Valencia Coach Juan Antonio Pizzi has revealed his pleasure and pride after his side drew at Santiago Bernabeu with Real Madrid.
Los Che twice led the title challengers, first through Jeremy Mathieu and then Dani Parejo, only for Sergio Ramos and Cristiano Ronaldo to restore parity.
Ronaldo’s goal came in injury time and Pizzi told his post-match Press conference that when a team is subject to as much pressure as Valencia were, eventually it’s going to tell.
He added that the exertion of playing Sevilla on Thursday took its toll, as did the pain of going out of the Europa League at the semi-final stage on away goals.
“Any ball that went to the wings, they threw in crosses. We can endure but a goal came,” AS reports the Argentine as saying.
“I think that although we were physically trying to match the effort of a rival, we were worse in the mental part after what we went through on Thursday.
“We tried to take the opportunities to reverse bad situations. I am very happy and proud that the players answered as they did.”
Pizzi was asked about the performance of Eduardo Vargas but replied that it wasn’t about one player, but a team effort.
“I think the whole team put in a great effort against a team that is one of the four or five best or one of the two best in the world, I can say today,” he continued.
“The team lived up to what the opponent demanded. [Vargas] was one of the players who participated in the match.
“Let’s wait [to see if they have put the Europa League behind them]. I believe everyone can make an evaluation of a very personal pain, which meant not being in the final.
“But there hasn’t been long enough. We had to play an historic institution 72 hours later and we must continue to stand up.
“My feeling about it, I’ve already said. I prefer to show strength in public. These things happen in football.”
Pizzi was asked to clarify why he said Madrid were one of the four or five best in the world, and then corrected himself to revise down to one of the two best in the world.
“The potential they have. You can plan many things but sometimes the other team has more ways to hurt you and it’s almost impossible to counter,” he explained.