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
Quotes by Martins and Papastathopoulos

Quotes by Martins and Papastathopoulos

Read here the quotes by Pedro Martins and Sokratis Papastathopoulos on the Press Conference before the match against Arsenal.

Pedro Martins’ quotes in detail:

Do these miracles happen twice in two years?

“There are no big or small miracles in football. It’s no miracle the three consecutive successful seasons in Europe. We play with the same philosophy and identity against every opponent. With a lot of work we have achieved not to change the way we play against every opponent, whoever he is. We play with our own style and our own mentality, which we’ll also do against such a strong opponent as Arsenal. For these reasons, we believe that we can qualify for the next phase.”

What is the message to the fans that can’t be on the field, about the club’s birthday and the match against Arsenal? What can you promise?

“The stadium is never the same without our fans. I will never get tired of saying this. Especially in Europe. We will give it all on the pitch with our own identity and our own style, with respect to the difficult opponent. And this is something that will never change. That’s what I can say to our supporters.”

Olympiacos has been drawn many times with English teams. There were more accessible opponents. However, is it more appealing to compete with the best teams?

“We know that the draw is what it is. You can’t choose. There were definitely not so big names. Nevertheless, now we’re dealing with Arsenal. We know that their position in England doesn’t represent the value of their roster and their quality. In Europe, however, they have seven wins and one draw. So they’re a great opponent, with the decisive match in London. The qualification will not be decided here but in London. We know how to play against a very big opponent. We know what we have to do. The key will be efficiency in our opportunities. This is what we’ll try to do.”

On the referees:

“We don’t want to see only two good teams, but also a very good referee, so as to have an excellent match.”

On Ba and what will be the key to the result:

“Regarding Ba, we’ll have to wait 24 hours for the final assessment, but we believe he’ll be able to play. We’ll have to show our good side and especially believe in it. Whoever tries and believes is closer to success, even against a big team like Arsenal.”

A year has passed since the fans are not allowed on the stadium due to the pandemic. What are your feelings and how do you see football without fans on the stadiums?

“I’ll keep saying that football without fans is nothing. It’s not the same playing in empty stadiums, without the passion that the fans give from the stands. We hope that the supporters will return soon and football will become the passionate sport we all know.”

Papastathopoulos quotes in detail:

On the two matches and his own feelings: “It will be two special matches, which will be decided in the details. We will follow our strategy and what the coach tells us. It will definitely be different for me because it’s not easy to play against your previous team. I was there until two months ago and I will play against my former teammates. But it will certainly be a challenge and competitively I want to win.”

On whether he thinks something has changed in Arsenal since he left and what they have discussed about defense and goals from set pieces: “Arsenal won’t be like last year. They have a coach who is now over 15 months there. They aren’t doing well in the League, although they’re one of the top teams in England. They don’t have fixtures in the domestic cups either. The Europa League is the most important for them. It will be more difficult for us than last year, but we will have to play our game and think about winning in both matches. Regarding the goals we concede, it’s not something that we can improve immediately. In some matches you give opportunities to the opponent and you do not concede goals because you’re lucky. In others, you don’t give opportunities and you concede one goal from one opportunity. We work with the coach, we analyse the situation with the video and, with time and hard work, we’ll keep improving.”

On whether he talks with any of his former teammates and what he could say to his current teammates about Arsenal: “I have friendships with my former teammates at Arsenal, as well as at Dortmund and at Milan. This always happens in football. Now Olympiacos is playing against Arsenal and we’re the one who should be focused. If there’s something that we need to be more careful about, we’ll discuss it with our coach. We’ve already done that. And if we are to bring something to the field, you’ll see it on the field.”

On whether there is a possibility to play with M’Vila as a stopper and on whether this might affect him as well as the defensive function in general. Also, on how important it is for a team to have a coach for a long time, as happens with Martins: “The changes don’t affect me nor the team. Whoever plays will do the tasks he has to do based on the coach’s instructions. It’s very important that Olympiacos has had the same coach for years. It rarely happens in Greece and having managed this is one of the advantages of Olympiacos. The coach has improved the team a lot. In Europe Olympiacos has character and resilience. And this is very important.”

On whether he has any explanation for leaving Arsenal and how he will stop Aubameyang and Lacazette: “This is not the moment to talk about the past. I, the coach and the team’s staff know well what happened. I faced every kind of difficulty. I tried to be a professional from the first to the last moment. Aubameyang and Lacazette are great players, they can win every match when they’re on a good day, but I believe they won’t have a good day now and we will win.”

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