“It was our team’s long-held dream to play in Europe’s most prestigious club tournament”.
Report informs, Qarabag manager Gurban Gurbanov told France-Presse.
The 45-year old coach said that group rivals of the club are very strong and experienced teams but it doesn’t mean that the team will surrender before the battle starts: “We felt the high level of the competition right after the draw teamed us up in a group with top clubs from England, Spain and Italy. Our group rivals are very strong and experienced teams but it doesn’t mean that we will surrender before the battle starts. We’re ready to fight tooth and nail in every group match”, Gurbanov promised.
G.Gurbanov said that the game with Chelsea on September 12 will be very tough and important: “We start the campaign in London. The match at Stamford Bridge appears to be very tough and important. But we hope to perform there with dignity”, said Gurbanov.
The article also features views of Qarabag fan Narmin Valiyeva. She says that success of the club representing Azerbaijan’s Aghdam city joined everyone: “The success of Qarabag had united all of us – young and old, men and women, the supporters of all Azerbaijan clubs. They’re our nation favourites. It’s especially important that Qarabag represents the occupied area and now the entire world will know about our problem”, Narmina Valiyeva, 29, told AFP.
The article states occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh by Armenian separatists in early 1990: “Qarabag will play their home Group C ties in Baku, 365 kilometres away from their native city of Aghdam”.
“Set up in 1951, the team from Aghdam represented the local farmers union. The club played in the lower divisions of the Soviet league till 1991”.
“The club experienced serious problems in keeping afloat before striking a sponsorship deal with Azersun in 2001. A stable financial backing assisted them to four consecutive national titles”.
“South African striker Dino Ndlovu, Spanish duo Michel and Dani Quintana and Brazilian midfielder Richard Almeida have all helped Qarabag secure a seat at European football’s top table. Qarabag, known as the ‘Caucasian Barcelona’, battled into the group stage with wins over Georgian side Samtredia, Moldovan champions Sheriff Tiraspol and Danish title-holders Copenhagen and qualified for Champions League group stage as a first Azerbaijani club”.