Matias Almeida spoke at the press conference for Marseille-AEK and emphasized that footballers should feel free, while also referring to Gennaro Gattuso
The statements of Matias Almeidas in detail:
“What we can do is always maintain the same base. I think we are in a very difficult group and every game we play we have to do very well, we will face an opponent with very big players, with history, an opponent with a lot of people supporting him, with a manager who transmits a lot of passion to his team and has changed its image since he came.
Also, we are missing some players, but I am calm and know that with those I have at my disposal, we will do very well”
On Gattuso who said he faced him as a player and he was a warrior and he conveys that as a coach: “When we were playing we thought in a different way. Gattuso was a warrior, it was a time in Italy when the teams had very well divided the roles among the footballers. Gattuso’s teams play in a similar way to his own and mine plays much better than me (laughs).
For the AEK crowd that will be at the stadium: “I think not with as much capacity, but with the passion that our crowd has, every single one sounds like three times the number. I have a lot of respect for the people of Marseille, I have many memories, both good and not so good, from when I was a footballer, but I believe that tomorrow the game will be a celebration with two teams trying to play good football, characterized by their passion for the one, that their footballers feel that they belong to the teams they represent. On a personal level, I enjoy being here, tomorrow I will enjoy it even more, because the word pressure in football should be used less and less. Because there are wars in the world and we should be thankful for what we like.
Tomorrow I want there to be a spectacle, for my footballers to feel free and to be able to enjoy the game.”
For the absences of Araujo and Garcia: “I’m not worried about anything. I have a lot of confidence in everyone who trains every day. And if there’s one thing I’m fighting to convince them, it’s that they’re all equal. So tomorrow we will all have to work as a team and whoever is called to play, will have to give his best, as he always does. And you’ll never hear me complain about a thing. Eleven against eleven. And whoever wakes up better, will win.”
What should change and what should AEK keep from the match with Brighton in order to leave with the same result: “The three teams have completely different characteristics. This differentiates the way we should make some movements in the competition. I have been trying to study and analyze the opponent for quite some time now. And every time I see an opponent, I say how well they are playing. I see we are doing well too. If I had to change anything about Brighton, I wouldn’t change a thing. If we are to win, let the opponent get two penalties, I wouldn’t change anything”.
For AEK fans who will be in the stadium and fraternizing with Marseille fans: “That’s really what unites football. This is the most beautiful part of football. You are always competitive on the field and you have to beat the opponent. The people who are here will support us to win and Marseille to win theirs. When a match is over, the players shake hands. And those of us who make a living from football, we want the fans to react in this way. And I hope that in many clubs, what is happening between AEK and Marseille will happen. We always defend what we have and love, we work for what we want, we want to be respected, because that is the greatest respect we can give to the opponent.”
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