As he prepares to make his FC Santa Coloma debut in Tuesday's UEFA Champions League first qualifying round opener at home to FC Banants, midfielder Juvenal told UEFA.com that the Andorran side are eager to cause an upset.
Signed by the principality club last week from UE Cornellá, the 35-year-old Equatorial Guinea captain is hoping his extensive experience in the game will serve his new team well as they seek to overcome the Armenian title holders and set up a pair of meetings with Maccabi Tel-Aviv FC.
"Our rivals, FC Banants, are favourites to go through," Juvenal explained. "The Armenian championship is superior to the Andorran one. However, this is football and I am convinced we can compete and enjoy this tie. We will cause Banants problems if we play to our strengths."
Santa Coloma have failed to win a game in any of their three previous UEFA Champions League first qualifying round ties, their most recent elimination from the competition coming against Luxembourg's F91 Dudelange in 2011.
This time around, Juvenal said his new employers are fully focused on gaining what would be a tournament first victory for the Andorrans. "We have been preparing all week for the first leg," he said. "The club have made a big effort trying to bring in new players with the aim of getting through this tie. I only arrived here last Tuesday and have had to quickly get into the swing of things with the team.
"Physically, I feel good. My last game was just three weeks ago [an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Mauritania on 1 June], when I played with the national team. It hasn't been hard adapting to the training here, while the Andorran climate also helps a lot."
Of Tuesday's game at the Estadi Comunal against the Proud Eagles – who won their first Armenian Premier League title in May – Juvenal explained: "You would ordinarily expect [Banants] to overcome us, but in football you can't predict anything. Nobody expected Club Atlético de Madrid to win the Spanish Liga or for Costa Rica to get to the quarter-finals of the FIFA World Cup. With that in mind, we will attack and defend to the best of our abilities."
A product of RCD Espanyol's youth academy, Juvenal was born in Sabadell, Barcelona, and went on to represent Equatorial Guinea, the country of his father's birth. Following spells at Levante UD and CD Castellón, he helped Deportivo Alavés and then RC Recreativo de Huelva into Spain's top flight. CE Sabadell FC then came calling for the midfielder and it was there he would spend four seasons, scoring 15 times in 117 league games between 2009 and 2013.
Now in his mid-30s, Juvenal – born Juvenal Edjogo-Owono – said the prospect of featuring in the UEFA Champions League for the first time in his career is one that excites. "I'm more used to watching the UEFA Champions League on television and when I watch the players lining up for the tournament anthem I have often asked myself: 'How would I feel if I were in a similar situation?'
"I have been through many things in football and [competing in the UEFA Champions League] is one of the few things I had left to do in the game. Nothing will compare to this."
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