Matias Almeyda (foto: Uradni Twitter profil kluba/zveze)
The Argentine coach, who stunned many at the start of the Europa League, called out two journalists who had previously dismissed him.
Football is unpredictable. Regardless of reputation, past achievements, or team history, any team can triumph over another in a 90-minute match. In a surprising turn at the Europa League's outset, it was AEK Athens, led by Matías Almeyda, that stole the spotlight.
The Greek champions traveled to southern England and clinched a 3-2 victory against Brighton, a team making waves in the Premier League. Yet, despite the win, Almeyda didn't hold back in his critique of the English press.
Brighton, under Roberto de Zerbi's guidance, had previously outplayed teams like Newcastle and Manchester United. However, AEK Athens pulled off an unexpected win at the American Express Stadium. Sergio Araujo, the Greek team's captain, stood out with 21 touches and 11 passes, three of which were threatening. Ezequiel Ponce entered the game in the 68th minute and netted the dramatic winning goal in a one-on-one with the goalkeeper.
Post-match, in front of the TV cameras, Almeyda was candid. "Yesterday, I mentioned we'd play to win, and two English journalists laughed. I don't see them today," the Argentine remarked. He continued, "Last season, we clinched both the League and the Cup titles, emphasizing team play. We aim to earn respect in Europe and were determined to secure a positive result."
"We don't want to be taken lightly. We recognize the caliber of our opponents, and I communicated this to their coach. They play exceptional football, but we held our ground," Almeyda concluded, boasting impressive stats in Greece. In 52 matches with AEK, he's secured 36 wins, eight draws, and only eight losses. He also claimed the latest Greek Super League and Greek Cup titles. Now, he's setting his sights on European success.