This was the best result for the team coming from the Czech border in the history of its 11 participation in the Champions League.
The team, led for a year by Argentine coach Marcelo Mendes, won the third Polish championship in history in the spring, after defeating Zaksa in the final in three matches.
Jastrzębie’s team will enter the Champions League as leader of the Ekstraklasa. However, they lost the Polish Super Cup match against Kędzierzyn-Koźle 2:3.
The Spanish champions, making their first appearance in the Champions League, reached the group stage of qualifying in two stages.
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In the first round they won the tournament at home by defeating Arcada Galati of Romania and Mladost Zagreb of Croatia, then in Belgrade they beat Budva Budva of Montenegro, Hippo Tyrol Innsbruck of Austria and host Partizan.
Mendes’ team’s remaining rivals will be Bundesliga bronze medalist SVG Lüneburg and Czech vice-champion Jehostrøj Ceske Budejovic.
“We hope and want to improve the result from the last edition. We will strive to achieve this and will do our best to achieve it. We have a strong team and an interesting group. The main goal is to leave the group in first place. We do not underestimate any competitor and we will be ready to face anyone,” Shimura noted. .
The team plays in the Canary Islands with Canadian Guagua Las Palmas midfielder Graham Vigras, who was a player for the Jastrzepi team in the 2019/2020 “Covid” season.
Jastrzębski Węgiel’s French striker Jean Patry, the current Olympic champion, will play in the Champions League for the first time. Mendes, Jastrzepi’s current coach, has worked in Spain in the past. He captained the national team and Drac Palma Mallorca, with which he reached the final of the CEV Cup.
The Argentine said: “Our goals have not changed. We want to play in the final of the English Premier League and the Champions League.”
The group stage will feature 20 teams divided into five groups. The winners will qualify directly to the quarter-finals. The five second-place teams and the best third-place team will compete in the playoffs. The three winners will advance to the quarter-finals.
The remaining third-placed teams in their groups will advance to the quarter-finals of the CEV Cup.
Wednesday’s match in Jastrzębie-Zdrój starts at 20:30. Live coverage and results on Polsatsport.pl.
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