Football

04 August 2022, 15h13

Roger Schmidt

PREVIEW

"It is the first of 34 steps, and we want to take a good first step" – this was how Roger Schmidt, Benfica's coach, set the tone for the start of the 2022/23 edition of the Liga Bwin. The coach previewed the match against Arouca, from gameweek 1 of the competition, scheduled for Friday, August 5, at 8:15 pm, at Estádio da Luz. 

What do you expect from the match against Arouca at Estádio da Luz? How important is it to start the League well?

We will play at home. Tuesday's game was good preparation for tomorrow [Friday]. When we play at home, we want to control the game and put pressure on the opponent. The challenge is to be vigilant about tactical positioning and to be prepared for transitions and counterattacks. We are prepared for this; we talk a lot about these issues because they are crucial. Tomorrow [Friday] is the first of 34 steps, and we want to take a good first step. We want to play attacking football from the outset, to win the match. We hope to score many goals, win many matches to achieve many points, and win trophies. Playing at home, the goal must always be to win.

Roger Schmidt

"We hope to score many goals and win many matches to achieve many points"

Roger Schmidt, Benfica coach

It is your first match in the Portuguese League. What do you expect from the Championship? Who is the favorite to win the title?

I am excited to get to know the league. I have some experience in various leagues abroad. In Germany, I also coached several teams. Every league has its characteristics and culture, and I am excited to see the opponent, their approach, if they are brave. We also have to find solutions to counteract our opponent's tactics. As for the favorite... It's up to you [journalists] to say who the favorites are. We are Benfica and have everything needed to fight for the title. Tomorrow [Friday], we want to take the first step. 

Roger Schmidt

What do you think about Florentino? He wasn't at Benfica last season and now he's been a starter in the midfield...

From the beginning of the pre-season, he impressed me with his attitude and quality. He was very focused. I saw a lot of motivation to play at Benfica and he is happy. He seized the opportunity. He was, for me, one of the players who showed a lot of quality in this pre-season. He knows what he has to do in this position [defensive midfielder], which is not easy. He is important for possession and for applying pressure when we lose the ball. He has to be a very complete player and he set a good example. He is a good player for Benfica, I am pleased with him.

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Text: João Sanches and Marco Rebelo
Photos: Tânia Paulo / SL Benfica
Last update: Thursday, August 4, 2022

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