Kolarov: ‘Roma here on merit’

Aleksandar Kolarov points out Roma “are not here by chance” ahead of the Champions League semi-final with Liverpool.

The Giallorossi overturned a 4-1 defeat to Barcelona in the quarter-finals to set up this tie, but are seen by many pundits as the weakest team left in the competition.

“We’re not here by chance, we’ve proved we’re at the semi-final level,” Kolarov insisted, sitting alongside Coach Eusebio Di Francesco in the pre-match Press conference.

“We’re ready to play a great game – two great games – because nothing will be decided tomorrow.

“Can we win it? If we’ve got to this point, we have to try. Now comes the beautiful part, but also the hard part.

“We’ll see tomorrow, we’re definitely here on merit and we have the obligation to try.”

The Lupi managed to limit Lionel Messi over two legs with Barcelona, do they have a similar plan for Mohamed Salah?

“We played a great game, playing all together. We weren’t just focused on Messi and it’ll be the same tomorrow too, we have to play as a team.

“We can do great things that way.

“We’re not thinking about stopping Salah or any other player, what’s certain is we need to play as a team to do great things.

“They have other players too and they play at a very high tempo, we’ll need to be attentive.”

Kolarov has experience of Anfield, having played for Manchester City.

“The semi-final brings a special atmosphere, but it’s true that this is a particular stadium.

“I think these are the kind of games you dream of playing as a child. The home crowd will be fired-up, just as ours will be next week.

“We’re all focused for tomorrow.”

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