Valencia fell to Real Betis in the Copa del Rey final in the cruelest of ways – in a penalty shoot-out.
Even more cruel, it was teenager Yunus Musah who missed the penalty which would ultimately condemn Valencia to defeat. In spite of some heated comments before the match, there was a general air of respect between the two teams after a well-contested final.
For his part, Valencia manager Jose Bordalas was proud of his team and told the press it was the minute details that made the difference after the match.
“I am proud of the boys, of the match we played, of the strategy, everything was good. We missed a little bit of a clinical streak. In a final you aren’t going to have 5 or 6 chances. If we had finished, the result would have been different. The victor is very happy and whomever ends up losing, sad. I am sad for the boys and for the fans. Proud of the boys and the fans. An incredible atmosphere, they were supporting us the whole time. We wanted to give them the Copa.”
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He was also asked about the state of the dressing room after such a difficult defeat, with Diario AS reporting his comments.
“These are difficult moments when you lose a final, but that forms part of football. We are sad but at the same time proud of the players, of the team and the fans. We can’t regret anything.”
It’s been a tricky year at Valencia, between tensions off the pitch and a difficult La Liga campaign. Bordalas perhaps dropped a hint that he would not be there for the next one too, when asked what would be of Valencia next year without a European campaign.
“I can’t speak about the future of Valencia. I am not the right person. What I have to do now is try to recuperate the morale of the lads. So proud of them. We had chances to take the final.”
Finally, Bordalas reflected on the match itself and Los Che’s best chances to win the match.
“We had a great team in front of us. An opponent with a lot of identity. We knew that there were going to be alternatives. We had some very good moments at the start of the second half, the chance for Carlos Soler, in the 90th minute.”
“That’s football. Frankly, the team was good. Proud of Gaby (Paulista), who is going through an ordeal and gives everything for Valencia.”