André Villas-Boas: We Want to Win the Cup

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What do you expect from the match with Benfica?

This will be our first official game after five weeks of preparation and a fairly long holiday. For two weeks we have been training in Qatar, we are now rested and ready for the next step. For us it is important to continue the second part of the championship season and, of course to prepare for the 1/8 finals of the Champions League. Now our main task is to get the right rhythm and do well in the upcoming friendlies, although official matches are missed. But the team is working well, everything is going according to plan.

You constantly watch Benfica. What can you say about their current form?

This is a team that has a very solid structure and demonstrates its strength coming into the playoffs of the Champions League. In Autumn they had some difficulties, but they overcame them. It is important to play the game with them with the correct attitude, we need to concentrate, we need to be constantly alert. Benfica have ahead of them two tough matches with Porto and Sporting Lisbon. It will not be easy for them, but we have enoughm, but it is a concern that this will be our first official match of the year, So again, the main goal now  is for us to get our rhythm.

What do you think, who has more chance of getting to the quarter-finals? You know Benfica and have played them before.  

Their style has changed since we last played them, and they have new players since then. But we have changed too and are stronger. Now we can count three new players. The appearance of new players has seriously increased the level of competition in the squad and has given us new options, the opportunity to add from the bench has given us more  quality, especially before the Champions League knock-out stage.For the second match in St. Petersburg we will be prepared even better after we've had a few official games.  

What can you say about the current state of Zenit in the Russian league?

We lost a lot of points and unfortunately have not show our true level of play, which we have demonstrated in the past. As well as the league we are going for the Cup of Russia and this tournament is important for us too. Our challenge is to win that trophy. In the league, we are lagging behind the leader by 7 points, but I do not think the gap is very large, and we want to cut it and try to win the title. The players who joined the team in the transfer window will help us, i'm sure.

Going out in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, will that be a success for Zenit?

Yes, of course, because it will be the first time in history. When I came to the club, we talked about how to get into the top 10 teams in Europe, and reaching the quarterfinals of the Champions League was immediately one of the tasks that were put in front of me.

In the summer your contract ends. What do you plan to do after?

In life, it is sometimes difficult to predict. Now I have thought about it for some time, to return to Portugal and to relax with my family, to take a break and rest.



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