NewslettersSign inAPP
spainSPAINargentinaARGENTINAchileCHILEcolombiaCOLOMBIAusaUSAmexicoMEXICOperuPERUlatin usaLATIN USAamericaAMERICA

Champions League

Marcelino: "United, physically one of Europe's strongest three"

The Valencia manager knows that his team arrives at Old Trafford as second favourite, but also that there are ways to win the huge Champions League game.

Marcelino, entrenador del Valencia.

Valencia manager Marcelino García Toral spoke to the press ahead of Tuesday's Champions League clash at Old Trafford. He said that he has been preparing his side to win but is very aware that the home team are favourites, and have all the attention due to their current situation with their manager.

All United, no Valencia

The first question put to the Spaniard was about the lack of attention given to his LaLiga side, with a 29-minute Man Utd press conference not featuring a single question about Valencia.

"What Mourinho is asked is not relevant to me. We are facing a great opponent. Maybe they are not going through their best spell or what is expected from them. The most important thing is tomorrow's game, what happens in it and achieving a positive result."

"We need to play the perfect match to win," Marcelino continued but added some words of caution about the task ahead. "A club like this, a team like this, one of the most successful coaches in the world, with a huge investment... in the best club competition in the world we can expect them to perform at their highest level. We are here to prevent them from performing at their peak."

United strengths and weaknesses

As the visiting manager, Marcelino was asked what he thought were the best and worst aspects of Manchester United.

"They are physically among the three strongest teams in Europe. Offensively they have a lot of potential with players of the highest level, some costing more than 70 million who represent their countries. They have a strong aerial game, and are prepared and to fight for everything, both in the Premier League and in the Champions League.

"We will try to counteract their game by working together. They are a team that struggle to defend as a unit but are very strong in duels. Against Juventus we saw what the Champions League us all about, and we have to compete for 90 minutes."

Jose Mourinho, the manager of Manchester United, took much of the focus ahead of Valencia match.
Full screen
Jose Mourinho, the manager of Manchester United, took much of the focus ahead of Valencia match.Clive BrunskillGetty Images

Bailley beyond doubt

As coach of Villarreal, Marcelino worked at close quarters with now-United defender Eric Bailly, a player he speaks highly of.

"Bailly is a young player who has had injuries that have made it difficult for him to progress in all aspects. He needs time to adapt to the Premier League and to United. His individual attributes are beyond doubt. He will get to the top level."

AS English will bring you live minute-by-minute commentary of the Champions League match from Old Trafford.


To be able to comment you must be registered and logged in. Forgot password?