It is not at all obvious that Slovakia is represented in the elimination phase of the Champions League. Since 2010, only two Slovaks have played in the spring battles of the millionaire competition. Marek Hamšík twice and Stanislav Lobotka once. Both in the SSC Napoli jersey and both finished “already” in the round of 16. László Bénes will be added to this short list in the spring.
The 22-year-old member of the wider cadre of the Slovak national team as Borussie Mönchengladbach unexpectedly advanced among the 16 best European clubs. From the group that included Real Madrid and Inter Milan. In the round of 16, the German club will meet another giant, Manchester City, and with the current form of both teams, a surprise at the expense of the English favorite is not excluded.
CENTRAL POLOR OF BORUSSIE MÖNCHENGLADBACH LÁSZLÓ BÉNES IS THE ONLY WORD IN THE EIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
Last week you reached the eight finals of the Champions League. How were your immediate feelings?
“It is truly indescribable to be among the top 16 teams in Europe. Especially from the difficult group we’ve been in. You play against Real Madrid, Inter Milan. Do you believe you want to advance, it can turn out anyway. However, the favorites were different, not Borussia Mönchcengladbach. Even when I was little, I dreamed of playing in the Champions League one day.
Now I have finally succeeded and I even have a chance to continue in the best football competition in the world. I competed against the best team in the world – Real. I am very happy to be a part of everything that is happening these days in Gladbach. We are also writing history. In the modern era of the Champions League, Mönchcengladbach has never been in the eighth final. Something amazing!”
Do you know that you are the only Slovak in the elimination phase of the millionaire competition?
“Really? I did not know about it. But actually, it’s logical. Milan Škriniar and Inter Milan also had a chance, to whom I very much wished it. I would like Mina to be able to pass, too, because he deserves it. Unfortunately, we were in one group and paradoxically he helped us to progress Inter. If Donetsk wins over Shakhtar, Inter will advance. If Shakhtar wins, the Ukrainians will continue. A goalless draw moved us to the round of 16. In the end, I’m glad that Inter isn’t in the round of 16. “
Let’s remember the duel on Real Madrid, in which you lost 0: 2. What was the match like?
“Real had to win, otherwise he would not step out of the group for the first time. We felt that the opponent was playing for everything, and so it looked. Real didn’t give us a chance, he played his game, he was definitely better. We had only one chance in the match. The Madrid team decided with two headers to Karim Benzem, but they had many more opportunities. “
Your captain Lars Stindl has stated that Borussia performed her worst at LM, do you agree?
“You can also say it like this, because before that we had both Inter and Real on our shoulders, although we both unhappily drew with both. I’d rather turn it around. Real, who is a little worried this season, showed his best performance. Finally, his coach Zinedine Zidane himself said so. When Real has his day, he is unstoppable. And he had his day against us. “
You only got to the lawn at the very end. Although you did not significantly influence the story, you came up against the famous Real Madrid and no one will take it from your CV.
“Right after a minute, I took part in one dangerous event, but, as I said, I played against Real and I was left with one beautiful souvenir. I exchanged a jersey with Sergio Ramos. He is the best Real player, I am very grateful for that. At the same time, it is a great motivation for me to go on, to train fully, to play many more such matches. “