He scored the winners against Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund and now Mathieu Valbuena believes Olympique de Marseille can pull off an upset win over Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals...
You are the eve of your first ever Champions League quarter-final. How do you feel?
It's feels special because it's a big game against one of Europe's biggest clubs. It's great to be playing in a match like this and it's not every day you get to play a Champions League quarter-final. We're excited, but not overwhelmed. Bayern are a great team and they show it every year in Europe. Their squad is entirely comprised of internationals and they have a lot of experience. Their attack is awesome Robben, Gomez, the top scorer in the Bundesliga, and Franck Ribéry. But they’re also good at the back. But they also have weaknesses and over two legs anything can happen. It's up to us to pull off an upset.
OM are going through a rough patch while everything Bayern touches turns to gold...
We've been doing it tough for a little while now and can't string results together. Perhaps there's a bit of fatigue there and perhaps we don't have the same sort of spirit when we were on our great run up the table. We're not favourites in this match, given our current results, everyone thinks Bayern will go through. People don't give us much chance, but we believe in our chances, we know what we're capable of. We saw that in the last rounds, against Inter and Borussia Dortmund. In the last two or three years, we gained in experience on the continent, but it's tough.
This match is a reward for what we've achieved, but we're also ambitious and want to make the semi-finals.
After playing Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and Inter, does OM fear Bayern?
You have to be worried, but we have nothing to lose. It's already exceptional that we've made it this far - something that OM hasn't achieved in a long time, This match is a reward for what we've achieved, but we're also ambitious and want to make the semi-finals. The further you go, the bigger teams you meet. We can't afford to have any regrets over these two games. We have to give it everything because they are a quality side, but they have weaknesses.
We see a lot of German football on the television, a lot of Bayern. There are a lot of goals. They score a lot of goals and they can also struggle defensively. They play with a lot of attacking players and sometimes that can leave space at the back. But they are still a very good side at the back, but... They are not dominating the Bundesliga. We can't just sit back to defend. We have to try and get forward.
We have to give it everything and take out chances in front of goal, because we aren't ruthless enough. We can lift to the occasion.
Do you think your Champions League experience from the last couple of year will hold you in good stead?
Obviously because we've played some big games. We've played Champions League every year since I joined the club. That brings you experience and helps you better prepare for these games. Not many OM players have played a Champions League quarter-final, but we have matured.
Like against Liverpool or Borussia Dortmund, can we expect a great goal from you?
(Smiling) I scored a few goals in big matches but our chances of success lie in teamwork and the team's performance. Attackers are there to score goals, but everyone must defend too. My role is to make the difference, the team needs it and my teammates have confidence in me. We have to give it everything and take out chances in front of goal, because we aren't ruthless enough. We can lift to the occasion.