Wendel backs Bordeaux to shine in Rome

FC Girondins de Bordeaux must win at AS Roma on Tuesday to reach the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League and their Brazilian winger Wendel has promised they will do "everything we can to get three points".

Wendel scored Bordeaux's winner in Cluj
Wendel scored Bordeaux's winner in Cluj ©Getty Images

No UEFA Champions League pool remains as open as Group A heading into the last round of games, but FC Girondins de Bordeaux are undoubtedly the team with it all to do. The French side must win at AS Roma on Tuesday to progress and their Brazilian winger Wendel is predicting an almighty battle.

Unlikely comeback
Having lost their opening two games, it is remarkable that Laurent Blanc's men remain in contention at all, but two consecutive victories against CFR 1097 Cluj and a 1-1 home draw with Chelsea FC have left them in a position to complete an unlikely comeback. "We have a chance of qualifying," Wendel told uefa.com users recently. "It's difficult because we need to beat Roma away, but we will do everything we can to get the three points. After the draw against Chelsea, we see that everything is possible and we hope to go as far as possible in this Champions League. We want to be this year's surprise package, as Fenerbahçe were last season."

Lessons learned
The result against Chelsea proved how far Bordeaux have come in a campaign which began with a sobering 4-0 reverse at Stamford Bridge. That performance seemed to suggest the Ligue 1 outfit were lacking at the highest level, but since then they have grown with every passing game and possibly deserved even more than a point in their rematch with the Premier League big spenders. "It was a good game for us," said Wendel. "We needed to be focused during 90 minutes and we ended up getting a great result, which was the draw. Chelsea are one of the three best sides in Europe; it's always tough to play them."

Blanc influence
Scorer of the winner when his side triumphed 2-1 in Cluj on 4 November, Wendel credits Blanc with having transformed Bordeaux's fortunes. The 1998 FIFA World Cup winner took over the reins in June 2007, a year after Wendel joined, and he promptly led the side to second place in his first Ligue 1 campaign. "I've never had doubts about him," said the 26-year-old. "He was a world champion as a player and has lots of qualities. He's shown that apart from having been a great footballer, he has everything to become a top coach as well."

International dreams
The former Cruzeiro EC and CD Nacional player has designs of his own on the international game, and he hopes his displays for Bordeaux – particularly in the continental arena – will eventually earn him a call-up. "Every player dreams of playing for Brazil," he explained. "I'm aware I have to keep doing well at my club to increase my chances. It would be my dream to play the 2010 World Cup for my country." A stellar performance at the Stadio Olimpico on Tuesday would only help to boost those claims.

 

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