Bruno Lage spoke to the press earlier today in Seixal in the pre-match press conference ahead of Sunday’s Week 33 Liga NOS match in Vila do Conde against Rio Ave.
If the right circumstances come together this weekend, Benfica can celebrate their 37th title, but Lage was was quick to stop any extra enthusiasm about that possibility. He wants to keep the focus on the 3 points against a team that a short time ago tied FC Porto 2-2 on the same pitch they will play on tomorrow night.
“One thing at a time. There could be this festive environment on the outside of saying we are almost there, but in here there is none of that. There is lots of focus on our work. As a matter of fact, I am not celebrating my 43rd Birthday. We are focused on what we need to do and only on this upcoming match.”
(Is the team nervous?)
“I don’t think so. I understand some things (halftime: losing 1-0 to Braga, 0-0 Portimonense) may have happened, but what happened in the first part of the last match is the result of Portimonense’s competence and not because of the younger (players) being nervous or not.”
(Is reaching 100 goals in Liga important? The last time it happened was in 1972/73)
“To reach this number is not important for us. What is important is for the team to continue to do what it has been doing and treat this as a final. We need to have a very interesting offensive dynamic and, with the quality of our players, create opportunities and score our goals to win the 3 points. That is what is important.”
DANIEL RAMOS (RIO AVE)
“We know it’s a big match getting lots of attention, but for us, it’s worth only 3 points. We will try to be calm and, even in the euphoric atmosphere that surrounds this match, we will have a serene posture.”
MATCH DAY ROSTER
GK: Svilar, Vlachodimos
D: André Almeida, Ferro, Yuri, Rúben Dias, Jardel, Grimaldo
M: Pizzi, Franco Cervi, Gedson Fernandes, Florentino, Taarabt, Salvio, Samaris, Rafa
F: Seferovic, João Félix, Jonas