EXCLUSIVE - Gustavo POYET: "Chelsea, odds are low for CL final match"
During Gustavo Poyet’s seven year spell at Zaragoza, he became known as “Scooter”, since he covered every spot all across the midfield. His transfer to Chelsea in 1997 did not tarnish Gus’ reputation: as a Blues player, he won the UEFA Cup for a second time, and turned out being the match-winner in 1998 European Super Cup against Real Madrid. He is currently the manager of Club Deportivo Universidad Católica, one of Chile’s big three. Transfermarket Web was able to catch up with Gus, for an exclusive interview regarding tonight’s second-leg semifinal:
Your spell in charge at Católica started a few months ago. How is it going?
“We started off very well by winning the Super Cup against our rival Colo Colo. The League just began play, and we are playing well. We’ll try to do our best.”
Several years have passed since your last spell at Bordeaux. What did you do in the meantime?
“I had the chance to work as a football pundit on TV, and watch many matches. It felt like I was still part of the game, though not being on the pitch anymore. I took this as a personal challenge, and try look at football from a different perspective. Football players must go with the flow of what's happening on the pitch, it's not like doing math. There are many key factors in football, one of these being emotion, that can affect a team’s play, for better or for worse."
Let’s talk about Chelsea. What are the Blues’ chances of going past Real Madrid in the second leg?
“I think Chelsea’s chances are great; they played a wonderful match in Madrid, and I think they will play with the same spirit at Stamford Bridge. It won’t be easy, but Chelsea will try their best."
Real Madrid’s performance, was in fact, underwhelming. Do you expect a different attitude?
“Every match is different, we can’t say for sure how it’ll be from the start. I’ll wait and see how each manager approaches the game, and mainly how each player performs on the pitch, especially the big names.”
Who are you betting on? Is there a player that, in your opinion, will be the key factor in the match?
“No, our generation never bets (smiles, editor’s note). I think we won’t be talking about a single player, but a whole team’s effort.”
If I mention the 28th of August, 1998, almost 23 years ago, what does that day mean to you?
“That was a truly special match for us; we had just won the Cup Winners’ Cup and tried giving our best against the last Champions League winner. My goal, the first one I had scored in a final, came when there were only a few minutes left on the clock, and ended up being the difference. I was very proud of that achievement, and it still holds a special meaning for me, up to this day. It was wonderful.”