Battles with Leao? A great challenge

David Zima returned to a place he knows well. The legendary San Siro and the upcoming Europa League Round of 16 clash against AC Milan were discussed with journalists at the press conference, even in fluent Italian.

San Siro, you´ve played there several times before. What does it evoke in you?
"A lot of memories. We played here in the third round of Serie A and lost 3-1. I only watched the game from the bench back then. I have a better memory from last season when we eliminated AC from the domestic cup at San Siro. It´s a superb stadium where the best teams in the world compete. I feel absolute excitement for football here."

You´re facing battles with Rafael Leao, do you have a recipe for him?
"I´ve met Lea a few times already. The first time was quite challenging, I didn´t know him yet, and sometimes it was tough. Over time and with each subsequent game, experience and confidence came, and my performances escalated. But he´s still a top player of world-class caliber who makes a difference for the whole team. I´ll be happy if all the stars play. Pulisic, Giroud, Hernandez - I´m looking forward to battling with them."

You used to play against AC while wearing the FC Torino jersey, now Slavia. Do you feel any difference?
"The biggest difference is in the style of the competition. This is the knockout phase, in the league, you have forty matches where you face each team twice. Thursday will be a rarity. It has its specifics, but we must not focus on where and with whom we play. We will do everything to be successful."

Are interviews in Italian routine for you?
"I just realized I´ve never been to a press conference in Italy. As for regular interviews, I managed my first one after about five months," said the Slavia defender, after switching to fluent Italian with a smile following a question from one of the local journalists."


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