Mircea Lucescu: Champions League is a very interesting adventure
Shakhtar’s head coach has reflected on the results of the Champions League group stage draw.
- It has been a decent draw. Of course, there are more evenly matched groups. There are also stronger ones. It is good that we will again bring three Champions League clubs to Ukraine. None of them have played with us before. The fact that Malmo beat Celtic means that they are a strong team. First of all, I am pleased that we have reached the group stage; it is getting harder with each year. The secretary general Gianni Infantino has also told about that. There is big interest in terms of image and finances. The historical factor is also important – we have gone down in history six times by getting into the group stage. I would not to say that it was an easy thing to do from second place. All other clubs, who finished second – Metalist, Dynamo and Dnipro – unfortunately, failed to overcome qualifying rounds. This shows once again how important the group stage is: beating two teams in a qualifying phase despite not winning the domestic league! Me and my players are proud of this, because the Ukrainian fans will be able to see us face such opponents in the Champions League. We must be well prepared for the matches. Hopefully, everyone will be fit. It is important to be in good conditions when going into the games. Although the conditions will be not equal again. We remain a team without our home stadium, without our fans. Let’s hope that our supporters in Lviv will root for us and understand that we represent the whole of Ukraine. The Champions League is a very interesting adventure, not only in sports terms but also from a personal perspective.