LDU Quito Coach Jorge Fossati Looking Forward To Real Madrid, Al-Ittihad Clash

The 2008 Copa Libertadores champions are eager to prove themselves against some of the world’s best clubs sides…

Liga Deportivo Universitaria de Quito touched down in Jerez, Spain on Monday night to begin preparations for the 2009 Peace Cup.

The once unknown Ecuadorian side, who followed up their Copa Libertadores success in 2008 by winning the Recopa Sudamericana earlier this month, are grouped together with Spanish giants, Real Madrid and the oldest surviving club in Saudi Arabia Al-Ittihad, but coach, Jorge Fossati is undaunted by the challenge.

“It’s a privilege for LDU to be participating in this tournament,” he told the official Peace Cup press office.

“In addition, the group that we are in includes Real Madrid and a very strong team in Al-Ittihad. Facing them will only help improve our team and it will force us to match the high standards.

“But I am going to take things one step at a time. First, we have to respect and think about Al-Ittihad. I am familiar with them because I spent three years in Qatar and I know what a Saudi team is like.

“In any case, my idea is for LDU to focus on playing our football and not worry about results. This is a tournament of friendship and peace. We are all obliged to send that message to the world because we need tournaments like this,” he emphasised.

Meanwhile, their goalkeeper Francisco Cevallos compared this competition to the World Cup.

“It has been a long trip for us, but the desire, the motivation and the dream of coming here and doing well surpasses everything,” he beamed.

“To play against the best players and the great teams from Europe and the world is like a World Cup contest. That is why we are encouraged and excited to give our best, because we want to build the reputation of Ecuadorian football.

“We were the Copa Libertadores champions last year, we won the Recopa Sudamericana a few weeks ago and we played in the final of the Club World Cup in Japan and only narrowly lost 1-0 to Manchester United.

“Those who know us are aware that we are not a defensive team. We like to play with the ball and we like to attack with three upfront. We hope to leave a good impression and win the Peace Cup.”

LDU will kick off their tournament against Al-Ittihad on July 24 in Chapin, Jerez.           

KS Leong, Goal.com