RC Deportivo La Coruña striker Roy Makaay hopes to continue his scoring run against Juventus FC.
By Marcus Christenson
RC Deportivo La Coruña striker Roy Makaay cannot stop scoring at the moment, and, as he told uefa.com, he is desperate to add to his tally of 29 goals this season when his side take on Juventus FC tonight.
He said: "I hope to score. It is an important game for me and the club and if I score it will mean I have helped the team take one step closer to our aim of winning the match."
Deportivo and Juventus both have four points from their first four games and with FC Basel in fourth on three points, tonight's Group D game has taken on a huge significance. And Makaay, who has scored 19 goals in 25 league games and a further eight in ten UEFA Champions League matches this season, is fully aware of how important this game is for both clubs.
'Focus on the football'
He said: "It is a big game for the club financially of course but we players try and focus on the football side of it. Our aim is to get as far as possible in this tournament and the winners of this game are almost sure of reaching the knockout stage, so it is very important."
New Van Basten
The tall Dutchman has always found the net with impressive regularity. His goals for SBV Vitesse earned him a move to Spain and CD Tenerife before Deportivo snapped him up ahead of the 1999/00 season. Makaay hit 22 goals in his first season at the Riazor as the Galicians won the first title in their history. Only eight goals followed over the next two campaigns, though, as Makaay - living up to his 'new Marco van Basten' tag rather too closely - broke down with ankle and knee injuries.
Finally, though, those problems seem to be behind him, and as his form has returned, so he has found himself rotated out of the side less often. "
The key this season could lie in the fact that I have been playing regularly and starting games in the league as well as the Champions League," he said.
Following United's lead
Makaay now hopes that Deportivo can repeat Manchester United FC's feat and win in Turin. "I am sure we will look at that game. I have only seen the goals so far but I am sure the coach [Javier Irureta] will show us a tape of the game and tell us how he wants us to play in order to win. We still have to talk about it and will have to wait and hear what the coach has to say."
The Juventus players, meanwhile, are well aware of the threat Makaay poses and defender Ciro Ferrara admitted he has been impressed by the Dutchman whenever they have met. Ferrara said: "Both Roy Makaay and Diego Tristán have impressed me. Makaay is maybe a bit more explosive, a bit quicker, while Tristán is technically very good with both feet and strong with his head." Deportivo will hope for an explosion or two from Makaay tonight.