This Saturday (15h00, Porto Canal), FC Porto Fidelidade debuts in the 2017/18 edition of the European League, with the first matchday of group B of the competition holding a home match against the Catalan team Vic. Called to preview this match, coach Guillem Cabestany preferred to disregard the label of being favourite linked to his team, insisting on the idea that everything is possible in this competition, and that whatever favouritism must be proven on the rink, match after match. As for Rafa, he emphasized the experience of the opponent in this competition as well as the defensive capacity of the historic Catalan team.
Analysis to Vic
“We startd a new competition with a lot of will. We want to give our best because this is also a thorn on our back. They have a brand new team, renewed, and have a remarkable curriculum in terms of titles. They are a highly competitive team, but totally renewed, both in terms of players and technical staff. The DNA of the club tells us that they always defend very well and I think that's what they will try to do, while we want to impose our pace and play our game.”
Go far thinking match by match
“Obviously we want to win every match and the European League is no different. We are looking for our best level because this competition won’t allow you to have a bad day. We start against Vic and then we want to move on to the next opponents, because only then will we go further than in other years. We want to go far, but we know that we can only do it step by step.”
The favouritism you earn
“In Portugal, I think we are always candidates, but in the Champions League we lost in the quarter-finals in the last two seasons. That's why I don’t want to think about favouritism. I think of work, of the opponent, and of the game. We haven’t earned the credit to think that we are better than others, but we also don’t think we are worse. We want to win favouritism on the rink.”
“We expect a difficult match against a team that is used to being in the European League. It's a renewed team, but that won’t mean an easier life for us because of this. They concede very few goals, they’re strong on the defence, but we will work to get around this. This title has already eluded us for many years, so we’re just going to think match by match. We are seeded, so we see ourselves as potential candidates to the Round of 16, but, in this competition, a lot can always happen.”
As the European League is about to start, don’t forget to read the article published in the October issue of the magazine Dragões (between pages 40 and 45), available here. You can find everything you need to know about FC Porto opponents.