Two-goal hero Naldo (l.) was full of praise for his team-mates on a special night for VfL Wolfsburg. - © © gettyimages / Stuart Franklin
Two-goal hero Naldo (l.) was full of praise for his team-mates on a special night for VfL Wolfsburg. - © © gettyimages / Stuart Franklin

Naldo: 'I'm proud of this team'

"Pride" was the overriding emotion in the VfL Wolfsburg camp following their 3-2 victory over Manchester United to seal a place in the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds for the first time in the club's history.

VfL Wolfsburg 3-2 Manchester United

Goals: 0-1 Martial (10’), 1-1 Naldo (14’), 2-1 Vieirinha (29’), 2-2 Guilavogui (o.g. 82’), 3-2 Naldo (84’) rounds up the best of the post-match quotes from the Volkswagen Arena...

Naldo (Wolfsburg defender): “I think we did really well today. The first goal looked like one of [former FC Bayern München striker] Giovane Elber's! He’s a good friend of mine and I’ve watched plenty of his goals and my first was just like the ones he used to score. We did well to play aggressively after going behind early. The second half showed that we can’t let up, though. We had to stay focused for 90 minutes against a team like Man United. I’m proud to have scored twice and I’m proud of the team. It means a lot for the club, the city and for me as well. To be able to play in the Champions League again is an honor for me and being in the knockout rounds is very important for the fans and for the city.”

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Julian Draxler (Wolfsburg attacker): “We’re pleased it went the way it did. It would have been nice to have decided the game earlier than we did. You’ve got to take the game as it comes. We were up against Manchester United and showed true grit and character and deservedly progressed into the next round. Now we’ve got to prove ourselves again in the knockout phase and we’re delighted we’ll have the opportunity to do so.”

Max Kruse (Wolfsburg forward): “Manchester United had to throw everything forward but in the end we proved we have a lot of quality in our squad. We scored three important goals for the players, the fans and the club. We didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for this game, but we knew we had an incredible chance if we could hold our own against United, which we did. We’re delighted to have topped the group and if things go well for us then we could keep this adventure going a little while longer. We’ve just got to keep improving.”

Dieter Hecking (Wolfsburg coach): “We had a bit of luck in certain situations, but we thoroughly deserved to qualify for the next round. We wanted [Max] Kruse to give the two centre-backs something to think about the whole time and we wanted to put their wing-backs under pressure, which Julian [Draxler] and Andre [Schürrle] did well. We had a clear game plan and executed it. Everything worked for us today, but we’ve still got to show a bit more consistency at this level. This is the highest level we can play at as a club and I’ve still got to develop this squad a little bit more. We let a few too many goalscoring chances creep through in the closing stages. But I’ll take nothing away from my players.”