Marcelino again struggled for superlatives as Villarreal beat Malaga 2-1 in their last home match of the season on Sunday.
A brace from Gerard Moreno was enough to hand the Yellow Submarine their second straight win and ensure they recorded more points in 2014-15 than a year before with a game to spare, despite Sergi Darder’s late consolation.
“This group of players deserve a lot of merit,” the Coach said after the game.
“The fact that we won our last home game of the season also gives the players extra credit.
“We’ve taken more points than we did last season with a game to spare, so it’s been an extraordinary campaign.
“Bad luck deprived us of having achieved more important things.
“The way this season has gone is another example of the competitive level, commitment and ambition of these players.
“Even having already achieved the objective [of sixth place] through much suffering, they still competed with a great attitude [against Malaga].
“These players are winners and have ambition. I must thank them for their tremendous professionalism.
“Gerard [Moreno] has been phenomenal this season. His performances have been above what we expected from a very young player.”