Fenerbahce duo talks up Europa League chances

Talat and Hakan Yilmaz, the Turkish club’s general secretary and CEO respectively, are relieved to have drawn Benfica and believe the Istanbul side can progress to the final
Fenerbahce general secretary Talat Yilmaz and CEO Hakan Yilmaz are confident their side can beat Benfica and reach the Europa League final in May, following their side's progression to the last four on Thursday.

The Turkish outfit beat Lazio 3-2 on aggregate to reach the semifinals of the European competition for the first time, and was pitted against Benfica in Friday's draw. Talat Yilmaz has faith his players will beat the Portuguese giant and make the final showdown next month.

"We hope to maintain our journey to Amsterdam, and I think we will overcome the Benfica obstacle. We think this is a good draw, and we will succeed by being together as a club," he told Fenerbahce TV.

Hakan Yilmaz, meanwhile, was not quite as confident as his namesake, but despite a heavy defeat to the same side in the past, he believes it has no bearing on the match.

"I don't even remember our 7-0 loss against Benfica," he said. "I was a child. I prefer to look to the future rather than the past. Portugal is a beautiful country and Lisbon is a beautiful city. They play passionately like us. It will be fun I think."

The first leg of the semifinal will take place at Sukru Saracoglu Stadium on April 25, with the return leg in Portugal on May 2.

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