Peruvian defender Gustavo Dulanto admitted that Sheriff Tiráspol is the “ugly duckling” of the UEFA Champions League, but he remembered his rivals from Group D -Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Shakhtar Donetsk-, that the Moldovan team is “very hungry for glory.”
“The Sheriff is the ugly duckling of the Champions League. We have the smallest budget. But we are very hungry for glory.”, commented to EFE Dulanto in a telephone conversation from Tiráspol, capital of the separatist region of Transnistria.
Dulanto, 26 years old and 1.96 centimeters tall, is the defense leader of the Moldovan team that made history by qualifying for the Champions group stage for the first time after eliminating historical teams such as Dinamo Zagreb or Estrella Red
The Moldovans, who have a multinational squad with six Latin American players, will debut on Wednesday at their stadium against Shakhtar.
“We have had a difficult group. Real Madrid and Inter are the two teams that I have followed all my life. It is a privilege to play against the greatest champion of Europe, “he said.
Recognize that for all Sheriff’s footballers “It is a dream to play the Champions League” and they do not want to miss the opportunity to surprise.
“God has listened to me. I have had the two teams that I always dreamed of. As the years go by, we will remember it with great satisfaction. And if we play a great game, even more so. We do not yet realize the magnitude of what we have done. We are living it yet, “he noted.
Dulanto, who was a member of the Portuguese Boavista (2019-21), acknowledges that he lived through the draw with his fellow Latinos together in a restaurant.
“We live it with great joy. Euphoria, even,” he said.
Dulanto’s father played for Spanish Mérida in 1995, so he hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps and take the field at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“In Peru we all know what Real Madrid is. I hope to play at the Bernabeu. Of the team that won three European cups in a row there is still Benzemá. Nobody has done it. Of those who followed as a child, there is no one,” he says. .
Real Madrid is “obliged to win the Champions League every season”.
“This is the beauty of football. One day you see them and another you face them. I hope to be up to the task. Benzemá is a high-level striker. We all know who it is. I hope that having seen them so much helps me to handle it, “he said.
And he jokes that the white team would have needed to “reinforce” with Kylian Mbappé for the next game between both teams.
With everything, warns his rivals that Sheriff did not lose any games in the preliminary phase and “conceded only two goals”.
“We are aware that rivals are superior, but one should never stop dreaming. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a conformist. We are a united group that wants to do great things. Now anything can happen. We will fight to continue making history as a footballer and as a club“, he pointed.
Admitted that when he signed for the Sheriff in January he had to “find out online”, since “he did not know where he was” Trasnistria, territory faced by Moldova since the fall of the Soviet Union.
“It is a very well organized club with impressive facilities. I was impressed by the level of my teammates. They invested money and the results are in sight. We have entered the history of the country“, he pointed.
The Peruvian emphasizes that Sheriff will not be an expert in candy for his rivals and that in the eight preliminary games “he was at the height of all the games.”
“To be honest, I came with the idea of playing the Champions League. I dreamed of a great tournament. You have to dream big. From the first game in Albania it was difficult, but we played with personality “, he acknowledges.
The Peruvian was very “grateful” for the opportunity that the Sheriff has given him, since, he says, “the Champions League is a great showcase to make the leap”.
“Then I would love to go to another league to continue writing my own story. The Spanish and Italian leagues is where I’ve always wanted to play“, he claimed.
Meanwhile, he acknowledges that the Sheriff’s fans “are excited” awaiting the debut of Dulanto and his teammates in the highest continental competition.