The Greek defender spoke to the Italian newspaper ‘Il Giornale’ ahead of the Champions League clash against Barcelona.
The UCL is ready to restart! Tomorrow, Roma will face Barcelona at the Camp Nou stadium in front of 100,000 people. A great atmosphere for a top international match.
Kostas Manolas analyzed this forthcoming match, his past and future in Rome, and the qualities of his head coach Eusebio Di Francesco.
IBRAHIMOVIC AND MESSI – “Ibrahimovic is the toughest opponent I ever faced due to his physicality and technique. As Guardiola once said, you cannot mark only Messi because there are other 10 men that can damage you. Of course, Barcelona is different without Messi but we have to do everything is possible, also because they lost Neymar. I admire Piquè, an elegant defender able to play the ball properly.”
BAD LOSS VS BARCELONA 3Y AGO – “Three years ago we made tactical mistakes. We played too high and due to their incredible technique, they had the possibility to find the right space easily. We have to go there with no fear but with confidence because we are a strong team. We demonstrated our strength in the group stage. But now we have a double challenge against a very tough team. They are favorite but in football, you play 11 vs 11.”
JUVENTUS – “Yes, they spoke with my agent already when I was playing with Olympiakos.”
ZENIT – “They offered me a particular contract. But I didn’t want to sign it. I am happy here in Rome too albeit there’s always the stress to do well. I want to win with this club because they gave me the possibility to play in the Serie A.”
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE – “Roma is an important club that always deserves to play international matches. It would be a drama and not only an economic issue to miss the Champions League next year.”
PREVIOUS COACHES – “With my previous coaches, we always classified in the first three positions. We created a lot of chances and suffered not many goals with Garcia. He is a good person always in my heart. Spalletti is strong on the tactical aspects. Di Francesco works a lot on securing the ball high restarting the offensive phase rapidly. But he cares about the defensive phase as well. He deserves to coach Roma. He has a great future ahead of him.”
TOTTI – “He is always a humble and calm person. He is the best champion I ever met. He helped me a lot since the first moment I arrived at Trigoria.”
SCUDETTO RACE – “Juventus is favorite because they have two possible teams while Napoli only one. They [Napoli] play a good football but it is not enough.”