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Ghionea backs battling Steaua

Published: Tuesday 26 September 2006, 17.06CET
Defender Sorin Ghionea insisted that "anything can happen" as FC Steaua Bucuresti prepare to take on Olympique Lyonnais in the UEFA Champions League.
by Paul-Daniel Zaharia
from Bucharest

Tournament statistics


Goals scored7
Attempts on target21
Attempts off target33
Fouls committed134
Yellow cards18
Red cards0
Published: Tuesday 26 September 2006, 17.06CET

Ghionea backs battling Steaua

Defender Sorin Ghionea insisted that "anything can happen" as FC Steaua Bucuresti prepare to take on Olympique Lyonnais in the UEFA Champions League.

Sorin Ghionea expects to be defending for 90 minutes against Olympique Lyonnais despite scoring FC Steaua Bucuresti's first UEFA Champions League group stage goal in a decade on Matchday 1.

Goalscoring challenge
The 27-year-old opened Steaua's account in a tremendous 4-1 win at FC Dynamo Kyiv, but the centre-back has no illusions of adding a second European goal against Lyon. "To be honest, with our opponents having so many good forwards, I don't know if I will have many opportunities to get into their penalty area," he told

Defensive stalwart
Goalscoring has never been Ghionea's forte. In 152 games in Romania's Divizia A he has scored just twice, and his central defensive partner Dorin Goian is the one who is more liable to try his luck as a goalscorer while Ghionea stands guard. And in that respect, he expects to be a busy man in Steaua's first match back at their renovated stadium.

Individual class
"Lyon are a very, very good team - as a unit and also individually," added the unassuming Ghionea. "They have three forwards, [Florent] Malouda, [Sidney] Govou and [Sylvain] Wiltord who could each decide the fate of a match on their own. We not only have to give everything but we also to have to keep our concentration."

Battling Steaua
While the Dynamo win marked a tremendous start for Steaua, coach Cosmin Olaroiu has been keeping his players on their toes in the run up to Matchday 2. "We have prepared well," said Ghionea. "The coach made us aware of what we have to do and we are totally committed. We demonstrated in Kiev that we are a very good team and, more than that, that we can battle."

Player bonuses
Steaua owner George Becali has given his side fresh incentive to work miracles in the run up to the game, pledging a €30,000 bonus to each player for a win against Lyon, a €40,000 bonus for a win at home against Real Madrid CF, €100,000 a man if they qualify for the last 16 and a €300,000 villa for each player if the Romanian side make it to the quarter-finals.

'Anything can happen'
Huge rewards, indeed, but perhaps fitting for the magnitude of the task that Olaroiu's men face. Ghionea, however, is not afraid. "We will have to push ourselves to the limit and maybe beyond," he said. "Why? Because we have to do this and because in football, as has been proven so many times, anything can happen."

Last updated: 30/01/12 9.24CET