Ernesto Valverde: “We know what it means for the fans to go to a Cup final”


The Athletic Club coach, Ernesto Valverde, stated that the team was “recognizable” during the Copa del Rey semi-final against Atlético de Madrid and that they managed to eliminate “a great team” that is ahead in the League standings, ” accustomed” to playing in the Champions League, and emphasized what “going to a final” “means” for the red and white fans.

“We will see what happens in the final, but the important thing is that you do everything you can to win. Last season they scored a goal against us and eliminated us (in the semifinal against Osasuna). The difference between that and this game has not been so much, because the team has been recognizable in both. We have eliminated a great team that is ahead in the League and is used to playing in the Champions League. We know what it means for the fans to go to a Cup final,” he explained at a press conference. after qualifying for the final of the Copa del Rey with a serious 3-0 in San Mamés.

Valverde confessed that when you win a game like this it is “a joy.” “Last year we couldn’t get through, but this year we are going to go to another final and we are delighted. The match had a lot of ‘crumb’ because they started well, and until we shook off their dominance we did not stabilize and we began to grow,” he commented.

The Extremaduran coach highlighted that the first goal was “important” for the team because Atlético was “getting very close to the area.” “We have shown that we are forceful by taking advantage of the first one we had and then we have been arriving more times. Furthermore, every time we had options to run we created danger,” he added.

Regarding the key to the team, Ernesto Valverde stated that the most important thing is what they have “inside the locker room”, which pushes them “a lot”. “We are always the same, both when it goes well and when it goes bad, and we always support each other. The atmosphere is the key to success,” he said.

“In San Mames we are a strong team, but let’s not forget that people get hooked when we play a game so that they get hooked. People push us but we are the ones who play and the ones who have to win,” he said about the great atmosphere that was experienced in San Mamés during the match.

The red and white coach encouraged the fans to “go partying” and said that even if he tries to go to the press room “jumping around” it doesn’t work out. “I understand that people are euphoric because there has been a lot of tension and a lot of joy. As we are already used to all this, it is different,” he said.

“I remember the people who accompany us and those who are not there. Those who push us, the family; we do it for all of them. During the week you analyze the possibilities you have and then you stick to it. Yesterday I was more uneasy than today, because in the game you have to make decisions and it is not the best if you are accelerated,” he added.

Furthermore, the ‘Txingurri’ highlighted that Iñaki Williams is a “fundamental” player for the team and that he has “an incredible heart.” “We know what he means in the locker room, what he transmits to the stands and to us, and what’s more, he is always with a smile,” he praised.

“We will try to win, which is the same thing they think in Mallorca. It is a final in which there is nothing said because it is a single match. When the draw arose, Real was ahead of them in the League and they have passed. Anything can happen happen in two games, imagine in one,” he concluded.