Lazio goalkeeper Marco Ballotta became the oldest player to ever play in the Champions League when he was fielded in the match against Real Madrid on 11 December 2007. Aged 43.
Arsene Wenger: (On Arsenal's 2-1 win against Steaua) Overall we were well organised and the confidence was good, although maybe we were not clinical enough in front of goal. In the second half our game dropped. The physical side was the main reason - Diaby, Van Persie and Song haven't played at a very demanding level for a while. But it was good to win and finish the group with 13 points. We didn't top the group however, so it promises to be an interesting draw in the last 16. The next round will be a good opportunity - just like a cup game. I believe and am highly confident we can beat anyone. I have a great belief in my players and in their ability to get better. They will be even better in February. Van Persie looked sharp; his eye and passing were there. He just needs to regain his confidence in challenges, but it looks like he has never been out. He was very lively in the first half, like the team he was a bit quieter in the second. With regards to Jens Lehmann I feel he had a good game; he couldn't do much for the goal. He's a top class goalkeeper.
Zico: (On Fenerbahce's 3-1 win against CSKA Moscow) We deserved to win tonight. In the first 20 minutes my players didn't perform because they were under a lot of pressure, but after conceding their mood changed and we became more determined to win the game. After scoring our first goal we started to play the way we wanted and we also got the result we wanted. I want to congratulate CSKA, they showed us what being professional means. Even though they had no chance of qualifying they did their best to win and proved tough opponents. I want to thank all our supporters, without them we couldn't have made it. I think Fenerbahçe are a real team. Our players have had success but we also have team spirit and I believe we will be very successful in the next phase.
Roberto Mancini: (On Inter's 1-0 win in PSV) I'm reasonably satisfied but we can still improve and today we have seen a real football match which is important for the players. The Champions League is becoming more and more important, and regarding Chivu, he played very well tonight. I don't want to think about who we may get in the draw for the next stage, I'm just happy with first place in the group. The advantage now is that we play the second game at home.
Paulo Bento: (On Sporting's 3-0 win against Dynamo Kyiv) We ended the campaign in the best way. We played well and with caution, with the exception of a short period during the second half. We were worthy winners although the margin of victory was flattering. We're not favourites for the UEFA Cup but the approach will be the same as in the Champions League – to be better then the opposition. The most important objective for this match was achieved; to win. We scored goals, didn't concede and now we must pick up 6 league points before the end of 2007. We could have been playing for a place in last 16, that would have been the fairest thing based on our performances, but we paid for the bad results in both games against Roma. Things didn't run well in those matches. Away from home we lacked concentration at times and that was fatal. We were unhappy at drawing 2-2, which ended our realistic hopes.
Sir Alex Ferguson: (On ManUtd's 1-1 draw in Roma) With both sides already through it was a big opportunity to give a chance to some of our young players. It was also important to rest a few lads ahead of the game against Liverpool. The young lads are improving fast and working hard. The League Cup defeat by Coventry was a shock but they had not played enough before it. Tonight they did very well, especially in the first half. Wayne Rooney proved he deserved the captain's armband tonight: it took 20 minutes for him to get into the match but then he played very well. As regards to Nani, he is only 19 but he is an important player for the future. He is every useful every time he plays. Now I will have a good glass of wine with Mr Spalletti.
Luciano Spalletti: (On Roma's 1-1 draw with ManUtd) We played well. Some of my players, without regular games, were handed a difficult assignment playing at the Stadio Olimpico against a team like Manchester United. The result was not important. I saw a few good things and in the second half there was some spectacular play but that's to be expected considering the quality of players on the pitch, especially as everybody played without the burden of pressure. Regarding the draw I will accept any team we are drawn with. At this level it will be difficult however we get. I'm sure Roma will do well regardless of the opponents though. I have always had faith in Mancini, which is demonstrated by how many games he has played so far this season. Mancini scored a beautiful goal and was unlucky not to score more. He can cause any defence trouble with his runs. I'm also happy for Antunes. He did not feel pressure on his debut and played a very good game. He has a great left foot.
Manuel Jimenez: (On Sevilla's 3-0 win in Slavia) Obviously I'm very satisfied with the result. We deserved it, particularly for our second-half performance. We were too slow in the early stages and were unable to respond to Slavia's midfield dominance. Then things changed and our higher tempo and play down the wings after the restart gave us control. The substitutions we made were also critical, changing things in our favour. We are among the best sides in Europe now and it's difficult to say who we might prefer to face in the next round. Now we have to forget about the Champions League for a while and focus on the league and Spanish Cup.
Rafael Benitez: (On Liverpool's 4-0 win in Marseille) I'm really proud of my team tonight. We played really well, compact as a unit. We had a lot of opportunities and we didn't concede. I would say it was a perfect night ... almost perfect, you always have things to improve. Everybody wanted to win and we won in style. My players showed character and commitment. We kept the ball or played long when it was necessary. Everybody knows Gerrard and Torres are great, but tonight everyone was great. I think we approached the game the right way. It's a great moment for us. We need to enjoy this moment. The name of our next opponents doesn't matter. The most important thing is that my team is growing game after game. We're really confident for the future. I'm sure we'll continue that way.
Delio Rossi: (On Lazio's 3-1 defeat by Real Madrid) I had hoped to see the same kind of match we played in Rome against Madrid. We started well, pressing in attack although they are technically better than us. We aren't worse than Olympiacos but we had a bad match against them and now we're paying for that. We aren't a very experienced team and we aren't used to playing every three days. We worked hard last year to qualify for Europe and I feel bad because we're not going to play the UEFA Cup.
Bernd Schuster: (On Real Madrid's 3-1 win against Lazio) We knew Lazio weren't a typical Italian team with a strong defence, they play more offensively. We played at a high level during the first half and then we scored goals. We have players that can replace others while the team continues to work well and that is very important. Robinho is not a surprise. I knew he could improve and that's what he's doing this season. I'm not worried about our next opponents. All the teams will be difficult but the most important thing is that we finished top of our group and we are going to play the decisive match at home in the next round.
Jesualdo Ferreira: (On Porto's 2-0 win against Besiktas) I said yesterday that we had to be focused and intelligent – we were both of those today. Beşiktaş know us well and defended deep, not allowing us to play up the wings, but they failed to create any danger themselves. We scored at a crucial time, and fully deserved it. In the second half we controlled matters differently: we knew that they would have to attack more, so we created more chances and scored. We are happy we won the group and did our job. We aren't dreaming of a Moscow final just yet but we are in the last 16 and that was our primary goal.
Takis Lemonis: (On Olympiacos 3-0 win against Bremen) I believe we deserved to go through to the knockout stages, given our results and performances in the group. It was a tough victory today because we had to apply strict tactics. We pressurised their midfielders a lot in order to free up spaces and attack. The 3-0 scoreline does not reflect our effort on the pitch. For me, the most rewarding feeling is to know that right now our fans are on the streets of Piraeus celebrating our qualification. This is one of the most important results in the history of Olympiacos - not because of the result, but because of the way my players went for the victory when a draw was enough to seal our qualification. The team has a changed attitude, they are now psychologically strong and it shows. This is our chance to build a new squad, to continue the project we started this summer when we made many new and significant signings. We have what it takes to create a beautiful team. Stoltidis is having an excellent season – apart from his technical qualities he is a born winner.
Thomas Shaaf: (On Bremen's 3-0 defeat by Olympiacos) Our problem was that we conceded the first goal early in the match. It came against the run of play, as we had just missed a good chance to go ahead. Then we found ourselves trying to equalise but were out of luck. We improved in the second half but still didn't take advantage of our chances and were punished for that when Olympiacos scored their second goal. We paid for our defensive mistakes, lost too many one-on-one battles and the final result is a consequence of that. However, we had to play an attacking game because only a victory was enough for us. Nothing is easy in the Champions League and that's showed in the group this season. We've had some good times, but also several disappointments – including conceding too many goals. Now we'll look to go as far as possible in the UEFA Cup because that's a competition we take seriously. We need to identify which areas in our game we can improve. Tonight Olympiacos were worthy winners and deserved to go through. My counterpart has done a great job with his team.
Carlo Ancelotti: (On Milan's 1-0 win against Celtic) It was difficult to play any differently at the beginning of the game because a draw was a good result for both sides. Then we played with a better tempo and more pace in the second half and our victory was fully deserved. As against Juventus in Serie A we played better in the second half, meaning we are in good physical condition. In football, not everything can be explained and I can't explain why we're not winning at home in Serie A while we have won three out of three in Europe. Inzaghi really cared about scoring and beating this record. He prepared very well for this game, as usual, and finally managed to reach his goal. He makes the difference with the way he moves inside the penalty area, with or without the ball. With him on the pitch every ball becomes dangerous. Celtic are a very well-organised team, very strong physically and good in the air. But most of all, they have great supporters who can help them to earn more good results in the competition.
Gordon Strachan: (On Celtic's 1-0 defeat in Milan) I'm still trying to analyse this game but now it is better to go to celebrate in the hotel, even if there are some negative aspects we have to work on in the future. It was a tough group and Shakhtar were favourites after winning their first two games, considering Milan are an incredible club. We kept Milan in check for a good part of the game, then they scored and I was a bit scared until I saw the thumbs-up from people listening to the final result of the other game. The next level will be to play well abroad as we are already a force at home. If you keep asking me questions I will continue to find excuses for our defeat. It was a strange match, there was nothing going on for a long time and then, after Milan's goal, the game changed to an end-to-end one. I played in England for a long time so I would like to try something different. I'd rather go somewhere else in the first knockout round.
Jose Antonio Camacho: (On Benfica's 2-1 win in Shakhtar) This match was not too difficult because we had prepared well to cope with any difficulties. We could not qualify for the Champions League knockout stage but I am happy we have clinched a UEFA Cup place. Our recent performances show we are on the right track. With this kind of display, we can achieve more results of this stature. We have not always been lucky in terms of taking our chances in this competition, and the most important thing is always to score goals. Today we did exactly that. Cardozo is one of our most important players and has been a key man in the Champions League. In Lisbon Shakhtar were fortunate to score on the break, but today's game was different and it was us who relied on counterattacks. Playing like this we could have been second in the group, but we had to take the opportunities we had against Milan and Celtic for that to happen. The team I lead are my team. They work hard every match and every day to achieve better results. I am sure we will become champions of Portugal because there's no better team than Benfica.
Mircea Lusescu: (On Shakhtar's 2-1 defeat by Benfica) Unfortunately, we gave two gifts to the opposition yet again. Perhaps we are not at the level to achieve success in the Champions League. To have the chances we have had to advance, and then to let them go. It's hard to reach the next stage if you give away the kind of goals we gave away in Glasgow and today. There are two ways of looking at it. Either I am not the coach for this team, or the problem is with players who have either been here too long or are not of the required standard any more. Either way we need to do something and to change something. I am responsible for everything that happens here and it is up to the president to make any decisions that need to be made. Benfica showed us how to play in the Champions League tonight. This is how a team that hopes to qualify should play.
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