Competing with "teams like Shakhtar Donetsk, and Russian teams like Zenit, or Rubin, or CSKA" is the aim for coach Juande Ramos with FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk making waves in the UEFA Europa League.
The Ukrainian side breezed through a group which also featured seasoned European campaigners SSC Napoli and PSV Eindhoven. "I think that it's thanks to the surprisingly good spirit within the group, especially since everyone thought initially that PSV and Napoli would be the teams to progress from this group," said Ramos, who twice won the UEFA Cup as Sevilla FC coach.
Winger Yevhen Konoplyanka added: "It's interesting to measure your strength against such good teams, and I think we got lucky, because now we certainly know how good we are."
Forward Yevhen Seleznyov, who has produced more assists than any other player in this season's group stage – four – certainly rates his side. "It's definitely a good team with talented players, and the most important thing, we have team spirit, which can change the story of a match any time," he explained. "We're pretty confident, too."
Ramos now hopes that confidence can see them stand shoulder to shoulder with regional powerhouses like FC Shakhtar Donetsk, FC Zenit St Petersburg, FC Rubin Kazan and PFC CSKA Moskva. "This depends on the ambition the directors of the club show to strengthen the team," said the Spaniard.
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