Fernando Reges (Goias, Brazil; 33 years old) is one of the pillars of Sevilla, who are looking to overcome a 2-3 against Dortmund (21.00, Movistar LC) to go to the quarterfinals of the Champions League. The Brazilian attends EL PAÍS by phone from the team's concentration in the German city. He talks about Haaland, Lopetegui and his vision of the tie
Question. With what spirit is Sevilla coming to this game?
Answer. It is always better to face a match after a victory. But we have such an important game now that the above must be forgotten. We have a challenge ahead of us, it is very complicated, but not impossible. They have an advantage, it is indisputable, but we can pass.
Q. What kind of match should Sevilla play to eliminate Dortmund?
R. There is an important aspect. We are very used to how it is played in the Spanish LaLiga, where many fouls are called. They came to our field and proved to be a very strong team. We thought that everything is missing, as in Spain, and we were surprised in that aspect in the first half against them. The referee always ordered to continue. Now we know that we have to go in strong and crash more so that a different match is played from the first leg. They are very good from midfield onwards, but now we know them more. It is a key game for us because if we pass I think we would relaunch again. I see the group well, wanting to pass this tie, very aware. I am sure that we are going to have a great game against Dortmund and that we have options to go to the quarterfinals .
Q. Are there nerves?
R. More than nerves, there is discomfort because we were not used to losing and we had three defeats in a row [ four in five games]. Sevilla demands to win and that is why now we are somewhat out of place
Q. What do you see more, a 0-2 or do you count on Borussia Dortmund to score goals?
R. My experience in the Champions League tells me that to go far you have to fit as little as possible. All teams have many qualities to score, so you have to be strong in that aspect and then try to surprise Dortmund. To pass here we have to defend very well because I am sure we are going to score goals. It is not so much about scoring quickly as defending very well and then knowing how to land the necessary blows forward. In the first leg we did not know how to do it. Then, it is clear that any result is worth to me to pass.
P. Because of his seniority, he is a benchmark in the locker room. Does Lopetegui ask you for something special?
R. Look, not only me, there are players with more experience, in the case of Jesús [Navas], Iván [Rakitic] or even Papu, that we must create a good atmosphere, encouraging and encouraging classmates. All teams go through bad times and you have to believe that you can turn the tie around. If they scored three goals for us in Seville, why can't we score them here? That is the environment that veterans must create. We all think about what we can get through.
Q. In the first leg, Haaland sowed terror . How do you stand up to this footballer
R. He's a different player. He has a quality that I have seen in few forwards, because he also develops that quality by being very tall, with a tremendous physique. And he has good technique. When you face a striker you see that he has a main quality, for example speed. But Haaland has several and mixes them very well. Therefore, stopping it is very complicated. Stopping Haaland requires everyone's effort, it's a collective mission. And if we have to make mistakes, we have to do them. And crash more than in the first leg. It is difficult, but not impossible to stop .
Q. Were you surprised by Haaland's performance?
A. I have seen many of their games since our turn. I saw that he is a good player, but when you have him in front of you, you really see that he is very good. Yes, I was surprised. It's hard to find such a complete striker.
Q. Throughout your career you have faced players like Cristiano and Benzema. Is Haaland at that level?
R. Well, he's a young boy and talking about Cristiano are bigger questions. But I do believe that Haaland has all the basic characteristics and qualities to reach that level of Cristiano and Benzema. They have a great career in the world of football and have won a lot, something that Haaland, of course, does not have.
Q. How do you stay in shape at 33 with this level of demand?
R. I take great care of myself. I work well, rest a lot and take care of my food to the fullest. If I didn't, it's impossible to perform at this level and at my age. The matches have a high level of demand and you have to be prepared to compete.
Q. When was the last time Fernando went to party?
R. Uff … I don't know. Many years ago. I haven't partied since I got married. I am a person who is always at home and very religious. For my love of God I avoid many things. I am a very believer and I do not do many things so that God is happy with me. I do not drink alcohol. I only have a glass of wine from time to time, which is very good for me to relax
Q. Do you see your coach more nervous than usual?
A. Not really. I really like Lopetegui for his great ambition and demand. I have had very demanding coaches, like Guardiola, but I think that at this point Lopetegui surpasses him because of what I have seen in these two years that I have been working with him. He is very self-demanding and asks us to make things easy.