SAN MARINO minnows La Fiorita are chasing the dream when they take on Linfield tomorrow night.
Coach Nicola Berardi is hoping his side can overturn the 1-0 reverse in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier in Belfast last week to set up a clash with Celtic.
Former international striker David Healy’s Northern Ireland title winners are favourites to face the Hoops at the next stage.
But Berardi is convinced his team can wreck the Windsor Park outfit’s hopes of a £1million windfall against Brendan Rodgers’ Invincibles.
He said: “We need to play like the first game was 0-0. At home, we are strong and I’m confident my players will approach the game well.
“For us, the game in Belfast was great. We know that Linfield are better than us, but we tried to play at the same level and it was a good match.
“For La Fiorita, it would be a dream to play Celtic and we will give it our best. We are feeling good about the game.”
“I played against San Marino home and away as an international and one thing I’m sure La Fiorita will do – like their national team – is they won’t change their tactics just because they are 1-0 down,” Linfield gaffer Healy said.
“They showed at Windsor Park that they have good players and a little bit of experience about them.
“I know we are expected to go through, but I’ve been involved in football long enough to know that when you play so-called lesser sides it can be tough.
“Like us, La Fiorita won their league title and deserve to be competing in the Champions League.
“It won’t be easy but we are going there in positive mood.”
If Linfield get through, the second leg tie against Scotland’s treble-winners will take place on Friday, July 14 in Belfast.
NEW CQN PODCAST WITH SFA PRESIDENT ALAN RAE OUT NOW!
Episode 2 of ‘A Celtic State of Mind’ finds Paul John Dykes and Kevin Graham discussing a variety of topical subjects concerning Celtic Football Club, including:
* Callum McGregor: The Youth of Today;
* Death of the Cult Hero;
* Norwegian Wood – Ronnie Deila’s Exit Interview;
* Farewell to The Stone Roses;
* Hillsborough: The Truth.
Paul John Dykes also chats to SFA President, Alan McRae, to challenge him over recent comments made about Celtic’s domination of Scottish football.
Connect with A Celtic State of Mind @PaulDykes and @CQNMagazine or just listen using the link below…