April 19, 2024

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Fenerbahce had doubled their budget last year, but the red and whites beat them twice

Fenerbahce had doubled their budget last year, but the red and whites beat them twice

Olympiacos will face Fenerbahce in the quarter-finals of the Conference League, and José Luis Mendilibar, who last year reached the end of the road in the Europa League with Sevilla, would like to repeat something similar with the red and white, but with the Spaniard. Go step by step.

Jose Luis Mendilibar tried it last season with Sevilla in the Europa League when they won the title. He wants to try it again with Olympiacos, this time in the Conference League. The Basque coach knows how to move and what the Piraeus team must do to climb another step. An experienced coach keeps the ball very low and straight, and his motto is “pasito a pasito”, meaning “step – step”.

The Spanish coach has only been at Olympiacos for a month or so and knows that the “red and white” have big fluctuations in their performances and results from week to week, but the back-to-back matches in Greece and Europe do not allow that. To do the job he wants in training, the players will need to present the best version of themselves for the Piraeus team in order to qualify for the semi-finals of the competition at the expense of Fenerbahce.

Olympiacos does not enter a candidate in its matches with the Turkish national team, and this removes the burden from the shoulders of the players. This is the burden they carried in the two matches against Maccabi Tel Aviv, and it cost them in the first match. As, of course, the “Red and White” will be the weakest team in the semi-finals against Aston Villa or Lille, if it qualifies against the Istanbul team.

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But everything in its time. As Medibár said, “pasito a pasito.” What is important is that the Olympiacos footballers gather and prepare properly for the league qualifiers, especially the derby with AEK in New Philadelphia. Because the two matches against Fenerbahce take place about a month apart (April 11 and 18).

But regarding the two matches with the Turkish team, what can be said is the following: Olympiacos achieved two victories over Fenerbahce in the Europa League two seasons ago (2021-2022) with a 1-0 win in Georgios Karaiskakis. ” With a goal by Tekinios (89') and 3-0 to Sogros Saratsoğlu with goals by Tekinios (6') and Masouras (62', 68').

Someone will say that at that time they were Europa League group stage matches and not conference league knockout matches. Yes, but the will and goal to qualify were the same. One could also claim that Fenerbahce's roster currently has almost twice the market value (€201,450,000) than Olympiacos' roster (€110,750,000). But even two years ago, the value of the Turkish team's spiritual potential was much greater than the value of the “red and white”.

Budgets play their part, but they don't deduct anything. Otherwise there would be no reason for teams to get on the field and play. The truth is that Fenerbahce broke the bank last summer in transfers by giving away €58,800,000, but it is also true that they had a similar income from player sales (€56,300,000).

The Turkish team has a number of distinguished players in its squad, such as Dzeko, Tadic, Batshuayi, Bonucci, Soyuncu, Nedjko, Oder, Cavici, Fred, Szymanski and Levakovic, but they had good players two seasons ago when they were eliminated from the tournament. By Olympiacos. As were Valencia, Diego Rossi, Luis Gustavo, Kahvetsi, Berisha, Sosa, Kim, Salah and Miguel Crespo.

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In any case, the players of Olympiacos and Medipar are preparing for two tough “battles” with Fenerbahce and in the end they hope to be the ones to celebrate the qualification. The “red and white” will have a significant absence in the first match in Karaiskakis, the suspended Pontense, who was excellent in the match against Maccabi Tel Aviv, but in general he is one of the best players of the Piraeus team in the latter. a month and a half.

However, what is most important for Olympiacos is to show up on specific nights in April, as in Serbia, with the same focus, passion, stubbornness, will, determination and metal that led them to an epic victory and – surprise – qualification. Because if that happened, he would have nothing and no one to fear.