Sat 24 Mar 2012InOpposition Views
Our own BenficaGlory has very kindly offered to answer some questions ahead of the much-anticipated clash between Benfica and Chelsea on Tuesday evening in the Champions League. With questions ranging from the draw, Oscar Cardozo, the magnificent Cathedral to the score, you can see the responses here:
What was your reaction to the quarter-final draw? Were you relieved you were not drawn against one of the Spanish giants, or Bayern Munich?
Of course I was happy to avoid Real, Barcelona and Bayern. Chelsea is a team that allow us to dream and believe in the semi-finals. But although Chelsea was my 3rd choice, after APOEL and Marseille, you still have a fantastic squad, with players that can make the difference.
Benfica are having a great season - you are one point behind Porto in the league, have gone further than any other Portuguese team in the Champions League and of course you have the Taca da Liga final next month. Right now, what is your priority for the season - the league, the cup, or Europe?
I wouldn't say it's been a great season; we haven't won nothing yet. Our priority is definitely the League.
In the last round you knocked out Zenit, which is an impressive achievement. Do you think that you will be able to emulate the feat against Chelsea?
I don't think it was that impressive. In my opinion it was our obligation to eliminate a team like Zenit. Since we knocked out Zenit, we felt like we did what we had to do and it all depends on the draw... I believe we can beat Chelsea, but the quarter-finals is great comparing to our recent performances. Anything better than this is a bonus. I would be sad but not disappointed if we get knocked out. If our opponent was APOEL and Marseille, our obligation was the semis.
Which Benfica players do you think that di Matteo needs to watch out for? Will Cardozo be the man to inspire you to victory?
Cardozo is always dangerous. He's having a great season. He has a fantastic killer instinct. Gaitán, Maxi, Aimar, Javi and Rodrigo can be an ice-breaker too. We have a very balanced team, we don't depend on a star player.
Chelsea and Benfica have done a lot of transfer business in the past - we have signed players such as Tiago, Ramires and David Luiz from you. Are Benfica fans looking forward to seeing two of those players (Luiz and Ramires) returning to Lisbon? Which of the two have improved the most since leaving your club?
Yes, of course. We like them a lot, especially David Luiz. I would say Ramires, I'm slightly disappointed with Luiz's performance since he went to London.
Also, your stadium has been chosen to host the 2014 UEFA Champions League final. Is this something that has excited Benfica supporters?
Definitely! It's about time, I still can't believe our old stadium (the biggest European stadium ever) was never chosen to host a Champions League final... If we had the oportunity to be in the final it would be even better.
If you had the choice and could sign any Chelsea player that you wanted, who would it be; and why?
Ramires. Because I admire him a lot and although he only played one season for us, I feel he fell in love with Benfica and Lisbon. Also, the Aimar-Ramires-Witsel trio would be simply fantastic.
And finally, what is you prediction for the score in tonight's game - and who do you think will progress to the semi-finals?
I am 99% sure Benfica will win at the Estádio da Luz. Maybe 1-0/2-0... But that does not guarantee us the semi-finals. I really don't know who is going to progress to next phase, to be honest. May the best team win and good luck!
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