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Andorra's finest dare to dream

Published: Tuesday 15 July 2008, 10.06CET
Hope springs eternal as Andorra's top clubs prepare to start their European campaigns, with FC Santa Coloma and UE Sant Julià hoping for minor miracles.
by Álvaro Macho
Andorra's finest dare to dream
Santa Coloma celebrate winning the 2007/08 Andorran title ©Andorran Football Federation

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Published: Tuesday 15 July 2008, 10.06CET

Andorra's finest dare to dream

Hope springs eternal as Andorra's top clubs prepare to start their European campaigns, with FC Santa Coloma and UE Sant Julià hoping for minor miracles.
Hope springs eternal as Andorra's top clubs prepare to start their European campaigns, with FC Santa Coloma and UE Sant Julià hoping for miracles.

Andorran first
Champions Santa Coloma already know that nothing is impossible, having last season become the first Andorran club to win a competitive fixture in European competition, beating Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC 1-0 at home in a UEFA Cup first qualifying round tie before losing the second leg 4-0 in Israel. Coach Vicenç Marquès is a great believer in the importance of competing in Europe, and is girding his side up for a big UEFA Champions League first qualifying round opener against Lithuania's FBK Kaunas on Tuesday.

'One day'
Club vice-president Xavi Torné said: "We are very hopeful in what will be our debut in this competition but we are also humble. We know we are facing a professional team and because of that it's going to be very difficult. However, having said that, Andorran teams are improving little by little and are beginning to obtain dignified results – draws or losses by narrow margins. Over two games it's true that things become very complicated but one day we'll advance. We have to take things step by step."

Close contest
Competing in their seventh season in UEFA club competition, Sant Julià are just as determined to perform as they visit PFC Cherno More on Thursday, ahead of a home game against the Bulgarian side on 31 July. "We're the weaker side but that doesn't mean we think it's impossible to go through," said club president Antoni Giribet. "Last year, against a Bosnian team [FC Slavija Sarajevo in the UEFA Intertoto Cup], we lost 2-3 in Andorra and over there, with just five minutes to go we were drawing 2-2. We came close. This time round we have the return game at home so we'll be going to Bulgaria looking for a result."

Last updated: 15/07/08 9.26CET

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