The Imoco race, branded Antonio Carraro, towards the Champions League starts again today at the Palaverde and could have “Run to you” by Bryan Adams as its soundtrack. The Canadian rocker performed in concert on Monday at the Zoppas Arena in Conegliano, also acclaimed by Asia Wolosz, Robin De Kruijf, Kelsey Robinson-Cook and Kathryn Plummer. The gialloblù line-up will need pace and energy starting tonight, avoiding making the mistake they made three years ago.
Vasas Budapest, then rookie in the Champions League, snatched a point from Conegliano, who, fresh from the victory in the Super Cup, took the field making a lot of turnover. Today, net of health conditions, with Plummer and Haak about to return after flu attacks, and with thoughts already oriented towards the World Cup, coach Daniele Santarelli is aiming for the full result anyway.
«Despite the 13 games in just over 40 days, the efforts of the national teams, injuries and illnesses, we managed to close this first part of the season in first place in the Italian league and win the Super Cup against Igor Novara. We look forward to the start of the Champions League with confidence and we want to start well». On paper, the Hungarians are the weakest team in the group, but Conegliano will not have to underestimate the opponent and adapt to his game. «Budapest is a slightly more affordable team than Scandicci, who beat us on Sunday. I’m proud of the team’s ability to give its best even in emergency situations, now we’re a little better and we’re aiming for results, regardless of the formation we’ll play with today».
The Hungarian champions qualified for the Champions League thanks to their 3-0 wins in the preliminary rounds against Gent and Tenerife. Of the three clubs qualified for the main draw, Budapest is the one with the best percentage in attack (44%), with the highest average blocks (3.1 per set) and the best reception efficiency. At the end of the first leg of the Hungarian championship Vasas Budapest lead with seven wins from as many matches, but were eliminated from the Hungarian Cup in the quarter-finals, having easily progressed through the first round. Overall he played 14 games in two months, with only one loss. The objective of the rossoblù club, which arrived on Monday by bus, after an eight-hour journey, is not to look bad in front of the European vice-champions.
«Last time – underlines CEO Márton Sarlós – we only lost 3-2, with a memorable match. We would sign it today too. We are not the favorites and our goal is to win at least one match, perhaps against the Polish or French teams». The most interesting elements of Budapest are the foreign players, the American opposite Bannister, the Slovak spiker Fricova and the Azeri central Abdulazimova.