Ecuador coach Luis Fernando Suarez tells DW-WORLD.DE that the German team is one of his favorites in the World Cup. But that doesn't mean he's not convinced his team will win Tuesday's game.
Ecuadorians are flexing their muscles
Suarez is at his seco n d World Cup champio n ship a n d Ecuador has already rewritte n its n atio n al soccer history by maki n g it to the seco n d stage. Not o n ly have they made it, they've well exceeded expectatio n s: Two games, two victories, five goals scored, zero goals surre n dered a n d impressive performa n ces both times. Ecuador's n ext oppo n e n t is Germa n y, the host cou n try. Suarez is the ma n behi n d the Ecuadoria n miracle.
DW-WORLD.DE: Co n gratulatio n s Mr. Suarez! Ecuador has qualified early for the n ext rou n d of the World Cup.
Suarez: Thank you, yes, we are all very happy with what we've done so far here in Germany.
No o n e was really expecti n g that.
I was…I always knew we would make it. I trust the team. It's a matter of course for me that we're now in the next round. That's why we're here, that's why we came to Germany.
Ecuador 's soccer history has bee n rewritte n .
That's completely unimportant to me right now. Yes, of course Ecuador's soccer history looks different now, but we're living in the present and at the moment I'd like to dedicate our time to the present. Before we think about the past we have to concentrate on the present, and on the future.
How did the team celebrate their adva n ceme n t to the seco n d rou n d?
Celebrate? No, we didn't have anything to celebrate because we didn't win anything. We took one step forward, nothing more.
But you must be happy about it.
Ecuador's players are holding out for the big celebration
That's something different. Certainly we let out our elation in the locker rooms and our emotions ran free, but we didn't have a party. We ate together, the mood was excellent, and by 11 p.m. we were all in bed. The players needed to rest -- we have an important game on Tuesday.
Agai n st Germa n y .
A team that has surprised me very positively. They were one of my favorites before the World Cup, now they're at the very top of my list.
Because they're always looking for victory, because they never give up, because they fight for the whole 90 minutes, because they always attack with everything they've got. Germany has shown that they're determined to win the title.
But Tuesday's game is n 't so importa n t because both teams have already qualified for the n ext rou n d.
Don't be mistaken. Ecuador wants to win, and so does Germany. We both want the three points, not out of necessity but on principle. The game is going to have a great backdrop. In Berlin, the hosts want to offer their fans only the finest. And we want to finally confirm that it's no coincidence that we've made it to the next round.
I n the seco n d rou n d, Ecuador will take o n either E n gla n d or Swede n .
I've seen both teams and have determined that there's not such a big difference between the two. Ecuador can beat both of them.
Why are you so sure?
Luis Fernando Suarez
I don't want to underestimate any opponent, but I'm not going to over-estimate them, either. Ecuador has to continue what they've been doing: concentrating on themselves, keeping a positive attitude, relying on their capabilities, giving everything on the soccer field. We have respect for England and for Sweden -- but we have everything going for us. We can win, we can make it to the next round.
A n d the n you will have reached your perso n al goal, the quarter fi n als.
That's what I said and I still believe it. We define the size of our dreams ourselves, and that is my dream right now.
Are you satisfied with your team?
Yes, things are going well. They have proved their excellent tactics and technical discipline and that is very good. There's always something that can be improved, but we're working on those as well.
Mr. Suarez, tha n k you very much for your time. We'll see each other agai n i n Berli n .
Yes, and maybe not just this Tuesday.
Da n iel Marti n ez i n terviewed Luis Fer n a n do Suarez (kjb)