Real Mallorca’s Abdon Prats on penalty win in Copa del Rey – ‘The club has been reborn’

“As a Mallorcan, it’s a dream,” said Abdon Prats, celebrating a first Copa del Rey final in 21 years for Real Mallorca. A local boy, Abdon was just 10 years of age when they won the competition in 2003.

Els Bermellones beat Real Sociedad 5-4 on penalties after the two legs finished 1-1 on aggregate in Donostia-San Sebastian. The striker famous for his moustache was asked what he had to say to the fans after an historic moment.

“That we deserve it. We are a club to proud of, one that has been reborn after eight years. The truth is that we are very happy, that in the end your support and our conviction, humility, respect and work day by day that I see in the club, that I see in the dressing room, and on the training pitches, have led us to this, and this group deserves it. We will enjoy Seville and see if we can bring the cup home.”

Real Mallorca have risen from the third tier to La Liga, including a relegation and promotion back to the top division all in the space of just seven years. Captain Toni Raillo and Abdon are the only two remaining players from their season in Segunda B.

“Yeah, that’s it. Toni, Raillo and I… We were in Segunda B there, starting, well… in the mud, so to speak. At 24 years old again, in the mud, but it is worth it to experience glories like these. It is wonderful,” he told Cadena SER.

It was noted by many that ahead of the penalty shoot-out, the Mallorca side were laughing and joking, seemingly oblivious to the pressure on them. Abdon explained that they were confident of winning once they got to penalties.

“We were very convinced, Manu. The truth is that we were calm, we have three great goalkeepers in the squad and we were very convinced of getting through. It is also the reward for the work we have been doing for many years. That gives you confidence, it gives you conviction and that’s how it has been. We were calm despite our nerves.”

Mallorca will face one of Athletic Club or Atletico Madrid at La Cartuja in Sevilla on the 6th of April, with the Basques leading 1-0 on aggregage. The return leg takes place at 21:30 CEST on Thursday at San Mames.

It will be the final stop on a heroic run for Javier Aguirre’s side. In the Round of 16, they beat Tenerife away from home with a 120th-minute winner from Cyle Larin, before inflicting what at the time was just Girona’s second defeat of the season, 3-2 over the form side in Spain. On Tuesday night in Gipuzkoa, substitute goalkeeper Dominik Greif was the hero, saving Brais Mendez’s penalty during the match, and then Mikel Oyarzabal’s effort in the shoot-out.

Tags Abdon Prats Copa del Rey Real Mallorca Real Sociedad Toni Raillo
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