Atlético Nacional is ready to play one more FPC final. The team led by Hernán Darío Herrera He had a special practice one day before the first leg against Tolima in which he had the presence of his fans who served as motivation for what will be the first 90 minutes this Wednesday at the Atanasio Girardot. Coach and captain hope to return that love with a victory to reach Ibagué on Sunday with an advantage.
The Nacional coach doesn’t worry about his team playing well and compared the Champions League final, where he assured that Liverpool played better, but in the end Madrid kept the title.
Hernán Darío Herrera: “I want to lift the Cup”
Feelings in the soul: “I have to be happy because I’m going to a final and more so with what we saw today with the Nacional fans and also with what will be tomorrow. We’re going to go in with everything, seeing that crowd gives us reasons to play a good game against a great rival”.
Opponent Strengths: “Tolima also has to think about us, they are strong, so are we. In the statistics we are even, it will be difficult for them as it is for us”.
Debut in final with Tolima: “First time I’m going to face Tolima, it’s a great team, very difficult. Hernán knows his team and knows how to handle it very well. He knows his strengths, I know him too. We have worked to counteract what they have, because they are very strong offensively and defensively.”
Finals Comparison: I look stronger compared to 2005 when I played the final with Cali. Now I have a great team, great with very good players, I look different and happier”.
Memories of the National champion with Zubeldía: “National all your life has been what you are living now. Those of us who were part of this institution as a player and now as a coach have always experienced those finals like this. Now you live more, seeing that full stadium is impressive, so you feel happy and calm. The greatest aspiration as a coach is to win the title this semester and compared to the players from before, this group is family, as we were with Zubeldía, we hugged, we shared as a family. This National is going to be very hard too”.
The scheme for the final and Tolima at home: “Beautiful, beautiful structures. Tomorrow we need to win because we are at home, with caution, we don’t go out to ‘the berraca’ either, we are going to be careful because it is a complicated rival. I have almost the entire team available, only Palacio sent off, the rest all concentrated and tomorrow I decide”.
National DNA and ownership of Giovanni Moreno
Was Nacional’s DNA lost?: “We are in a final, as finals are won, they are won. If Nacional paid me to play nice, but now I need to win. We saw the Champions League, the other was superior but Real won. I want to be like Real, win the title. Go back to the history of Nacional and already for the DNA later it will be given. They are not going to tell me that Nacional played beautifully and lost. I want to lift the Cup”.
National is a family: “What I have managed here is with a very good work group. Not only Hernán Darío Herrera. When they gave me the equipment, everyone welcomed me very well and there we were putting things, I saw the conditions it had. I accommodated Sebas in a position that who would not want to have. I accommodated structures that sometimes worked for me. The most important thing is that everyone is running and the important thing is how we reach them. I have a coaching staff in which we are friends, everything is joy. Everyone is involved in what has been a family, the history of Nacional has always been like this”.
Hernán Torres as coach and goalkeeper: “I faced Hernán several times and he hasn’t changed. As a goalkeeper he was a leader, he talked, shouted, said everything. Now you see him the same with the same personality and he hasn’t changed much”.
Will Giovanni Moreno be a starter?: “I already have Gio available. I will be in dialogue with the coaching staff and with him. Gio has been a very good person for the group and in terms of football he has surrendered to us and tomorrow we will see if he is a starter”.
Sebastián Gómez: “A child’s dream to become champion”
Tolima midfield: “What we have raised we have worked on during the week, we must respect the rival. We know that they have good players in attack, we have to be attentive. But we must also think about what we are going to propose here playing local with our people. National is obliged to win. We are the best team in the country, the biggest and the hierarchy belongs to us”.
How do you live the final?: “I have been here at Nacional since I was 14 years old, where there have been very difficult stages, but I have always been grateful, because if Nacional had not appeared in my life, I don’t know what would have been. Now close to a title I know how these finals are lived, not only me, my teammates also know what we want, to put Nacional at the top and we will give everything”.
Physical wear and duels: “On the physical side, we all got to the final in good shape, everyone wants to play it. On the other issue, it seems to me that Nacional has known how to compete and play, that’s very important and we didn’t have it. We know we have to put in this game where the details will be final. We are going to put all the meat on the grill to do it.”
The support of the fans and how to manage it: “We know what we are risking and we know that it is about details and we have all the precautions. The greats advise us a lot and have been a pillar for what is National today, the teacher too. You have to take precautions, but we are the ones with the obligation, this team deserves to be champion and we are going to give it our all”.
Fulfill a dream: “It is a child’s dream to be champion with the club of my loves. I have slept, my family hasn’t and I think more than one fan. We know that we are one step away and it is a matter of executing what we have set out to do since the beginning of the semester”.
In which position do you feel most comfortable?: “I feel good in both facets, whether it’s ‘5′ or ‘8′, here the one who decides is the teacher. But me and my teammates are going to give everything, because we want the best for Nacional”.
National is a family: “What happens is that the teacher has made a family and one gives everything for the family. I do it for my parents and he has been like a father to us and we support him on the pitch. Playing, competing, with the title for him and us”.
National was not a favorite: “The only way is to be champion, we cannot ignore that it is a great team. Nobody gave us favorites and now we are in the final. Step by step and competing”.