Pessoa: “We can beat Rostov, but we have to be a team”Article
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INTERVIEW: Mayssa Pessoa is eyeing her first Women's EHF FINAL4 in the last games she plays for CSM Bucuresti

Pessoa: "We can beat Rostov, but we have to be a team"

There is no shortage of praise from CSM Bucuresti’s fans for Mayssa Pessoa. The exuberant goalkeeper has become an instant hit in Romania, with her no-nonsense attitude and outgoing personality becoming the cornerstone of CSM’s success in the Women’s EHF Champions League.

It was confirmed that Pessoa is going to leave CSM at the end of the season, but the Brazilian keeper is still ready for a challenge with her current club. The unbeaten team Rostov-Don is the next opponent for Bucuresti, but Pessoa wants to bow off with a bang. Mayssa, how difficult has this season been for CSM?
Mayssa Pessoa: Well, truthfully, it was a big challenge for us. We changed our coach in September, so we needed a lot of time to adapt to Kim Rasmussen’s gameplay.

We had some rough patches, but we managed to get through. I think we are ready right now for any opponent. The injuries did not help, but we are getting there now, we must be better and better. What would a FINAL4 berth mean to CSM and to you personally?
Mayssa Pessoa: I have never been to the business end of the competition, therefore it would mean a lot to me and my career. Also for CSM, a team who made their debut during this season. Being able to beat Rostov would certainly give us the boost of morale we definitely need. You played in Russia, I think you know Rostov the best from CSM, aside from Ekaterina Vetkova…
Mayssa Pessoa: Yes, I had the Russian experience, but Rostov has changed a lot under their new coach Jan Leslie. He seems to get the best of the players and they really stood out this season, apart from remaining unbeaten. I think Rostov is definitely one of the favourites to win the title. What are Rostov’s main threats?
Mayssa Pessoa: I can start with Ekaterina Ilina, she is a great playmaker with an amazing vision and a very good intuition. Iuliia Managarova is also a very fast winger, who can be deadly on the counter attacks.

While she just got back from a break, Katrine Lunde is as sharp as she has ever been, a great goalkeeper. But every team can be beaten. You sound very confident. How do you think CSM can cope with Rostov?
Mayssa Pessoa: It will not be easy, we are the underdogs, after all, we were on the 4th place in our group. But we have to believe in ourselves and in everything we do. We can win, but we must be a real team.

TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / es