Union Espanola coach Jose Luis Sierra has admitted that he cannot wait to meet Boca Juniors in the club's iconic Bombonera home, comparing the stadium to Real Madrid's Santiago Bernabeu as one of the greatest places in the world to play football.
The Chilean side, who qualified in first place from their group, meet the Xeneize on Wednesday in the first leg of their Copa Libertadores last-16 tie. The first match will be in the Bombonera, a stadium Sierra is already familiar with from his days as a player with Colo Colo.
Speaking ahead of the continental clash, the trainer affirmed that playing in such a distinguished stadium had to give the match extra importance for Espanola.
"It is extra motivation. It is like when one tells you they are going to play in the Santiago Bernabeu. They are world-class stages, with history, but this is still football, it is just a stadium and we have to ignore everything else," Sierra said during a press conference.
The trainer continued to downplay the importance of paying special attention to Juan Roman Riquelme. The legendary No. 10 has been sporadically involved for the Argentine club in 2012 due to fitness concerns, but is expected to start on Wednesday in a strong Boca line-up.
"I do not believe in singling one player out for extra marking, our collective play is much more important than watching one individual."
Espanola finished the group stage with 10 points, topping Group 3 on goal difference ahead of Bolivar.