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'Double Rivaldo' targets Arsenal

Published: Tuesday 2 November 2004, 12.46CET
Having scored three goals in Europe already this term, Ezequiel González is gunning for more at Highbury. features

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Published: Tuesday 2 November 2004, 12.46CET

'Double Rivaldo' targets Arsenal

Having scored three goals in Europe already this term, Ezequiel González is gunning for more at Highbury.
By Ben Lyttleton
Panathinaikos FC's Ezequiel González has warned Arsenal FC that he is twice as good as Brazilian Rivaldo ahead of the sides' UEFA Champions League meeting.

Goalscoring Argentinian
The in-form Argentinian midfield player superbly lobbed Jens Lehmann for the first equaliser in the 2-2 draw against Arsenal a fortnight ago. And the 24-year-old, who also scored both goals in the 2-1 defeat of Rosenborg BK in on Matchday 1, confidently claims he is a far superior footballer to the former World Player of the Year.

Sumptuously skilful
"They love me at this club," González said. "When Rivaldo joined Olympiakos [CFP] in the summer, the president - Ioannis Vardinoyiannis - said he had the equivalent of two Rivaldo's in his side with me. Since then I've been known as the 'Double Rivaldo' and I always try to put on a high quality, luxury performance. Perhaps I've received so much praise because the average Greek player is more physical than technically gifted."

Winning start
The former CA Boca Juniors and ACF Fiorentina player went on: "Our win against Rosenborg at the start of the competition gave us the encouragement to give our all. We lost away to PSV [Eindhoven] and drew at home against Arsenal but our chances are still intact, and if we get a good result in London we can go through.

Opportunist goal
"I was happy with the result in the first game," he added. "A draw was good given the way the match worked out. Few teams manage to come from behind twice against Arsenal. I was also delighted with my performance. You always dream of striking against the best teams. It was a spur-of-the-moment shot, I saw the goalkeeper off his line, had a go and got lucky."

English target
González believes his displays have made him an icon in Greece and he is determined to consolidate his new-found status with yet more heroics. "The Greek press have been saying good things about me," he said. "After the draw they said that Panathanaikos can't lose with a player like me. They see me as the guy who can inspire qualification for the next round. I've scored three of our four goals in the competition. But I want more - I want to score in England."

Last updated: 02/11/04 15.54CET

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