Valencia manager Jose Bordalas took time out of the raucous celebrations at Mestalla to cite the reasons behind their progression to the Copa del Rey final.
After a two-legged affair of jammed full off physicality, intensity and aggression, Valencia came out on top of Athletic Club. Following a 1-1 draw in Bilbao, a brilliant long-range strike from Goncalo Guedes proved the difference between the two. Mundo Deportivo recorded his thoughts on the victory.
“I’m very happy for the footballers, because they have suffered a lot. This is a reward for the hard-work and perseverance. Valencia was a team facing a lot of difficulties and now we’re in the final of the cup.”
Visibly delighted with the result and revelling in the glory, Bordalas reflected on the moment.
“It’s a feeling of satisfaction. What we’re experiencing now is incredible. We have got to a final, now it’s time to enjoy it and prepare for it well. There are 10,000 people in street celebrating, it’s incredible.”
With a managerial career that started 29 years ago, much of which was spent in the lower divisions within Valencian Community, Bordalas was understandably emotional. A rapturous crowd would welcome him from the street, as he greeted them from the Mestalla balcony shortly afterwards.
“Marcelino congratulated me at the end of the match and I wished him luck. I think of my family, who have always supported me in the most difficult moments. I’d like to send them an enormous kiss. Right now I’m going to go change, because the boys soaked me through.”
Valencia will face one of Rayo Vallecano or Real Betis in the final of the Copa del Rey, taking place at Estadio La Cartuja in Seville. The second semi-final takes place on Thursday evening, with Real Betis holding a 2-1 lead from the first leg.
Read Marcelino’s comments and the Match Report.