OL feeling confident ahead of difficult Camp Nou test
"The pitch isn't any bigger than the one at Marseille, Guingamp or elsewhere". Bruno Genesio was quick to remind everyone at Tuesday's pre-match press conference that the Camp Nou has more or less the same playing dimensions as any other stadium, despite its hallowed place in football lore. A little over 24 hours before OL take on Barcelona in their Champions League Round of 16 second leg (both teams played to a 0-0 draw in the opening leg), Genesio oversaw his team's final dress rehearsal on the legendary grounds that will welcome nearly 100,000 fans - including 5,000 Lyon faithful - on Wednesday night.
A big question mark ahead of the trip to Catalonia, Marcelo trained along with his teammates during the session that was open to the press for the first 15 minutes. Also in attendance was Olympique Lyonnais president Jean-Michel Aulas, who made it clear he has full confidence in his squad ahead of a do-or-die showdown against the European titans:
It will be terribly difficult. The stadium will be full with one of the best teams in the world [on the pitch. We have a great desire to show that a French team can go further. It would be historic. It would be an unpretentious feat, but in line with what we want to do. This team plays brilliantly against top opposition. It's a pleasure to come here, but there's also the risk of leaving with less pleasure than when we arrived. Don't be overwhelmed, but at the same time realize that this is a great opportunity. The squad believes in itself. We'll have to score a goal in order to qualify.... The odds are against us, but the club is determined. The fans will give us the strength we need. If they do, the players and I will remember it for a long time.