Bojana Popović: "This is the game of their lives"

By , 05 Apr 2018, 21:36 PM Sport
Bojana Popović Bojana Popović foto: CdM.me

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The rivalry of Budućnost and Gyor has been ongoing since 2006. The current champion was more successful ten times. Budućnost defeated their rival three times, and four matches ended without a winner. In the next duel, the first of the two quarter-final matches, Budućnost is the underdog.

Why is Budućnost the underdog?

Until now, Gyor is still in the small circle of winning their fourth European trophy. The team is led by players who are leaders on their national sides and winners of many medals and awards. Some of them are even two times older than the first team Budućnost players. (Godeč 16, Konatar 18, Anita Gorbic 35, Eduard Amorim 32, Anja Althaus 36..), reports CdM on April 4, 2018.

Experience, higher quality, and the results in the group and primary phase of the Champions League are entirely on the side of the Hungarian giant.

How will Budućnost play against Gyor? What can Budućnost promise? Bojana Popović, the player who raised the Champions League trophy in 2012, tells us what we can expect. 

"First of all, no one can threaten such a team. As for the season, we promised that we would play better from match to match. Our goal was to raise our form and, as we approach the end of the season, maybe we can play on the same level with the best in European handball. We will try, first and foremost, to be as one and breathe together so that we can get a result. This is our goal. Only our union and good energy can lead us and help us express our maximum potential. We do not threaten anyone, and especially Gyor who is a stable team, and a solid team that knows what they want at any given moment. Their team has been together for a long time, they played at the high-level Cup final tournament recent and showed that they are the most serious candidate to win this year's Champions League trophy."

You wished for the strongest possible rival in the quarterfinals. Why?

"It's true, but just because we want to see where we are and what we've done this season. That's why we are happy and anxious to play the next two matches."

Is Gyor stronger in the defense or the attack?

"They are a good attacking team with players who are top attackers. I think they are a hazardous attacking team, and with the return of Amorim, they have most of their defense back. A big plus for Gyor is that they can mix more defensive variants."

Every defense has a door, how do you open it?

"We will work the way the game is dictated to us. We cannot predict things; if we knew what would happen, we would write the result today. We will try to impose some details and push the rhythm we have imagined, without revealing the details. We will also try to utilize their weaknesses. I mean, we cannot know these things in advance. We have ideas, and the game itself will predict the outcome. In any case, the goal is to play with a top, compact defense and not allow them to dominate in the attack. With good energy from the defense, we can dictate a strong attack. And in the attack, we have to play more patiently."

For both quarter-final matches, Gyor will not have Nora Mork and Zuzana Tomori, while Oftadal is in question. How much will this ease the job, as that system is still their most reliable weapon?

"It's not only the system, but it is also a list of 20 top players, which speaks of their desire and the need to win. There is no doubt that each of them will make a great contribution. They have a great rotation, and whether, for example, Gorbic will play the wing or center back, it doesn't matter because she is a top player. They will not lack backs like we saw in the Cup tournament when they struck the opponent with a good rotation. And it's not just rotation, but also player experience. At crucial moments they had a good recipe, which is most important in big matches."

Are the players under too much pressure?

"We are working hard to make sure they don't burn out before the game, and we have not burdened them. They should also enjoy living up to the game of their lives, and for most of them, this is the game of their lives. I hope for a great atmosphere in the stands. "

Will Morača's stands be full?

"I hope the atmosphere will be just as good as it was for basketball over the weekend. Support is important, and our audience knows that. They recognize good opponents, and the girls, with their commitment, deserve a full Morača. I expect such an atmosphere because only good energy from the stands gives us the wind in our sails. We missed our fans, and if we always had them as the eighth player, I am sure some matches would have ended differently. So, for the first time this season, I invite the fans to help. Morača is our hall, and our fans should be heard."

This article was translated from an article on CdM.me Popović: This is the game of their lives

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