Eusebio Sacristan paid tribute to Juan Carlos Valeron after the midfielder masterminded Las Palmas to a 2-1 win against Real Sociedad on Thursday.
The 40-year-old completed 90 minutes of the islanders’ first-leg victory in the Copa del Rey last 32 and emerged highly influential over the course of the match, leaving his rival Coach to hail him as “a luxury for Spanish football”.
“Las Palmas took their chances and did a good job, but we had the chance to get ahead with the missed penalty,” he said after the game.
“They took control [in the second half], were superior in midfield and attacked us with danger.
“We sought a draw and even a win [in the final 15 minutes], but we took a good step forward.
“My only regret is that we didn’t get more rewards, but I’m pleased with our away goal. We have every chance [of winning] at our stadium.
“[Valeron] is very intelligent and, despite his age, his wisdom and serenity injects a lot into the team’s performance.
“I hope he never retires. He’s a luxury for Spanish football for the lessons he gives on the pitch and his behaviour off it. He made us suffer.”