Thursday August 22 2013
ADV: 'Fiorentina must qualify!'

Fiorentina President Andrea Della Valle warns tonight’s Europa League qualifier with Grasshopper is “fundamental,” while Sepp Blatter admits to being a fan.

The first leg of the play-off kicks off in Zurich this evening at 20.00 UK time.

FIFA President Blatter spoke to Viola Channel TV ahead of the game and confessed to being a fan of the Florence club.

“I have a special rapport with Fiorentina, seeing as I saw them for the first time in the 1957 European Cup Final, when they lost 2-0 to Real Madrid.

“Florence represents culture, humanism and we can talk about Machiavelli, but also the President of UEFA Artemio Franchi.

“I continue to follow this club and I’m grateful to the Della Valle family, as they are maintaining this great side. I am also very happy that they are following the Financial Fair Play rules and took down the barriers in the stadium.”

Fiorentina were not in Europe last season and narrowly missed out on third place in Serie A, so Della Valle wants no surprises tonight.

“It will be a difficult match against a well-prepared side. It is our first real challenge of the season and qualification will be fundamental, because we deserve to be in the Europa League.

“It was gratifying to meet Blatter, as I was surprised at how much he knew about Fiorentina. We have become an example and wish to continue along that path. I invited Blatter to one of our games.”