The official website for European football

Spalletti: Zenit live for the Champions League

Published: Tuesday 4 February 2014, 9.15CET
"The team live for this competition," FC Zenit coach Luciano Spalletti told UEFA.com, as he rallied his side for their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie against Borussia Dortmund.
 
 
 
Published: Tuesday 4 February 2014, 9.15CET

Spalletti: Zenit live for the Champions League

"The team live for this competition," FC Zenit coach Luciano Spalletti told UEFA.com, as he rallied his side for their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie against Borussia Dortmund.

Featuring in the UEFA Champions League knockout stage for only the second time in their history, FC Zenit can nonetheless draw on a wealth of European experience.

That is something coach Luciano Spalletti is eager to stress ahead of his side's last-16 encounter with last year's runners-up Borussia Dortmund later this month. "We have played in the Champions League for many years now, and we've fought well this season," the 54-year-old explained. "The team live for this competition and their careers are driven by it."

The Sine-Belo-Golubye qualified from Group G with a record-low six points after a harrowing 4-1 defeat at FK Austria Wien on matchday six, but Spalletti is focused on the bigger picture. "We were unfortunate not to beat Porto at home and played against Austria with ten men for more than an hour. We deserved to collect more points, but overall we can be happy with our performance."

Spalletti speaks from experience, having coached the likes of Udinese Calcio and AS Roma before taking the Zenit reins in 2009. Still, he is not immune to matchday nerves. "I can't relax before a match. The result is so important because there are thousands of fans whose mood will be determined by what happens on the pitch. I always feel responsible for the club's fortunes," he told UEFA.com. 

To hear more from Spalletti, click on the video player. 

Last updated: 13/12/14 16.39CET

Related information

Member associations
Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/news/newsid=2039171.html#spalletti+zenit+live+champions+league

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The CHAMPIONS LEAGUE and UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE words, the UEFA Champions League logo and trophy and the UEFA Champions League Final logos are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.