The French surprise champion, the record Europa League winner from Spain and the best team from Austria – it will not be easy by any means. “No luck in the Champions League,” Wolfsburg sports director Marcel Schoffer said shortly after the draw. Then coach Mark Vaughn joins the toy. “They are very strong opponents, we should not underestimate them. This is not a definite victory,” says the Dutchman, adding that the team is relatively “not so difficult”. “I basically expect the Champions League.” In Seville he knows his comrades Luke de Jong and Nemanja Goodelz, “It’s a pleasure to see the boys again.”
Meanwhile, fans are counting on their improvement opportunities. “VfL has a potential team,” says Michael Patcher, a member of Schlemmerbrüder, the oldest VfL fan club since 1994. Season ticket holder Hike Washul agrees: “We did well. I see good opportunities for those on this team to definitely progress.”
Some VFL fans commented on the draw on social media – and most of them believe in progress. “I would say my VfL has the easiest team in Wolfsburg,” one user wrote on Twitter. “It could have been worse. Something could have gone wrong with the wolves,” another wrote on Facebook. Again other users are warned against arrogance. A fan posted on VfL’s Facebook page, “This is an uncomfortable team at first glance. It’s going to be a lot harder than many people think.” Another supporter did not want to do any of these: “Possible, impossible, difficult, good – it all depends on the team’s attitude and the format of the day.”
Wolfsburg will give everything to go to the 16th round, but in any case they want to finish third, which gives them the right to participate in the Europa League. To a Twitter user, it looks like the VfL team is already taking part in a somewhat smaller international tournament: “If you take off your fan glasses, you have to admit that it’s a strong Europa League team, but the weakest Champions League ever – team.”
From a sports standpoint, VFL fan Patcher is pleased that he will not be against the big clubs in Europe because “it is not possible to reach the knockout stage”. Nevertheless, “fans would have been very excited about rivals like Liverpool, Real Madrid or Manchester City”. A user on Twitter added: “Finally the Champions League is a bad team again …” Lars “Lenny Nero” Wolmering, VFL fan, blogger and book editor, looks the same, but not very critical: “I’m satisfied with the rules of the game. It seems possible, but it is not a definite victory by any means and I would have liked well-known rivals for the environment and the team.
Others, in particular, are happy to have two rivals in the VfL squad, Seville and Salzburg, new territory for Wolfsburg (against Lyon in the Europa League in 2014). Philip Henkel, president of VfL Fan Umbrella Club supporters, says: Overall, a good draw. Fortunately, we have two clubs that have never played before. In addition, Salzburg and Lily are ideal destinations for travel.
Information on advance ticket sales will be available on Saturday, when the schedule will be released. It is yet to be determined to what extent UEFA will allow fans to attend the Champions League.
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