APOEL duo's mix of pride and regret

Their UEFA Champions League hopes punctured by a late Real Madrid CF burst, APOEL FC duo Ivan Tričkovski and Nektarios Alexandrou shared their thoughts with UEFA.com.

Ivan Tričkovski and Nektarios Alexandrou talk after their match with Real Madrid

APOEL FC's hopes of holding Real Madrid CF in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final were punctured by a late three-goal burst by their illustrious visitors, leaving the home players with mixed feelings of pride and regret as they left the field to the chants of their fans thanking them for their record-breaking run.

Ivan Tričkovski, APOEL forward
It was an extremely difficult match, very tough. Real Madrid are the best team in the world, and it was very difficult for us. We tried to do something, but in the last [16] minutes we conceded three goals. They deserved to win. Maybe we lost because we lost our concentration a bit, because they had been attacking for the whole match and creating chances.

We know it will be even more difficult [in Madrid] than here, but we will certainly try to do something, that's for sure. I think this is possibly the best way to go out of this competition. We have one more game but to finish against Real Madrid is fantastic.

Nektarios Alexandrou, APOEL midfielder
Just looking at the club we faced, we realise how far we've reached. Real are a great team, with great history, and a great team at the moment. We put a lot of effort in during the match.

Unfortunately, it looks bad to lose 3-0 at home, especially when we've had really good results so far in our home matches. Obviously we wanted something more, but this is football; at this level your opponents take advantage of the chances they get. We played against a much better team, and now we'll wait to see what comes next.