A first step has been passed by winning against Sparta Prague this Tuesday at the Stade Louis-II (3-1) in the second leg of the third preliminary round of the Champions League, qualifying, the Rouge et Blanc for the playoffs. They will meet Shakhtar Donetsk in the next round for a place in the group stages of the Champions League three years after their last time playing in the competition proper. Speaking at a post-match press conference, Cesc Fàbregas affirmed that a place in this competition would be a dream for all of the team’s players.
They are a strong, aggressive and physical team, which was well organized all over the pitch. It was a test for us. In the first half, we could have been punished once or twice because the slightest mistake can be fatal in the Champions League. The level is higher; you have to learn quickly.
It’s important for ourt confidence because we want to finish the job we started last season. It’s our dream to play in the Champions League. We will work a lot over the next two weeks to try to qualify against Shakhtar; it’s important to us.
✨ #RoadToChampions ✨
𝑫𝒂𝒈𝒉𝒆 𝑴𝒖𝒏𝒆𝒈𝒖 ❤️ 🤍 pic.twitter.com/wvPmx3sxq7
— AS Monaco 🇲🇨 (@AS_Monaco) August 10, 2021
Aurélien Tchouameni’s progress
When we played against Bordeaux two years ago, I thought he was very good. His first months here were difficult. Then, with confidence, he improved. His level shows that he is a top player. He is only 21 years old — this is only the beginning of his career. He always wants to improve by asking questions. I am very happy for him — he is a smart lad with a lot of ambition.
His role this season
This is only the start of the season; the team’s level has improved even further. So it’s more difficult for me, but I am a competitor, I work hard. I am ready and available to respond when the coach calls on me.
The arrival of Lionel Messi
I’m from Barcelona and it will be difficult for me to watch Barca without Leo, but that’s life. It’s a good thing for Ligue 1, which is turning a corner with Leo. All of my teammates have asked me a lot of questions about him. They are very excited to play against him. It is also a challenge for us. We are Monaco, we want to win, but I can’t wait to see him and play against Paris this year, even more than last year.