Manuel Pellegrini has the opportunity to win his first major trophy in Spain this Saturday night, when his free-flowing Real Betis side take on Valencia.
Aesthetics and styles were already being discussed before the match, much to the chagrin of Jose Bordalas, with a clash of ideologies on the cards.
Before answering questions on that however, Pellegrini had a message for his players.
“They should control their emotions during the ninety minutes, with a cool head and hot heart.”
His opposite number Bordalas has felt mistreated by the media and didn’t take well to the suggestion that Valencia will be using plenty of gamesmanship in the final. Sport carried Pellegrini’s response.
“Each does what they believe in. I said that the style of Valencia was very physical, but I don’t see any criticism in that. They are two different styles. We arrive here with a concept, a style, a style of play in every competition and we are against a rival with a distinct style but an equally valid one. You can win with all styles.”
Valencia captain Jose Gaya had already referenced the perceived poor image of Valencia in the public eye in his press conference, stating that “if Valencia win, it will be because we are unsportsmanlike,” to Marca.
With Real Betis desperate for their first silverware since they last won the competition in 2005 and Valencia desperate for some positivity after three tricky years, the battle will likely be defined by its high intensity.