‘Europe was once science fiction’

Pepe Mel has reflected on Real Betis’ achievement of reaching European football, as they prepare to face Lyon this Thursday.

Los Beticos begin their Europa League group stage campaign at home to the Ligue 1 outfit with their Coach both optimistic and cautious.

“We have not been fortunate in that we will come up against a team as historic as Lyon, accustomed to the Champions League,” began Mel to reporters today.

“But we hope to do well to move into the next round. I think that we are good and that we are thinking only about winning.

“I have already said that it is a dream to be here. Three years ago this seemed like science fiction and now it is a reality. Betis tomorrow have to prioritise things so that we are very competition.

“Our goal is to win tomorrow, in Croatia, and on from that…And if we can demonstrate that we deserve to be among the best. We want to have a magnificent season in the League and also in the Europa League.

“In the League, we should already have more points than we do because we have had three big games. This is a team that will go on to the field tomorrow to prove that they want to reach the highest level.

“Clearly, our ambition is to play every year in this competition.”

Lyon were eliminated from the Champions League Play-off round last month by Real Sociedad.

“They can look at Real with envy because they are in the Champions League. Lyon have dropped from that competition, they are group favourites now and it is not worth comparing them with any other moment.

“If they were in the Champions League Play-off then it was because they had done very well in their League.”

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