- Midfileder bullish about Wolfsburg's chances of progressing.
- Cites the big-game experience of several team-mates as crucial.
- Is looking forward to the match with joy but "no fear".
In an exclusive interview with bundesliga.com ahead of the Wolves' UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg tie away to Real Madrid CF, the Frenchman outlines what he expects from the match in the Bernabeu, why he believes Wolfsburg can go through and what that would mean for the club.
bundesliga.com: Josuha Guilavogui, with just a few hours left until kick-off, what is your overriding feeling: excitement or fear?
Guilavogui: Definitely not fear. I'm really looking forward to this great challenge, as are my team-mates. Joy is the overriding feeling. We don't play games like this every week, which is why we want to prepare ourselves for such a special match professionally and diligently. Then we want to go out and play with intensity and enjoy it in the Bernanbeu.
bundesliga.com: What do you think will be the crucial factor in order for Wolfsburg to progress?
Guilavogui: I think we can expect Madrid to try to put our defence under a lot of pressure right from the start in order to take the lead as quickly as possible. They're certainly able to do that and they've proved that often enough. But if we can be as compact as we were in the first leg then we'll succeed. We can't allow them to have any space because they have very fast players up front. However, we have experienced players who will be able to deal with that pressure and the home fans urging their team on.
bundesliga.com: Which players, for example?
Guilavogui: Dante won the Champions League with FC Bayern München in 2013, Luiz Gustavo was at the 2014 World Cup and reached the Champions League final with Bayern in 2012 and then won it a year later. Andre Schürrle is a reigning world champion with Germany, so has already played in a few equally important games. In that sense we have enough potential and experience to get a good result in Madrid.
bundesliga.com: What would it mean to Wolfsburg to reach the semi-finals?
Guilavogui: It would be unique and we'd make history. Not only would we be among the best four teams, we'd have knocked out a top side like Real Madrid. That would be sensational because it would make headlines across Europe. It's a fantastic opportunity for Wolfsburg to make an even bigger name for itself.
bundesliga.com: Are you optimistic that Wolfsburg can overcome Real Madrid in 90 minutes, 120 minutes or even in a penalty shootout?
Guilavogui: I believe in us. Although we're disappointed with our results in the Bundesliga we know we've got the potential to produce top-drawer performances. We've been able to do that time and again in the Champions League, as you could see in the first leg and also in the group phase against Manchester United [which Wolfsburg won 3-2]. And we're always good for a goal away from home.
Josuha Guilavogui was speaking to Alexis Menuge