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Soccer-Champions League quotes Group H

9/12/2003

LONDON, Sept 12 - A round-up of quotes from
presidents, coaches and players from all 32 clubs competing in
the first phase of this season's Champions League:

GROUP H

AC Milan director Umberto Gandini:

"I'd give this group seven out of 10 for us. The toughest
opponent is certainly Ajax, who we know very well having faced
them in last season's quarter-finals. We also have a lot of
respect for Bruges who are champions of Belgium and also for
Celta Vigo.

"These days in the Champions League you can't really talk
about easy or difficult opponents -- they are all testing
challenges. But we have beaten both Ajax and Bruges in seasons
we have gone on to win the European Cup, so, I am hoping history
will repeat itself. Celta Vigo? They are very dangerous for us.
The Spanish league is so competitive so we must treat them with
great care."

- - -

Celta Vigo President Horacio Gomez:

"It is a great day because it is the first time we have been
in a draw as important as this, although we have ended up in an
extremely strong group. Milan and Ajax are two great clubs with
great players. Of course it is going to be tough, but we will
not just be there to lie down for the big teams."
- - -

Ajax Amsterdam captain Rafael van der Vaart:

"We have been given the chance to settle things against
Milan who beat us in the quarter-finals last season.
"The other two teams I don't know so well, but it won't be easy.
It are all good teams, Club Bruges eliminated Borussia Dortmund
and that says something."

- - -

Bruges midfielder Timmy Simons:

"We will come up against three Belgian internationals
playing for Ajax (Jelle Van Damme, Tom Soetaers and Wesley
Sonck) that we know very well and that might work in our favour.

"I think we have a good chance of finishing second and
qualifying, but Milan, Celta and Ajax are very good teams. It
won't be easy."