Lorik Cana is relishing the chance to get back to action for Olympique de Marseille on Tuesday, promising supporters that they will see "eleven men out there".
Lorik Cana is relishing the chance to return to action with Olympique de Marseille when they get their UEFA Champions League campaign under way at home to Beşiktaş JK on Tuesday.
'I can't wait'
The Mediterranean outfit's Albanian captain was suspended for the 2-1 home loss to Toulouse FC at the weekend, and he admits it was painful to watch his comrades come unstuck from the stands. "It wasn't easy because I felt my team needed me and I couldn't intervene," he said. "When you're captain you feel even more responsible, so I can't wait to return. Physically, I'll be a bit fresher and I'll do everything I can to help out the club."
Having failed to win at home this season, the Ligue 1 strugglers could certainly do with his help – both in terms of the combative qualities which have earned him the nickname 'the warrior' and the UEFA Champions League experience he picked up at Paris Saint-Germain FC in 2004/05. "I'm lucky enough to have experienced this competition before and it's part of my job to teach the players who are new to it what they can expect," said the 24-year-old midfielder. "Captains are important in any team and I know it's my role to motivate everyone for this test."
The demands of top-level European football might appear daunting to a side languishing in 15th place in their championship, but Cana believes it is just what they need to start firing on all cylinders again. "This competition has a huge place in the hearts of the players here," he said. "Both for those who fought for qualification last year and for those who came here in the summer knowing we'd be in Europe. Football is all about small details and if everyone commits themselves 100 per cent, we can start to be successful. We have a good team capable of achieving great things, so I'm optimistic. You'll see eleven men out there."