Nice - Ajax
July 25, 2017
Dante, for the “people”
Ahead of a crucial encounter, Dante spoke to the press. Forthright, charismatic, the captain didn’t look to hide: “I need to take on my responsibilities.” He performed under pressure, aware that the Gym will battle to do justice to its fans.
“What will be our strength? The atmosphere provided by our fans and the desire to achieve something historic. As soon as we feel them behind us, it will help us. It’s a good thing and we thank them for having filled the stadium to cheer us on. Everybody and the whole town want us to succeed and make it into the Champions League, we know it.” The head held high and with a sort of crooked smile, the Brazilian international was impressed by the support of the Nice supporters, mobilised en masse to convert the chance offered to them at the end of last season. To turn a historic podium finish into a Champions League adventure, that would be just as historic…
“We are ready”
This unique competition, the main objective of the Red and Black summer, was lifted by the Gym captain in 2013, at the centre of the huge Bayern side. He knows the machinery of the competition, its fever, its energy. On the pitch, every run is more lively, each movement requires more accuracy, each impact requires more commitment.
Off the pitch, its folklore and its codes stimulate the soul of every fan. Including, even people with huge CVs in the game. “It’s an added emotion, explained Dante. I have always said that I wanted to play in it again. I miss this competition a lot, it is a brilliant thing. I want to help my teammates to experience it.”
In order to do so, they will need to overcome the Dutch mountains that lie ahead (Europa League finalists last season). “In games, like these, we rely on players who are used to the level, concluded the captain. I put myself into the game, I need to take on my responsibilities, Mario and Mika need to do so too. It’s a historic match, but as we always say, if we want to move forward as a club, we need to get through it. It is only the beginning. We can’t be scared, quite the opposite. To play in these matches, that means that you have done something well the previous season and that we are at the required level. This summer, we have had a big pre-season, we gave our all. We are ready.”