The official website for European football

Fortress mentality fuels Diarra belief

Published: Wednesday 25 November 2009, 8.47CET
Despite a rare home loss on Saturday, FC Girondins de Bordeaux captain Alou Diarra cannot wait to take on Juventus, describing the Stade Chaban-Delmas as "a fortress where we can beat anyone".
by Christian Châtelet
Fortress mentality fuels Diarra belief
Alou Diarra applauds the Stade Chaban-Delmas faithful after defeating Maccabi Haifa ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

BordeauxJuventus

Goals scored14
 
4
Attempts on target50
 
30
Attempts off target65
 
38
Corners46
 
31
Offsides26
 
12
Fouls committed156
 
111
Yellow cards12
 
10
Red cards1
 
0
 
Published: Wednesday 25 November 2009, 8.47CET

Fortress mentality fuels Diarra belief

Despite a rare home loss on Saturday, FC Girondins de Bordeaux captain Alou Diarra cannot wait to take on Juventus, describing the Stade Chaban-Delmas as "a fortress where we can beat anyone".

FC Girondins de Bordeaux captain Alou Diarra cannot wait for the visit of Juventus in UEFA Champions League Group A, despite a rare home aberration at the weekend.

Score draw
Before Saturday's 1-0 defeat by Valenciennes FC, Bordeaux been 20 matches unbeaten in all competitions at the Stade Chaban-Delmas and were in the midst of a 13-game home winning sequence in Ligue 1. The French titleholders drew 1-1 with the Bianconeri on Matchday 1 and know victory against the club that knocked them out at the semi-final stage of the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1984/85, en route to winning the competition, would secure top spot in the section.

Home comforts
"It's a habit we've got into, to be solid, tough and on our game in front of our own fans," said Diarra. "It's a stadium where we drop very few points, even in the championship. It's a stadium where we feel really strong – we feel we can beat any team there. Of course, we know a good season needs good away performances too, but at the moment the Chaban-Delmas is like a fortress."

Monaco example
Les Marine et Blanc won their two previous home fixtures in the section, downing Maccabi Haifa FC and FC Bayern München to pick up where they left off at the end of last term, when they triumphed in their final eleven league games to pip Olympique de Marseille to the title. For Diarra, 28, "anything is possible" in Europe's premier club competition now a last-16 place is assured. "Monaco's epic journey [to the final in 2003/04] is a good example," explained the French international midfielder. "But we're well aware that once we're through the group stage you get really hard games against teams of a really high standing."

'Massive plus'
With Bordeaux also second in Ligue 1, the former Bayern, Liverpool FC, RC Lens and Lyon player was also keen to pay tribute to everyone behind the scenes at the club, not just coach Laurent Blanc. "He works alongside Éric Bedouet, Dominique Dropsy and Jean-Louis Gasset, so it's very important to talk about all the staff," he said. "Laurent Blanc is a manager who's stayed young in his mind; he's close to the whole squad. He senses things and with his experience he gives us so much. He understands our character and it's a massive plus for us all to have a great former player in charge."

Last updated: 25/11/09 21.20CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2010/matches/round=2000028/match=2000428/prematch/focus/index.html#fortress+mentality+fuels+diarra+belief

  • © 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.