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2020 2021 Champions League LEN Events News Water Polo

LEN Champions League Preliminaries Quotes Day 3

ROME GROUP A – Recco (ITA) v Spandau (GER) 19-6

Gabriel Hernandez, coach, Recco:

“We reached our goal, to bring home three wins so I am satisfied. It is important for us to grow. The matches were tough apart from the one today. All in all, we are happy to be able to play albeit in these circumstances, based on the ‘new norm’. Hopefully it won’t last much longer. Coming here we had only played a couple of games in the Italian Championship and now many players will be called away to their national teams so as far as the clubs are concerned, the situation is far from ideal.”

Niccolo Figari , player, Recco:

“Today we entered the pool with full concentration. We started off strong not wanting to repeat the mistakes we did in the previous two games. It was not easy though to play day after day. This match should be a good direction for us. This what we should always do.”

Petar Kovacevic, coach, Spandau

“To be honest, we are glad that it is all over. Today was pure survival. We were burned out in the two previous games and our batteries ran dry. Third game in as many days – today not even our heads were in the right place. I will now lose a lot of my players who have duties in their national teams. Though at least I can hope that they will have a chance to train regularly.”

Marin Restovic, player, Spandau:

“I would like to congratulate Pro Recco for their victory. They showed why they are one of the best teams in water polo. I am really sad that we were hit by Covid19 and didn’t have a chance to train and had to come here unfit. We just couldn’t do better against such strong opponents. I hope that we well stay clear of injuries and Covid19 in the following months.”

BUDAPEST GROUP B – Jadran Herceg Novi (MNE) v Hannover (GER) 12-11

Petar Radanovic, coach, Jadran:

“I’m really happy how my team performed today. It was a very tough game against a more experienced rival. We did our best at the beginning but it was inevitable that after a while they also started playing better. But our young players reacted well, they have the energy, the spirit, they knew they could play against some of their idols so they really wanted to show also to them that they have the courage. This brought us this win which is a great achievement for this young team.”

Kanstantsin Averka, player, Jadran:

“We had a difficult time before this tournament in the Champions League because we didn’t play a lot of matches and we didn’t have many players at the beginning of the season. Today is a great day and a great victory for us as we work a lot to be better. Though we had mistakes but I really enjoyed this game and I hope our next games will also be like this.”

Karsten Seehafer, coach, Hannover:

“We didn’t have a good start but after that we began playing better, took the lead as our offence worked but then lost a couple of key players and we committed some bad mistakes again. I think we lost because of a kind of everything, we did mistakes in defence, because of the exclusions we lost the team’s composure and that affected our attacks too.”

Moritz Schenkel, goalie, Hannover:

“At the end, it was not enough. We played a bad first quarter then a good second and third but we offered too many presents for Jadran. We lost the game by one goal, though we should have won this match.”

ROME GROUP A –Olympiacos (GRE) v Jug (CRO) 8-9

Theodoros Vlachos, coach, Olympiacos:

“Jug is an excellent team, one of the best in the last few years. We really enjoy playing against them and I really believed we could beat them this time. The third quarter was decisive. We started off very good but then for a period of time we could not score and Jug is too experienced not to take advantage of that. They closed the gap and turned around the game in the last quarter. We lost and we must learn from this and try to beat them next time.”

Georgios Dervisis, player, Olympiacos:

“It was a really tough game. Jug is always good and plays on a very high level. It was our goal to beat Jug, we entered the match very concentrated and had a very good start. We were aggressive, had good energy and found the right solutions. In the third quarter we had a problem and just could not score and ultimately paid for that. At the end of the day I can say we really gave it our best.”

Vjekoslav Kobescak, coach, Jug:

“Our games against Olympiacos are always very tough and today’s match was no exception to that either. The way it started I had doubts whether we could come back in time but we did and I am extremely proud of my team and especially our young players. We came back thanks to Paolo Obradovic’s head and muscles. The rhythm here is ruthless, there are no easy games. I hope Loncar’s injury is not as bad as it looks like at first and if nothing is broken it should look better in a couple of days. All in all I am satisfied with the first half of our season so far.”

Paulo Obradovic, player, Jug:

“I’m grateful to our coach for his praises but it was a team effort. It is very challenging to play three matches of this level in three days. One can expect to have periods of low energy level as we had at the start today. However, bit by bit we managed to close the gap and turn the game around. We always play tough matches against Olympiacos, it’s physically demanding. What is new is the ‘bubble’, the fact that your movement is restricted but it’s OK. What is important is that we continue to play.”

BUDAPEST GROUP B – FTC Telekom (HUN) v AN Brescia 7-10

Zsolt Varga, coach, Ferencvaros:

“Well, this game just put light on our weaknesses again, that in recent weeks we had issues with injuries, sickness which did not make our job easy to pull everything together. I mean, when you miss three such great offensive players as Denes Varga, Gergo Zalanki and Marton Vamos for long weeks you barely have the chance to shape your game properly. We need more time to reach the level we are supposed to, we have a lot of work to do. This team is not the same which won the Champions League in 2019, this is a new one, and all new teams need time to be built. For several reasons, we are at the beginning of the real process so we have to be patient and work really hard to be ready for the spring.”

Gergo Zalanki, player, Ferencvaros:

“I think we’ve started our journey despite all the difficulties. This was a great match which showed our strength, we came back from 2-5, 3-6 down but we made mistakes in the key moments. They did great counter-attacking, we could barely find the centre-forward in the last period as they defended very well, also in man-down so all credits go to Brescia as they played pretty well today.”

Szilard Jansik, player, Ferencvaros:

“It was a tough match, Brescia did a great job, though we had our moments too. We managed to come back from three goals down, but every time you are one or two goals behind, it’s a pressure who scores next and now they managed to score the crucial goals. Anyways, medals are presented in May and June, not now, so we have time to improve. We are not in a good shape now, we had and have problems but I think we are strong enough to leave everything behind and become the team we want to be for March.”

Alessandro Bovo, coach, Brescia:

“I’m absolutely satisfied with today’s game since we only played ten games this season so it’s not easy to be ready for a match like this. I was even surprised how well we played against Ferencvaros which is a great team. But this is only one game, tomorrow we will face another challenge.”

Vincenzo Renzuto, player, Brescia:

“I’m happy for the victory because we prepared a lot for this match. We have plenty of formation in our playbook for man-downs and to defend around the centre-forward and we applied many of them very well. We deserved this win because of that but tomorrow we will have another big match against Barceloneta. So we’ll have to think already for that game and try to play even better.”

ROMA GROUP A – Marseille (FRA) v Ortigia (ITA) 10-11

Milos Scepanovic, coach, Marseille

“It was difficult to play today. Coming here we were hoping to clinch at least one victory. I have nothing but respect Ortigia and the work they are doing. We didn’t expect it to end like this but today it went down this way.”

Thomas Vernoux, player, Marseille

“Today we lost by only one goal in a game that we should have won. They are a very good team, hungry for victory. I hope in the next tournament we will be better.”

Stefano Piccardo, coach, Ortigia

“This is a historic victory for us. We played the game exactly as we planned to. My team followed the tactical plan I set out for them. Our attack was very good whereas we made some mistakes in the defence. The credit goes to all my players, they deserved it.”

Massimo Giacoppo, captain, Ortigia

“It is a historic victory for Ortigia. It came at the right time. We went into the first match with too much emotion, in the second the opponent was too strong for us but we continued to grow and finally clinched the victory today. We are carrying on our plans in CC Ortigia and we hope an even better tournament in March. For me the satisfaction is even greater as when I came back to Ortigia from Recco this team was among the last ones in the Italian championship but I believed in the project laid in front of me.”


BUDAPEST GROUP BDinamo (GEO) v Barceloneta (ESP) 5-17

Zurab Rurua, coach, Dinamo

“We met with a fast team and for us it’s a bit difficult to play two games against teams like Brescia and Barceloneta without a rest day. We tried to do our best, in the third we have some good moments but then they were too fast and we were too tired to stay in the match. For us, the game against Jadran has the real importance tomorrow.”

Boris Vapenski, player, Dinamo

“Congratulations to Barceloneta, they deserved this win even with this margin. They are very fast, they are well prepared, for us playing two games against such teams as Brescia and Barceloneta is really hard – we are not at that level yet. But we are preparing to get better and of course the game against Jadran on the third day is the one we really want to win and we will focus on that match from now on.”

Jesus Martin, coach, Barceloneta

“I’m very happy that we won this game but the real test comes tomorrow against Brescia. I was satisfied with our defence, we had a small lapse in concentration at the beginning of the third period when we conceded three goals but apart from this we did great.

Alvaro Granados, player, Barceloneta

“It was an easy game today, like a warm-up for tomorrow. Against Brescia we should demonstrate what we are capable of. I will try to score six again as today but it’s going to be difficult since Brescia is one of the big teams here.”