Benfica

"I am very impressed. Benfica is in fact a huge club and it is also a family. I am totally amazed at what I found and my first impression of the club was excellent. I had a lot of conversations with other Greek players of Benfica and they all told me the best things about the club. This summer, when Benfica showed interest in me, I didn't have to ask anybody anything. I knew almost everything. Fernando Santos had also told me the best things about Benfica and therefore, I was fully informed." 

"The atmosphere in the stadium at the Supertaça was excellent. I knew the clubs had a great rivalry. It was a great derby between two great teams which unfortunately we lost. It was a great experience however, to participate in the game.  To take part was important as it helped me to adapt to Portuguese football." 

"There were many clubs that were interested in me and I want to thank all of them for that. Sporting CP was one of the clubs that showed interest in me. Once Benfica showed interest in me, they were my first choice. The day I signed for Benfica, my manager had received calls from Sporting. "

 

Lisbon

"I'm more than happy at Benfica and I'm hopeful that in the future, I'm even happier. Only God knows the future. It is very, very good to live in Portugal. Lisbon has similarities with Athens and life is very good there. There is sun, sea, and beautiful landscapes. There are very good restaurants. It is a city with a lot of history and I try to learn something new every day. In adaptation to Lisbon there is only the language barrier. I adapted easily to life in Lisbon. Samaris quickly learned Portuguese and he was a precious help. At first, he was going to get me to the hotel and translated everything for me. He was a help in adapting me to Benfica and I give him recognition for that. I also have Fejsa who I already knew from Olympiacos and he has helped me too. After the international games, I will start my Portuguese classes as soon as possible." 

 

Fans and scoring goals

"Benfica's responsibility is to always face the matches with respect for the opponent and to think of victory. I am totally fascinated with the fans. In the first game at the Luz, in where I scored, the reactions of the fans was wonderful. Wherever I go in Lisbon, I see something related to Benfica. Each day that passes I understand better the greatness of the club. It's amazing, the people are with us in all games, they are our 12th player."

It is very important to all the fans that come to the stadium because football is a reason for unity among all of us. We all live for football. It is very important that there be no violence in the stands and that fans enjoy the games. The rivalry between the clubs gives a different color to the league and personally, I like that. I always play seriously against any opponent and try to do my best every game. The derbies and big games have the same characteristics in all countries and is the same intensity everywhere. My goal is to score as many goals as possible and at the end of the season, we will see the exact number. No trace goals."

 

Rui Vitória

"We are in a very positive moment. Rui Vitória is doing a tremendous job with the team. Vitória is doing very serious work and I believe that in the future things will be even better. We are still in the beginning of things but the results, as in the victory in Madid, give us a lot of confidence. We are very confident for what is ahead."

"Rui Vitória is a coach who likes to be around and that communicates with the players. It works fine. Personally, I communicate with him in English and sometimes Samaris translates the advice Vitória has to offer. I am very impressed by the way Vitoria chooses to speak with all the players. Everyone needs time to adjust. Rui Vitória does his job very well and each day that passes he becomes better and better. 

 

Teammates

"Gonçalo Guedes is a kid with huge quality. He has great technique, no fear, and he has everything it takes to leave a mark on Benfica. He is not the only young player with quality. I see in practice that Benfica has a lot of young players with great potential and talent. The future is in good hands. If they can enjoy the moment then they can have a very good career. I was impressed with Nélson Semedo since the first practice. He is not only fast but a very strong player. He is young and sometimes lacks experience but I'm sure if he continues to work he will reach a very high level."

"There is a fantastic cooperation in front. Not only with Jonas but also with Jiménez and Gaitán, who is a world class player. It is wonderful to play with these kinds of creative players because they make my job a lot easier. Without a doubt that Gaitan is a fantastic player but it is not just him, there is a lot of quality. Jonas, Gaitan, and Júlio César, who has saved us numerous times. It is a blessing to play alongside them. "

"The subject of Taarabt is a subject I leave in the direction of the coaching staff but I do think everyone deserves a second chance. He is a player with positive aspects. "

 

Champions League

"The win at Atlético de Madrid was a huge win for us, huge! You don't beat Atlético at their own stadium. I know the history of Benfica, I know they have won the Champions League and normally reach the European finals. Benfica is well respected at the European level with a European mentality, and every year has a huge ambition. I know the wins against Astana and Atlético have created a great expectation but we just think about the game against Galatasaray. Don't ask me to make predictions as to how far we can get. I can only guarantee that we will work to get to the quarter-finals. Personally I am convinced that we can go far in the Champions League but there is a lot of work to do. " 

The games all have the same importance for me. I don't do any special preparation before each game. My role is to score and to try and make that always happen, without looking at the opponent's name. We celebrated the big victory over Atlético. We took in every minute of the game and it was a great display by all. It was a victory that boosted our confidence. They were Spanish champions two years ago and also reached the final of the Champions League."

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