Steve Mandanda : « every footballer dreams of playing in this stadium »

The captain of Stade Rennais F.C. spoke at the pre-match press conference on Wednesday evening.

Steve Mandanda
© Stade Rennais F.C.

Steve, you're not arriving at an unknown stadium.…
I've been here twice, once against AC Milan and the other against Inter. They were two completely different matches. It's a legendary stadium. It's always a pleasure to play this kind of game, especially if the scenario is positive. I hope that will be the case tomorrow.

And there are players you know well too.
I get on very well with Mike. He's someone I really like, both as a man and as a keeper. He's one of the best in the world, he's complete, whether it's on his line, reading the game or playing on his feet. I know Théo Hernandez and Olivier Giroud very well, but my team-mates know them too. We've had a lot of preparation thanks to video, so we know what to expect. We'll have to keep a careful eye on all the players because they're all very good.

How are you approaching this big match?
It's not a match like any other because we're playing against a club with a huge history, in an extraordinary stadium, against a quality squad. It's going to be different from the league, and the whole squad knows that, but we're not afraid. It's up to us to take the positives from this match and not have any regrets at the end. We have to make the most of this moment and give it our all.

What do you think of the presence of 8,000 Rennes fans at the stadium?
It's part of the club's progression. We've already realised at Roazhon Park that we have a large and extraordinary fan base. The fans are proving it again with an impressive number in Milan. We're very proud of that, and all we want to do is share and communicate with them by playing a great match.

Do you have any thoughts on what you need to do to make the second leg as comfortable as possible?
There aren't necessarily any calculations to be made today. Depending on how the game goes, we'll have to use our intelligence and judgement. In the build-up to the game, there's really no calculation, we have to give it everything we've got.

UEFA Europa League - Play-off first leg
AC Milan / Stade Rennais F.C.
Thursday 15 February 2024 - 21:00 CET
San Siro Stadium