Masopust names Slavia’s main threats and what he fears most about Milan

By Oliver Fisher -

Lukas Masopust has insisted that Slavia Praha feel no fear ahead of tonight’s game against AC Milan, and instead they are relishing the idea of playing at San Siro.

On 7 March 2019, Slavia Praha scored two goals against Sevilla in the first leg of the Europa League round of 16, to then knock them out in the second leg after extra time. Given Sevilla’s record in that competition, it is no small achievement.

One of the goals was a mix-up by Simon Kjaer, who is expected to start for Milan tonight in the heart of the defence. The Rossoneri are the big favourites on paper and are looking to get through to the quarter-finals with minimal fuss, but they face a confident and care-free opponent.

Masopust spoke to La Gazzetta dello Sport ahead of what is a big night for the club, one which Sky’s Peppe Di Stefano believes they are approaching ‘like a party’.

If I say to you San Siro, what things come to mind?

“The draw against Inter in 2019, during the Champions League group stage. They thought we were done for, but we stopped the Nerazzurri with a historic match.

“Playing from the start was a thrill, also because one of my idols has always been Andrea Pirlo, a protagonist in that stadium. When I think of football, he and Pavel Nedved come to mind, obviously.”

And your compatriot Jankulovski, who as a Champions League winner in 2007?

“Another icon of our football. I remember him with the national team and obviously in the final in Athens against Liverpool.”

Tell us your story, Lukas…

“I started playing in Bozejov, a small village of not even a thousand inhabitants more than one hundred kilometres from Prague, and now I enjoy Europe after several sacrifices and a long apprenticeship.

“Among those streets I started to dream, to imagine wearing the shirt of my country and challenging great champions. I always wanted to be a footballer, I never had a plan B. I also like tennis and ice hockey, of course, but I always saw myself with a ball at my feet.”

Milan-Slavia falls five years after the match against Sevilla. Your feelings?

“It was a magical, historic night. I still remember the celebrations inside the locker room and the disbelief in the eyes of my team-mates. I believe in numbers and coincidences. I hope this brings us luck.”

Is this the match of a lifetime for Slavia?

“I would say one of the most important matches in our history, yes.”

You beat Roma in the group stage, what is your secret?

“The teamwork, the tactics and the speeches of our coach, Jindrich Trpisovsky. Before every match he encourages us mentally, in his own way. So we defeated the Giallorossi. Mourinho was still there…”

Who are the players to keep an eye on?

“I would say the two strikers, Mojmir Chytil and Vaclav Jurecka. They scored a lot. I’ll also put Ivan Schranz, left winger.”

Who do you fear most about Milan?

“Olivier Giroud. I admire him for what he has achieved in his career and for how he behaves on the pitch. An example.”

On your flank will be Theo and Leao…

“One of the strongest flanks in Europe and the world. It will be tough.”

But no fear, right?

“Woe betide us, we play for history. Like five years ago.”


Tags AC Milan Lukas Masopust Milan Slavia Praha
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