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Sérgio Conceição: “It’s the match of the season because it’s the next one”

Coach did the preview of the match against Monaco for matchday six of Group G of the Champions League

This Wednesday, at 19h45, at the Estádio do Dragão, the decisive match between FC Porto and Monaco will be played, even if the the French champion is already out of European competitions. For matchday six of Group G of the UEFA Champions League, FC Porto is looking at 13th qualification to the Round of 16 and Sérgio Conceição admitted that this is the biggest goal in the match against the Monegasques, which he considers to be a difficult opponent, with quality. FC Porto is going to this match with the same seven points as Leipzig, but in advantage in the direct confrontation with the German team, who faces Besiktas, already qualified, at home in this final matchday.

Motivated and prepared
“The state of mind is the best possible. The match against Benfica is already in the past and we are completely focused on tomorrow's match. We’re facing a difficult opponent, with a coach who I consider to be in the top-5 of Portuguese coaches. He has been doing a fantastic job, not only in Portugal, but also in France. I know the potential of Leonardo Jardim and Monaco. They are a young team and with some differences in comparison to last season, but they still have a lot of individual quality. I expect a difficult match. The unpredictability they will present obviously raises questions, but we identified and are aware of the potential of each player in their squad.”

An FC Porto equal to itself
“To win, we must have the FC Porto of the last four months, with the exception of the match against Desportivo das Aves. We need a FC Porto that believes and looks at this challenge as our great final. We always like to be on the edge. In the Championship, if we lose points, we have the rivals lurking. These matches are decisive and we will go in as always, with huge ambition and a huge desire to win. We have the possibility to enter the lot of the best teams in Europe. After the first match, few people believed in FC Porto, but it's great that we can be the ones defining our own future. It is a sign of the great work these players have done, but this is not over yet. If you ask me if this is the match of the season, then yes, because it's next one.”

Aware of what’s at stake yes, anxious no
“When they arrive at Olival in the morning, players feel the weight and the demand of playing at FC Porto. The way we work and the club we represent makes our day-to-day life clear. FC Porto players are aware of the importance of tomorrow's match, but there are three possible outcomes. Regardless of what happens, if they are equal to what they have been in the last four months, I will congratulate the players. If we don’t qualify, this will not erase the path of the team. There is no point in being anxious or nervous, and the players are aware of the history, but they also know that we are a strong team that can win tomorrow's match and move on to the Round of 16.”

Honour history and qualify
“We really want to remain in the Champions League and that is a common feeling for everyone who works at FC Porto. I have a group with fantastic ability and spirit. At first there were a lot of people who disregarded the quality of these players, but we are a team still unbeaten in the Championship and we have a very good path in the Champions League. It's not great because we didn’t win every match, but it has been very good and we only depend on ourselves to move on to the next stage. It would be fantastic to do it for the 13th time in a club with a lot of history in this competition.”

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