Ahead of FC Anji start at the Europa League the captain of the team Samuel Eto`o shared his comments with the club`s Press Service:
- Well, Samuel, our European journey starts with the meet vs a small Hungarian club?
- I don`t think there are “small clubs” in Europe. But first of all let me say the following, I hope these words will be heard by the administration of football. Happiness exists everywhere including Dagestan. I came to the team hoping to bring happiness into hearts of all Anji fans together with my teammates. It`s pitable for all us and for me personally that we are forced to hold home matches of the Europa League on another stadium. I still hope that big football bosses will reconsider their decision so that to allow the Dagestani fans to enjoy Anji play on their native arena deservedly.
I know exactly that the decision is in force till the end of our participation in the current season. At the same time we are starting new season in the Russian championship – and we cherish the hope to commence new European season not at the Europa League but maybe at the Champions League. And this question will arise again. But we must speak on this problem already today because Anji, if God wishes, will regularly participate in these tournaments. This problem must be resolved as our fans also have a right for their happiness!
- Task-minimum – to advance to the group stage of the Europa League?
- Yes, I suppose we have chances for it. We have a nice team and shouldn`t feel weaker than others. With a good squad we must use the players on those positions where they can show their maximum result.
By the way this is my first tournament at the Europa League because in my career among Eurocup competitions I made appearances only at the Champions League. That`s why I`m looking forward to this first match filled with big emotions, the most important is that God would keep me away from traumas or injuries ahead if my debut. I do hope that we`ll start this tournament in the best way and will go on advancing preserving this very spirit, I hope to play the matches of the group phase.
- Medium-term task – to prove the seriousness of Anji plans` development?
- Already having promoted to the Eurocup we proved many things. Of course only the further development of the events can confirm the solidity of Anji project. I personally believe in this project adamantly. I`m glad to play in the team with my present teammates whom I didn`t know few years ago and they turned out a pleasant surprise for me. And at the close of each day here, in the team, even despite some difficult situations which are always possible in the family, I never stop smiling.
- How much higher is the level of the Europa League?
- The level of the Europa League was always high. And if I, Samuel Eto`o, didn`t play there it doesn`t mean…(recollecting suddenly). This tournament is really of a high level. I always said not to hurry. Football is a present. Now we must focus on the match that is scheduled for this Thursday. This is all what we must be interested in for the moment! Then we`ll keep on preparing for next match. The most important for the moment is to tell ourselves to be ready for fight in the forthcoming match, and then…Sometimes it happens like that you are trying to take advantage of all possible chances but God takes another decision… However if you put all your efforts on the field you`ll be able to achieve much.
- What is your estimation of the purchase of Lacina Traore?
- We made a very good purchase, this player put us to a lot of trouble last season. It`s very good that today he is with us, he makes our squad stronger. I personally and to my mind, the whole team will make all necessary in order to that Traore would adapt quicker and demonstrate his best qualities for the good of Anji.
- What emotions do you experience when playing and training near to him?
- Lacina is like a little brother for me. When I was just beginning my football career I often happened to be near the famous players of older age and I was overcharged with emotions. I understand him. I told him I was very happy to play with him in that season because exactly such players as Traore will represent African continent in few years. And if I could contribute to Lacina`s bringing benefit to Anji with my talent, experience and support I would be happy to do it because he`ll become the pride of the whole Africa.