Carlos Vela has explained Real Sociedad’s mentality in facing Lyon for a place in the Champions League, even as he prioritises La Liga over Europe this season.
After finishing fourth in Spain last season, La Real are preparing this week for the first leg of their play off round at Lyon for a place in the group stages of UEFA’s premier competition.
Their Mexican striker has today been offering his advice for how to approach the match, in light of previous experience in the competition with Arsenal.
“I have told [my teammates] that being in the game you forget everything, how much is at stake, that you are in Europe,” Vela commented to AS today.
“And I just think that it is a football game. If we can put our nerves aside, which will be plenty for those who are in their first Champions League match, then the better for it, to play a great game as always.
“We are looking at what we must do. It is a special game as we play for a place in the group stages, but we face it with the mindset that it is not the most important game of the year.”
Lyon go into Tuesday’s match off the back of two wins from two in Ligue 1, which is table-topping form.
“We knew of their strength before being drawn against them, we knew that any opponent in the round would be complicated, and they are.
“We will have to work hard, but the team is ready to face this new challenge and will give everything. We will fight to the death, giving everything we can.
“Then, we will see if it is enough for us to advance or not.”
Real approach the match off the back of an opening day win in La Liga against Getafe. Vela was asked to consider where the priority for the team may lie this term.
“The win against Getafe was more important because the League is the most important competition that we have.
“It is what provides us with the chance to go into Europe, or to remain in this category. It also allows us to go to Lyon with more moral, because the play off round is reward for what we did last year.
“It is not every day that you have the privilege of playing in Europe.”
Vela netted against Getafe, as did summer signing and new striker partner Haris Seferovic.
“He is a player that I really understand. Obviously I can speak English with him to talk of what movements we can make, what we want from each other. He is a player with very good movement, and that always helps.”