Not many cules will know who Filipp Rudik is but they are likely to remember him now, for the midfielder from the Belarus club FC BATE Borisov gave what was one of the more amusing press conferences before his club took on FC Barcelona in group stage of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday. Rudik replied to the serious questions with jest and mock seriousness and while his light assessments and opinions of the match may have undermined his side’s chances of winning against the mighty Catalan club, they also showed the respect the player has for the reigning European champions and how excited he was at the prospect of playing them. Asked why was he looking forward to the Wednesday encounter, Rudik said, “Because I have never met creatures from outer space before“.
Read more fun stuff from Rudik after the jump.
Uefa.com didn’t downplay Rudik’s tag of “creatures from outer space“, elaborating that Guardiola and his players were received in Belarus, where they arrived on Tuesday, “with the level of awed excitement one might expect from a confirmed alien landing“. The fan following for the La Liga side was confirmed when the 39,600 tickets on sale for the match in the Dinamo stadium in Minsk were sold out with five days to spare. Meanwhile, Rudik was glad to report that he had managed to get a few.
“It is what I really needed,” said the 24-year-old player. “I wanted to play against Barcelona and luck was on my side in the draw.
Now my old team-mates from Novopolotsk [former club FC Naftan Novopolotsk] all owe me; I still haven’t got any money from them, but that’s OK because I have their tickets and they won’t get into the ground without me.”
The Belarusian international came up with more humour when asked how his team planned to confront a side which is hailed by many as one of the best in history. Rudik was happy to share his team’s tactics. “We’ll kick the ball out of play and hope for the best,” he joked. ”Let’s see if we can get the ball into their half first.” Dropping the reverential Barca hat he had donned, he added, “I promise it will be an interesting match. I won’t say we will definitely win, but maybe Barça will underestimate us. We’ll see what we’re capable of against such great opponents. It’s a huge experience for us and we’ll give it all we have got.”
While Barca come straight from a 5-0 demolition of Atletico Madrid, the reigning Belarus champions managed only a 1-1 draw at home against FC Belshina Bobruisk. But Rudik said that the result wouldn’t hinder his side’s spirits and that they would give it their all. “We cannot be too down,” said Rudik. “We just started to conserve energy for the Barcelona game a bit early.”
Cules may know little of Rudik and his teammates but one thing that they can expect of them is that they all will be eagerly awaiting for the final whistle to exchange shirts with the Barca players and especially with a certain Lionel Messi. “I haven’t decided who I want to swap with, but at least half of our lads want his shirt,” said Rudik.
Showcasing his awe earnestly, Rudik said, “It will be something new for me. I have never met big footballing stars. Naftan [his former club] played [KAA] Gent in summer 2009 but maybe our shirts were so horrible that the Belgian players refused to swap with us.” We are certain that the Barca players won’t be so rude.
Source: www.uefa.com; Image credit: Getty Images