Sp. On Monday, Braga learned that he would start his campaign in the Champions League against Paca Topola, the Serbian club that finished the 2022/23 championship in second place, but 22 points away from champion Estrella Vermelha. The club had the lowest UEFA coefficient at the start of this draw, but that should not be underestimated. At least that’s the point of view of Bursac, the goalkeeper who arrived at Vizela this summer, having been linked specifically with Baca Topola over the past few years. “Sp. Braga may be the favourites, on paper and they have more history in European competitions, which could help them. But Backa Topola should not be underestimated, as they ended up as runners-up in last year’s championship,” he began by referring to the media. “It’s a team that can play with three defenders as well as four, and they have players who can play in both systems,” said Bursak, who assessed Baca Topola’s side, particularly the impact of losing Petar Ratkov, the 19-year-old striker, to Salzburg for €4.5m after scoring 14 goals last season. He said, “The departure of Petar Ratkov was a great loss for the Baka Topola attack, as he is a wonderful young player, but the club still has great attacking power, thanks to Dakovac, who scored 10 goals last season, and has the best player in the last tournament, Sasa Jovanovic, who led the attack,” he said.
“But Baca Topola has signed some players and it will be interesting to see how they fit into the team. Petar Stanić came from Red Star and he’s a talented young man who I think can make a difference,” said Burcak, also looking at the role of coach Zarko Lazetik. He pointed out that he is “a coach who motivates his players and always expects them to give 100% in every match. He implemented his own system of play and topped it last year.”
Now, Backa Topola only reached the top flight of Serbia in 2019, having already managed to qualify for the Europa League in that first season, where it will fall in the qualifying rounds to Steaua Bucharest. Bursak stated “TSC Backa Topola is a Serbian club that is growing every year. Since their return to the Serbian First Division, they have shown the country that they are a serious and well-organised club”.
“Baca Topola is a small city in Serbia, there won’t be as many people in the stadium as there are in Braga, but people who go to matches show their support and create a good atmosphere,” confirmed the Visela goalkeeper.
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