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Teerasil excited by AFC Champions League, 'Asia's biggest club competition'


Bangkok: BG Pathum United are set to play host to Group F of the 2021 AFC Champions League and leading their line will be legendary Thai striker Teerasil Dangda.

The-AFC.com spoke exclusively with the Thailand and BG Pathum star ahead of the kick off of Group F of the 2021 AFC Champions League to discuss their opponents, home advantage and the team's goals for the continental competition and beyond.

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Hi Teerasil, it will be BG Pathum United's first season in the AFC Champions League. How excited is everyone at the club to be part of this tournament?

Everyone at the club, including myself, is excited about the tournament. This is Asia's biggest club competition, so everybody is excited and motivated to do well in the club's debut at this stage.

Group F will be played in Thailand. Do you think playing in your home country will be an advantage?

Of course, it's an advantage to play at home, in the weather and ground we're used to, so there is definitely some advantage to it. Still, I believe once you're here in the AFC Champions League, there is no easy game.

Every team is a top team; every team is their country's representative and made their way here by being a top team. There are no easy matches for anyone involved.

How much of a challenge will it be to play against defending champions Ulsan Hyundai?

They've made many changes from last year. Of course, I've watched them, but the key here is to prepare ourselves to the best of our ability. Still, I believe they are a quality side regardless of who's playing and whether or not it's new or old players.

Viettel from Vietnam are also in the group. Is there extra passion about that game because of the regional rivalry?

Due to history, there is a certain amount of pride that comes into play whenever we face each other, no matter if it's at the club or international level. I believe it'll be an intense game.

You have played in the AFC Champions League before with Muangthong. That was a great team with Chanathip, Teerathon and yourself. How do you think your current team compares?

It is hard to say because football is an ever-changing game. It's different opposition, different time and place.

However, at the moment, I believe BG Pathum United are one of the stronger teams and fully prepared to take part in the AFC Champions League.

BG Pathum United won the Thai League, winning 24 and losing just once. How much will that winning mentality help?

Obviously, it gives us confidence and the momentum to push forward onto a high level, and against quality opponents.

You have spent a few seasons in Japan. How do you think that experience will help you in the 2021 AFC Champions League?

I've experienced first-hand the speed of play. I've face AFC Champions League opposition whose quality is on a different level, and therefore we must up our concentration.

Even aspects such as referees and how strict they can be, I've been through it before, and it'll be a helpful experience.

An AFC Champions League regular, Diogo, will play up front with you. Can you tell us the qualities he brings to the team?

As an attacking player, I think he (Diogo Luis Santo) adds goals, creativity, and the ability to beat the opposition one-on-one. All of these elements are greatly valued by the team.

Finally, after returning from Japan, why did you choose to join BG Pathum United, and what are you hopes for the future with this side?

First of all, I came here because I wanted to play week in week out, and the main reason is also to win trophies.

The club strives for perfection and has recruited well with the goal of continental success. That's what convinced me to sign with BG Pathum United.

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