Persepolis football team coach Branko Ivankovic knows well about the difficult match against Qatari giants Al Sadd in Tehran on Tuesday.
The Iranian side will host Al Sadd in Tehran’s Azadi Stadium in the second leg of the AFC Champions League semi-finals.
No team from Iran have ever won the title, meanwhile, with runners-up finishes for Sepahan in 2007 and Zob Ahan in 2010 the closest the country has come to continental glory.
“First, I have to say this is a great honor for us to be here in the competition’s semi-final. We have booked a place in last four for the second successive year. We met Al Sadd in group stage and it shows how difficult our group was,” Ivankovic said in the pre-match news conference.
“We expect a beautiful performance against Al Sadd. Our fans have always supported us and they will be supportive on Tuesday once again. We want to make our fans happy because we play for them,” the Croat added.
“Al Sadd are a strong team with Spanish stars Xavi, Gabi and Algerian Baghdad Bounedjah as well as eight Qatari national team players. We ‘ve analyzed the way they defeated Esteghlal in Tehran and it proves that we have a difficult match against them. Persepolis’ players know that they will have another 90 minutes ahead of them,” he stated.
“I have the utmost confidence in my players and they are fit for the match. They understand how important is reaching the final. I am proud of them because being here is a big achievement so far. It is important they enjoy what they are doing,” Ivankovic added.
“I invite our fans to come to the stadium to enjoy a beautiful match and create an atmosphere of good sportsmanship against Al Sadd,” Ivankovic concluded.
By Masoud Hossein
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