Marcelino revels in 'happiest day' after Copa del Rey success

By Sports Desk May 25, 2019

Valencia coach Marcelino revelled in the "happiest day" of his career after beating Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final on Saturday.

First-half goals from Kevin Gameiro and Rodrigo helped Valencia to an upset 2-1 victory in Seville, securing the club's eighth Copa crown.

Lionel Messi scored in the second half for Barca, but Valencia held on to give Marcelino his first trophy since taking charge in May 2017.

The former Sevilla and Villarreal boss, who led Recreativo to the Segunda Division title in 2005-06 for his only other trophy, was delighted.

"It's the happiest day of my career. It's the win. There is always a first final and a first win," Marcelino told a news conference.

"I thank the players, the coaching staff, my family... Everyone has helped me become the happiest person in the world on a professional level.

"Last year was magnificent. We started this year badly – or not well, let's say – because we were competing even when the results weren't there. That suffering has given us this.

"The players gave me the opportunity to win this. The love and gratitude that we have is mutual."

Marcelino was under pressure earlier in the season after Valencia claimed just one win from their opening 11 LaLiga games, but they recovered to finish fourth.

The 53-year-old was thankful to the club and his players after turning their season around.

"In moments of difficulty, the players showed their support for me. I was grateful for that and I'll never forget it," Marcelino said.

"It wasn't easy for the club to place so much confidence in me, and it wasn't easy to turn the situation around the way that we did.

"It's been shown that I wasn't so bad before, nor am I so good now."

Related items

  • T&T need better opponents than Caribbean teams claims U-15 coach Fevrier T&T need better opponents than Caribbean teams claims U-15 coach Fevrier

    Trinidad and Tobago national under 15 team coach Stuart Charles Fevrier has called on the TTFA to secure more matches with Central American opponents in order to close the gap between the twin-island republic and CONCACAF’s top teams.

    The recently concluded TTFA Youth Invitational football tournament proved to be a chastening experience for the national team.  The young Trinidadians lost matches to Panama, Venezuela, and Mexico. 

    The match-up with the Panamanians was closely contested with T&T losing 5-4 by the odd goal, the team, however, went on to lose 4-0 and 4-1 to Venezuela and Mexico respectively.

    With the tournament serving as a warm-up for the CONCACAF Under-15 Championship in August, the gulf in quality has proven to be a concern.

    “We need to play more Central American and North American teams instead of Caribbean teams.  It’s not that we can’t play Caribbean teams, we are from the Caribbean region but I believe now we have to focus a lot more on the Central American and North American teams.  If we are to qualify for any major competition these are the teams we have to beat,” Fevrier said.

    “Playing against Caribbean teams is a lower level obviously because when you watched the level of football tonight (against Mexico) for me it was very high,” he added.

    “In the last 10 minutes they were still going, it was nothing for them.  They already have a professional mentality and our boys are still playing college football.”

  • Griezmann's 'bad intentions' excite Barcelona boss Valverde Griezmann's 'bad intentions' excite Barcelona boss Valverde

    Antoine Griezmann faces a learning curve at Barcelona but Ernesto Valverde was pleased with the glimpses of debut class he saw on Tuesday.

    The LaLiga champions went down to an entertaining 2-1 friendly defeat to Chelsea in Saitama, with Griezmann completing the opening 45 minutes.

    He was flanked by France team-mate Ousmane Dembele and youngster Alex Collado in attack.

    Netherlands midfielder Frenkie de Jong was introduced for his own bow amid a slew of half-time changes.

    "Griezmann has to get used to Barcelona's play," Valverde told a post-match news conference after goals from Tammy Abraham and Ross Barkley rendered Ivan Rakitic's stoppage-time strike a consolation.

    "It's easy to see how dangerous he is with the ball. He has bad intentions always for the rival.

    "We need a lot from him but it's the first match. He has to see how we pressure and dominate rivals, but it's the first match."

    LaLiga's 2019-20 schedule gets under way a week after the Premier League and Valverde felt his players being behind Chelsea in their preparations was a key factor in the loss.

    "We started in the right way both halves with a different 11 starters. We were better the first 15 minutes," Valverde said.

    "It was the first match for us, the fourth for Chelsea and we paid for that. The good thing is to see how the new and young players can play.

    "It was a good test in order to compete because it's different from training."

    Speculation continues to link Neymar with a sensational return to Barcelona to form an all-star forward line with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Griezmann.

    Valverde, who overcame the destabilising impact of the Brazil forward leaving Camp Nou to join Paris Saint-Germain at the start of his reign in 2017, refused to be drawn on the matter.

    "Neymar is another club's player, so I don't want to say many things for a player who belongs to another team," he added.

  • Kante recovery progressing well, says Lampard Kante recovery progressing well, says Lampard

    Chelsea boss Frank Lampard says N'Golo Kante's recovery from injury is progressing well and hopes the midfielder will be back with the squad soon.

    The France international left the club's tour of Japan to undergo rehabilitation on an issue stemming from the knee injury he suffered late last season.

    Kante missed multiple matches for club and country throughout May and June – though he started the Europa League final – and missed the Blues' 2-1 friendly win over Barcelona on Tuesday.

    Chelsea open their Premier League campaign against Manchester United on August 11 and Lampard is hopeful the World Cup winner will be available for the fixture.

    "He is okay," Lampard told a media conference. "It was a decision that I made because I felt that him being here, with the facilities and the travel that we have been doing, it probably wasn't the most beneficial for him.

    "He went back, has had a few days at Cobham, [he's] working well and progressing, so hopefully by the time that we get back at the end of the week I will sit down with the doctor to hopefully know that he will be back with us very soon."

    Tammy Abraham and Ross Barkley were on target against Barca in Saitama, but Lampard was quick to rein in expectations after beating the LaLiga champions.

    "I won't get carried away with anything about this performance," he added. "Tammy's a goalscorer and he's hungry for goals. Now it's his time to prove it for Chelsea. To get his goal will put him in good stead."

    Lampard says he has been impressed with his side's worth ethic during their pre-season campaign so far and expects them to maintain that intensity in their final warm-up games against Reading, Salzburg and Borussia Monchengladbach.

    "In terms of the workload, the players have to get used to it now," he said. "I've set the standard of how I want them to work.

    "We've had two difficult games in humidity. The tour has served its purpose. We need to be fit and ready for Manchester United and the clock runs down pretty quickly at this stage. Now, we just have to keep working."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.