O L Y M P I A C O S   1 9 2 5
O L Y M P I A C O S   1 9 2 5
Martins and Ba Press Conference

Martins and Ba Press Conference

Read below words by Pedro Martins and Ousseynou Ba in the Olympiacos Press Conference ahead of the match against Marseille.

Words by Martins
What are the differences compared to last year’s opening fixture?

“The main difference to last year is that the stadium will be empty. It is not the same when there is no passion and enthusiasm. Also, we had two top clubs to play against in group stage and still made it to the next stage. this year, all three clubs will fight for the second slot. this is the main difference along with our fans missing”.

What is the readiness level of the team and what advantages does Marseille have given that they had a proper pre-season training?
“Indeed, there is difference in terms of pre-season; however, we also are past the beginning of the season, we have played quite a few matches. We are well prepared, I believe it will be a nice match with goals scored, featuring two attack-minded squads. we are looking forward to play and grab the win that will help us attain our target to qualify”.

You beat Marseille when in Guimarães in the past. Does it play a role? Does it help that quite a few of their players have played then?
“Truth is we faced each other, but it’s been 3 years since then. Their coach has changed, it used to be Rudi Garcia back then. Several players are still there, Mandanda, Sakai, Thauvin, Amavi. We know the team we will play against tomorrow and how to face them, but they will definitely be much different compared to the one I played against with Guimarães”.

How do you explain the success of the Portuguese school of football given that the group features 3 coaches from Portugal?
They are great coaches, Andre has done many things and Sergio also with Porto. Portuguese coaches have evolved a lot because there is competition among them. We should become more inventive to overcome certain problems. This made us more competitive and better”.

You have a key player in the likes of Valbuena. How do you handle him?
Do you give him the keys to the match since he can do something creative at any given moment?
“Mathieu is a great player for our team. He is very important and we are happy to have him on board. His philosophy fits with that of Olympiacos, he knows ours and implements it”.

What is the state of fitness of Vinagre and Pepe?
“I will check their state after practice to make up my mind. Pepe attends training and he is able to help, he has more chances to play. As for Vinagre, we have some doubts to clarify at the end of practice.”

Words by Ba

What a special match for you, since it will be your first ever in the Champions League. How do you feel about that?
“I feel happy, it is very important for me, I am proud and looking forward to that kick-off to help my team get the win”.

How is your career going so far and how much better does it get?
“I started with Ajaccio and I was young when I joined Olympiacos. My coach told me that I had to wait for my opportunity. I am happy to be a regular, I help my team, I am proud of all that had happened so far”.

What was your reaction when finding out that you were drawn against Marseille?
“OM is a top club and a tough team; we respect them and, for me, it is important to play against such a great squad.”

Do you feel more comfortable to play against a French club?
“In fact, all teams are top-level and tough to beat; it makes no difference what country they come from. We are all here because we are worthy and have the quality to. All ties will be interesting”.

How do you feel after all these months with no fans? How hard is it to play such a match in an empty stadium?
“Our fans is our major power. They do everything to help us and we also to make them proud. We don’t like it all that we play in an empty stadium”.

What are your personal goals for this year?
“My goals are the same with last year’s. We want to win the championship. I want to be capped a lot and, why not, go that far in Europe like last year”.

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