Levante welcome EL draw, sign Volta

Levante President Quico Catalan has described his pride at seeing the club in the Europa League group stage draw earlier today.

The Granotes, competing in Europe for the first time in their history, have been drawn with Twente, Hannover and Helsingborgs in Group L.

“This is a historic day for our club and our fans,” Catalan told Uefa.com. “It's quite emotional when you think about it. To be in that room, with people from so many historic clubs and for Levante to be in the draw represents a great success.

“Pride and honour are the words I would use. Whatever group we had been drawn in would have been an attractive one for us as we are new to the competition.”

Juan Ignacio Martinez's side guaranteed their participation with a 3-0 aggregate defeat of Scottish side Motherwell in the play-off round, winning the second leg 1-0 at the Ciutat de Valencia last night.

“We want to compete well and to represent Spanish football as best as we can,” Catalan continued.

“We will be humble knowing of the difficulty every opponent represents. Hannover and Twente are very attractive clubs. I don't know Helsingborg that well but I am sure they have a good record.

“I am also certain that for all of them Levante will represent an unknown quantity because we have never competed in Europe before. We have six games ahead of us and here's hoping we do well.”

The club have also continued to strengthen their squad, taking Italian defender Massimo Volta on loan from Sampdoria. Aged 25, Volta has been with Samp since 2007, and can play as a right back or central defender.

Levante have a tradition of signing Italian players, the likes of Damiano Tommasi, Marco Storari and Christian Rigano having been on their books in the past.

Former Newcastle and Inter striker Obafemi Martins is yet another possible arrival. Talks with his current club Rubin Kazan are ongoing.

Tags Massimo Volta