Douglas Luiz speaks out on Aston Villa gratitude, semi-final belief and his penalty plan

Douglas Luiz spoke to the press before Aston Villa's clash with Olympiacos
Douglas Luiz spoke to the press before Aston Villa's clash with Olympiacos -Credit:Photo by Franco Arland/Getty Images

Douglas Luiz says he wants to prove how grateful he is to Aston Villa for giving him the opportunity to become the player he is today every time he steps onto the pitch.

While he could play a key role in Villa's attempt to reach the Europa Conference League final on Thursday night, Luiz has extra motivation to overturn a two-goal deficit against Olympiacos and go on to lift silverware with the club he joined five years ago.

"Tomorrow is a really special game and I want to do my best to get them to the final," he said. "It’s a semi-final and a chance for a final and that gives us extra motivation to reach the final, it’s a plus for us and we need to keep fighting.

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"I’m grateful to Villa for giving me the chance to play in the Premier League and every time I get on the pitch I want to show how grateful I am. The season has been great for us, we’ve played great football and we’re confident to show our game model and in the squad we believe we can win this game and go through to the final."

The Brazilian missed the chance to reduce Villa's deficit at Villa Park when he hit the post from the spot in the 84th minute. Olympiacos went on to claim a memorable 4-2 victory, but Luiz claims he wasn't shocked by the Greek side's quality.

"They didn’t surprise us, when we analysed with the manager they were are really good side, they won the game and deserved to win," the midfielder admitted. "But it’s just half way in this tie and we have to play another 90 minutes we believe we can go through.

"It’s not just me, the whole squad is fully focused because it’s a huge game from Villa as club and we want to bring the club into a European final. I’m the main taker [penalties], I know it’s my responsibility and the one who takes is the only one who can miss, if I have another one I will take it and I’m mentally strong for that."

Villa will face a cauldron of noise at the Karaiskakis Stadium on Thursday night. Luiz, however, is accustomed to such atmospheres having spent the first part of his career in Brazil.

"Normally when you go to the pitch you’re fully focused on the game and the atmosphere increases your motivation but I come from Brazil where supporters are really passionate," he said. "I spoke with Rodinei [Olympiacos player] and he told me lots of good things about the club and I believe it’s going to be a really good game, a nice environment and we are ready to go."

What the bookies are saying

Match Results - Olympiacos 23/10, Draw 3/1, Aston Villa 1/1
To Qualify - Olympiacos 2/7, Aston Villa 5/2

Bet Boosts

  • Ollie Watkins First Goalscorer @ 9/2

  • Correct Score – Aston Villa 2-0 @ 11/1

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