Playmaker and star of this Real Betis side, perhaps none of the other Verdiblanco players embody this team more than Sergio Canales. His rhythmic passing and constant demanding of the ball help to keep this side ticking.
Speaking to Diario AS ahead of the Copa del Rey final, Canales was happy to open up on his season and that of the team as a whole. Asked in what kind of state he comes into the match, Canales seemed optimistic.
Canales picked up an injury in February and many wondered if it might derail Real Betis’ season. A five game winless run ultimately put Betis out of the Champions League and looked as if it might take them out of the European race too. According to Canales though, there were never any doubts amongst the squad.
“No. We were aware that complicated moments would arrive. It happens to everyone. But we have always competed, we always trusted that we would arrive at the Champions League places and that never changed. We never lost our enthusiasm nor our optimism, even more so with a Copa final ahead.”
A lot of this upturn, having finished 15th in 2020, a lot of this upturn is fruit of Manuel Pellegrini’s work.
“He is very important. He gave us a calmness, assurance, individual confidence to the whole team. In the bad moments hwe transmitted the same. He never changed the idea. It makes us grow on an individual and a collective level.”
Finally, Canales spoke about playing with Nabil Fekir, arguably the face of this Real Betis side along with himself.
“It’s a pleasure to play with him. No doubt he is one of the best I have played with. You know he is going to make the ball that you give him into a good one. It’s pure enjoyment.”
“Off the pitch too. He’s just one more piece of the squad, we have a lot of affection for him. He’s done a lot to be inside the dressing room and that then makes the connection much better.”