Alex Teixeira: Match vs Rapid will be tougher than that vs Fenerbahce

Ahead of the first leg against the Austrians, Shakhtar midfielder gave an interview to the club website.

- Alex, after the match against Dnipro, Mister said that Shakhtar could expect to win in Vienna, if they showcase a completely different football. How should you act in order to claim a positive result on Wednesday?
- To put it mildly, in the game against Dnipro, we didn’t play very well. Maybe, we lacked concentration. But in the encounter with Rapid, we have no right to make such errors, we need to be maximally watchful. This match is very important to us! We have many times reviewed a video featuring the Austrian team, studied their strengths and weaknesses. But I want to repeat again: we must show full dedication and concentration.

- After playing against Fenerbahce, many people consider Shakhtar to be favourites in the encounter with Rapid. Doesn’t that make you complacent?
- No, not at all! Based on the video I can say with certainty that Rapid are a very good team. And that our competition has no favourites. Frankly, I think this game will be even more difficult than the one against Fenerbahce.

- Rapid do not just waste time dropping deep. Are you ready for the fact that the outcome will depend on you in many ways? I mean, whether you will be able to break away in a blistering attack in case of ball interception?
- We are ready. We know that Rapid have some very fast, pacey players. So we can’t lag behind. I am one hundred percent sure that on Wednesday the fans will watch open football! As soon as we have a scoring opportunity, we should use it instantly. We want to play a good match and finish it with a positive result for us. Most importantly, we shouldn’t lose focus. As I said, we lacked it in the game against Dnipro. So we must correct it this time.

- Is the fact that the first leg is played away of any importance to Shakhtar?
- Of course it is! As for me, it’s even better like this. We should win this game and seal it at home. God grant, everything will be fine. We just need to forget about everything and focus all our thoughts and desires solely upon this encounter.

- Rapid are unknown rivals for Shakhtar. Which is easier: to play when the teams know each other well and every move can be predicted, or when the clubs meet for the first time and have not yet fully studied the opponents?
- There is no such thing as easy games. Rapid beat Ajax. Therefore, we can say with confidence that those guys are great. But again, we’ve been very carefully studying the opponents. We realize that they have exactly the same desire to make it further as we do. We are equally strong and only the match will reveal everything. The one who makes fewer mistakes and shows better football will be the winner.

- As for the game vs Ajax, did you review it? Through what do you think the team from Vienna managed to knock out the Dutch giants?
- Yes, for two days we watched a video featuring Rapid: three league games and the meeting with Ajax ... The opponents are very fast, they play open football. Perhaps, precisely because of that Rapid have won it.

- What’s your minimum and maximum game plan?
- To give my all in this game! To help the team by giving passes and scoring goals! I want to leave Vienna with a positive result. For me it is very important to win it and secure the victory at home.