Jorge Sampaoli (OM) before the semi-final against Feyenoord: “It will be an intense match”

“Arne Slot, the coach of Feyenoord, said he was a big fan of your work. What do you think of him, what do you know of his?
He is a coach whose teams I know more than his personality. I love her so much. He prioritizes the idea of ​​being on the opposing side. He likes the game, pressing in the opposing camp, high intensity. He plays both at home and away. OM and Feyenoord are two teams that have the possibility of having the ball. Whoever has more possession will create more chances. But Feyenoord is not just that. Their dangerous transitions inside are remarkable, they put a lot of speed. This team manages playing time well. We must not be sucked in by their pressure. We will also try to recover the ball quickly. It will be an intense match, in a stadium that will grow a lot, we will have to ignore it.

How do you explain the difficulty of the French teams against the Dutch teams? Where would you place this Feyenoord team in L1?
It’s difficult to place it, to imagine it in the L1 ranking. The Dutch teams, when they evolve in the European Cup, grow a lot, they have a good collective game. I also faced the Netherlands in the World Cup, with Chile (in 2014). It is no coincidence that the selection of the Netherlands and its clubs always evolve at a remarkable level in each international competition. Collectively, they radiate real strength.

The configuration of this semi-final is different. During the three previous rounds, you had received on the way…
The only thing that changes: we will have to qualify at home, in front of our home crowd, next Thursday. This implies emotional help, but also a certain obligation. Our team is cold outside, a return to the Vélodrome, that changes things a bit.

What do you think of the career of Steve Mandanda, who could play his hundredth official European match on Thursday?
He managed to last through his leadership, his qualities, he won the respect of the club, and of the city. I hope tomorrow (Thursday), he will be able to celebrate his hundredth birthday. »


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