Tuesday 24 April 2018

Villarreal boss uses brilliant stat to highlight just how much money Liverpool wasted on Benteke

Carl Markham

Villarreal manager Marcelino tried to ramp up the pressure on Liverpool by claiming striker Christian Benteke cost as much as the Spanish club's turnover last season.

The Reds' second-most expensive ever signing is only likely to be on the bench for Thursday's Europa League semi-final second leg but that did not stop the Yellow Submarine boss using him to attack his opponents.

"Liverpool as a club have an extraordinary squad of footballers when you consider Benteke cost 50million euros (about £39.5million - he actually cost £32.5m), which equates to the whole turnover of Villarreal as a club," he said.

"We come here full of hope, we are going to give everything we have got and we will enjoy ourselves.

"Our main aim is to be competitive. We feel we have the capabilities we can make it through to the final

"This group of players needs to be proud of what they have achieved as we are already qualified for the Champions League.

"This is an occasion to be celebrated. In no way whatsoever will we be affected negatively by the atmosphere, if anything we will be affected positively and galvanised by it.

"We will suffer at moments in the game, we will find it tough but we can cause them trouble.

"The game will be decided by the team who are more assured at key moments in the game."

Villarreal hold a 1-0 lead after a last-minute winner a week ago but face a difficult task at Anfield.

Marcelino is all-too aware of how effective the hosts can be in front of a fervent crowd.

"I think we will see a different Liverpool tomorrow," he added.

"They will try to press us further up the field. I think they may be a bit more direct than they were (in Spain).

"I think we might possibly see a new system and a change in personnel. All those factors will not affect us in any way.

"We think we know how Liverpool can be dangerous to us and we also know where we can cause problems in their weaker areas."

Villarreal have lost all three of the European semi-finals they have participated in but midfielder Bruno insists they do not feel they are now destined to reach a final.

"You can't really say Europa owes us a final as lots of teams have that desire but we have the ambition, will and desire to give everything we can to get to the final," he said.

Press Association

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