jadran:
“Waspo Hannover is a team with many international players from Croatia, Montenegro, Spain, Holland, Italy… They have a few German players, and they are a team that has been growing in the last few years. They play well in the Champions League, they are German champions, in the final they easily beat Spandau. This year in Champions League they lost once and they have two draws, they only lost to Busto. They are also the hosts of Final 8 tournament and they are already qualified for the finals, but they still want to do the best in the group stage. They are a team that has been built for 4-5 years and now they are on the top of the form, with Alex Giorgetti joining them for this season who is a great player. We have a tough week ahead of us. We played against Sabac on Saturday, now we have a game against Waspo, and then on weekend four games of Croatian Cup. But, we are ready for that challenge.”

Ivo Bego, player, Jadran:
“We still don’t have our first centre Ivan Krapic in our line-up. He is supposed to be back soon after recovering from his injury. Zeljko Kovacic is also injured now, but we have to do our best with players we have in the roster. Hannover is a strong team with Marin Ban, Ante Corusic, Darko Brguljan… We came close to get points against Mladost and Szolnok, I hope now we will achieve that in front of our home crowd.”

Karsten Seehafer, head coach, Hannover:
“This will be really a challenge, first Spandau, then Split. So far our performance was great. I hope we will show our strength during the next games. If we do, we will collect more points.”

Alexander Radovic, player, Hannover:
“We will have five-six very hard days. First we travelled to Berlin to play a derby. Then comes a very important CL game in Split. After losing to Busto we have to win in Split. It will not be easy but I believe in our team. Jadran showed that they are very good and play well in their pool. They are strong, fast and they are playing modern water polo. Ban and Corusic know them better and they gave us lots of tips. I hope all of our team will stay healthy and fit for this battle.”

Marin Ban, player, Hannover:
“I think we are better team than Jadran, but that doesn’t mean that it will be an easy game for us in Split. The arena will be full of spectators and a really encouraging atmosphere for them. After the first 3 games where we unluckily lost a lot of points, I hope this will be our first win in the Champions League this year. But we have to give our best, because they will not surrender without a lot of fighting. Looking forward to this game!”

19.00 Jug Dubrovnik (CRO) v Busto BPM Sport Management (ITA)
Day 1
Jug: 7-6 v Spandau (away)
BPM: 7-6 v Olympiacos (home)
Day 2
Jug: 13-6 v Jadran (away)
BPM: 7-5 v Szolnok (home)
Day 3
Jug: 8-7 v Szolnok (home)
BPM: 11-10 v Hannover (away)

Vjekoslav Kobescak, head coach, Jug:
“This is a big clash between two teams with maximum points. Sport Management is a pleasant surprise in the Champions league. It’s going to be a hard match against a very fast opponent but I believe in my team and I hope we can stay unbeaten after four rounds.”

Xavi Garcia, captain, Jug:
“Sport Management has begun the season better then anyone expected. Three wins against big teams and they will come here without any pressure. They have nothing to lose and those teams are usually very dangerous. Anyway, it will be a tough match but if we want to book our place in the Final Eight we cannot afford to lose any points at home.”

Marco Baldineti, head coach, Busto BPM Sport Management:
“Jug is one of the strongest and most famous teams in Europe. They have such fantastic players like Loncar, Garcia, Jokovic and others. They are topping Group B and for sure will remain the favourites because Jug is a team that has played with the unchanged roster for many years. We will try to play our game without pressure and fear. We are ready for this challenge.”

Lorenzo Bruni, player, Busto BPM Sport Management:
“For us the game against Jug will be a very difficult one. However, as we have done since the beginning of the Len Champions League, we will give it all and will try to impose our game.”

19.00 Spandau 04 Berlin (GER) v Szolnoki Dozsa (HUN)
Day 1
Spandau: 6-7 v Jug (home)
Szolnok: 10-9 v Jadran (home)
Day 2
Spandau: 7-9 v Mladost (away)
Szolnok: 5-7 v BPM (away)
Day 3
Spandau: 4-11 v Olympiacos (away)
Szolnok: 7-8 v Jug (away)

Petar Kovacevic, head coach, Spandau:
“Beating Szolnok last year in Berlin was one of the surprises we have managed to achieve last season. This season we are still struggling. This weekend we have made a step forward while playing with Waspo in the German league. If we are able to preserve the good moments we probably will have a chance. Szolnok also still looks for playing the best water polo. So both teams have a lot of potential to improve. This game could be a turning point in this season.”

Zivko Gocic, head coach, Szolnok:
“Yet again we are facing a very important game. We are expecting to have a tough and physically challenging match, where we will have to be on top with our minds. For that very reason we cannot rest for a minute all along the game, everyone will have to give his maximum input. If we all succeed with these objectives, we will be able to succeed in Berlin.”

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