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"For me, it’s a dream to play in this big competition" - Wanderson on ACL debut

Pohang Steelers begin the 2023-2024 AFC Champions League Group Stage campaign with a tricky trip to Hanoi FC. Wanderson says that, while the Steelers are going there to pick up all three points, are aware of how difficult the game will be.
Should Wanderson be selected in the Vietnamese capital on Wednesday, it'll be the Brazilian utility man's debut in the competition. Something which he says he has dreamed about:

"It’s hard to believe but, yes, it’s my first experience. When I played for Jeju, we were able to put Jeju in the Asian Champions League but I had to return to Brazil. But we reached the Asian Champions League with Pohang and now we are in this great tournament. I always say to my wife that this is a dream to be able to play Asian Champions League. 

"Surprisingly, for some people, it isn’t a big deal, but for me, it’s a dream to play in this big competition against big teams. I hope we can do a good job even though our group isn’t an easy one. We have been working hard for it because, like I said, we want to win something. We are going to fight for it."

Pohang Steelers have been drawn into J along with Wuhan Three Towns, Hanoi FC, and Urawa Red Diamonds. A group that Wanderson describes as "difficult":

"It’s a difficult group, after the draw we had a chat between teammates in the dressing room. If I’m not mistaken I think Hanoi are the Vietnamese champions, Wuhan are the Chinese champions, you can correct me if I’m wrong. And Urawa were also crowned (ACL) champions, therefore, we got three strong teams but we know about our quality, we know what we are capable of and we are going to fight for it and we are going to chase that qualification."

FNR

First up for Pohang is the four-and-a-half-hour flight to Hanoi to take on the V-League champions. Wanderson acknowledges that it will be a tough match and a tough way to begin the group stage, but assures that the Steelers are going there to win:

"It’s going to be a different experience because I believe there are players in our team who will make their debuts in the competition. That first anxiety, that first feeling will hit us hard but we know about our quality so we need to go there and do our jobs; it’s a match like the others but in a different atmosphere and different country but we will go there to win. With all due respect to Hanoi, who we know are a great team, we are going there to win and work hard for it."
To hear more from Wanderson, including what he and the players thing about their contract situation that could mean they are unable to play in the knockouts should the Steelers make it, tune into the KLU Pod.

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