FOOTBALL NEWS

"We may be David in this David versus Goliath saga, but we enter with no fear. Braga are called the 'Warriors from Minho' for a reason: we will not lie down and we will never give up."

- SC Braga fan, Karl Donnelly
23/10/2012 09:45, Report by Steve Bartram
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Braga fan buoyant

Braga's most important players?
Picking out individual players for their ability to change a match is difficult. Braga have developed in a way few teams in Portugal can. They have regularly five or six players in the national team which no other Portuguese club comes close to. Eder came in from Academica having not played a game in nearly nine months and such has been his form that he was called into the national team after only a few games for Braga. Beto also came in this season and has been outstanding in goal and has really impressed me with his distribution of the ball. José Pesseiro will bring the tactics depending on the team we are playing. Unlike the hammering we got in our first Champions League game two years ago against Arsenal we are now able to deal with top class teams and their tactics. I expect a chess match and the game may be decided by a solitary goal for either side.
 
How do Braga fans view European football?
This is the ninth consecutive season in Europe for Braga, and each has seen a progression. We won the Intertoto Cup in 2008 and reached the Europa League final in 2011. Considering the dimension of Braga this progression has been outstanding - five years ago our average season budget was around four million pounds. The budget has since expanded to about twelve million pounds, but this still pales in comparison with the majority of teams in the Champions League. Of course, Braga fans want this growth to continue, but it is only sustainable through the hard work of the president and the board of directors who have now steadied the ship and only last week announced profitable accounts for a third consecutive year - a rare occurrence for Portuguese clubs.
 
Where do Braga have the capabilities to cause United problems?
Left, right and centre, and from free kicks, corner kicks and counter attacks. Even Beto can do a good Peter Schmeichel impression and is pretty nifty with his head! I think United will be surprised by the capabilities of the Braga players to switch from one formation to another, causing havoc amongst the United defence!

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