Ceferin said last month in an interview with La Presse that it would be a disaster if Italy, as the titleholder, were to miss the European Championship in Germany next year. 'Italy is too important, but I think they will defeat Ukraine,' said the Slovenian head of the European Football Association.
In Ukraine, there has been disbelief about Ceferin's statements. Rebrov does not want to make too much of it. 'We should not focus on such statements, but my players will only be angrier and more motivated to qualify.'
While Ukraine already has enough motivation to qualify for the European Championship for the fourth time in a row due to the war with Russia. Italy, on the other hand, is under pressure, not wanting to miss another major tournament after the World Cups of 2018 and 2022.
Rebrov believes his team has a good chance. 'This will be a different match than the one in San Siro (where Italy won 2-1, editor's note). We will have the support of a full stadium. There were many Ukrainians in Bremen, and I am sure it will be the same now.'
Ukraine will have to win in Leverkusen to finish second in Group C. 'In this match, we will have to show our true face,' knows Rebrov. 'We made many mistakes in Italy, but we know what our responsibility is and what we have to do.'