Eduardo Berizzo insists he is not a victim, despite his prostate cancer, ahead of leading out Sevilla for their match at Villarreal on Sunday.
Sevilla’s comeback from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 with Liverpool midweek was reportedly inspired by Berizzo telling his players at half-time that he had been diagnosed with cancer, but the Coach preferred to keep his mind preoccupied on football.
“I’d like to thank everyone for the shows of affection I’ve received,” he said at a Press conference.
“I must thank Sevilla, the President, board, my players and the people who work with me for their support, availability, respect and confidence in my work regarding this setback.
“I return all these shows of affection with a huge amount of gratitude to all those who sent me their support and my colleagues in football.
“I have the strength to not only fight this battle but also be ready and committed again soon to my work, which is what I love doing.
“That’s why I especially appreciate the work done by my team and the club. I’ll try to return as soon as I possibly can and help my players on the field.
“I have to pay attention to all this, but I find it difficult because I’ve never thought about myself before.
“I don’t want to be the centre of attention for any reason and less so for this. I’ll place myself under the orders of my doctors.
“Tomorrow I’ll be at the match like normal, and next week I’ll focus fully on addressing this issue. I don’t like talking about myself or making myself a victim in a situation like this.
“I’m just one more person with a special job, but there are issues that I prefer to address in privacy, so let’s talk about football for now.
“My future? I must decide it calmly and I’ll figure it out next week. We have important games coming up.
“The draw from the other day reenergised us, and that was the first objective for us to fulfil.
“We’ll be facing a team that will demand a lot of us on Sunday, and we’ll have to work hard in order to get the result.”
Steven N’Zonzi did not travel with the Sevilla squad to La Ceramica, and Berizzo made it clear he was not happy with the midfielder’s recent performances.
“I have a different team in mind, with players doing the things that I have in mind,” he added.
“I always have what’s best for my team in mind, and I think about doing the same for them.”
Villarreal (probable): Barbosa; Mario, Alvaro, Victor Ruiz, Jaume; Soriano, Rodri, Trigueros, Fornals; Bacca, Bakambu
Injuries/suspensions: Bonera, Andres, Ruben Semedo, Castillejo, Cheryshev, Bruno, Leo Suarez (I)
Sevilla (probable): Sergio Rico; Mercado, Geis, Lenglet, Carole; Pizarro, Banega; Sarabia, Vazquez, Nolito; Muriel
Injuries/suspensions: Kjaer, Escudero, N’Zonzi (I)
Referee: Alberola Rojas
Form guide: Sevilla – 5th (W L W L L) Villarreal – 6th (D W D W W)
Previous meeting: Sevilla 0-0 Villarreal
Venue: La Ceramica
Kick-off time: 17:30 GMT/18:30 CET