“It’s all for the team and all for me”


Twelve days have passed since the Cup title won by Athletic at La Cartuja in Seville and a week has passed since the celebration in Gabarra across the estuary of Bilbao. Ernesto Valverde Taste the Cup like no other. The coach from Gasteiz has already won 5 titles with Olympiacos and four with Barça, but this one is special. “This is the most important title I’ve won in my career, I have no doubt. “It’s everything for the team and everything for me too,” he said in an exclusive interview with Mundo Deportivo. The coach spoke to the media that it was yesterday afternoon after training and he was already thinking about Granada’s visit to San Mamés tomorrow.

Does not provide personalized interviews. Why are you making an exception for this interview?

I’ll give it to you, you’re the only journalist who after winning the title didn’t leave me stranded in the press room. It’s a bit like that… if I come to the press room before a match after winning the final and there are no journalists. You are the only one who has this respect for me and I have this respect for you.

Thanks a lot. Has the grudge over Yuri’s penalty that cost him two crucial points on Sunday against Villarreal gotten over? What analysis do you make of that play?

Throughout the season there are games of all kinds. There are times when you win in the end with a penalty like it happened at Celta and in others this kind of thing can happen. We considered it not a penalty play, the referee did believe it and we do not need to delve further into this issue. This is another part of what the League is. A win would have meant a lot, especially given the pace of the game and what the opponent was. Villarreal is a good team in a good moment. Those three points cost a lot but we have to keep going. Then came the whole Referee Committee mess. It’s all a little weird. We are super respectful. It is true that the other day we complained about the punishment but not enough to make a statement. What happened was quite surprising.

He saw the celebration of the Cup title experienced with great intensity, both in Seville and in Gabarra and in the official receptions of the City and Provincial Councils. What does this Cup mean to you?

It means a lot to me. It’s the most important title I’ve won in my career, I have no doubt, or the one I give the most importance to. You’ve obviously enjoyed all the titles, but this one is very special because of how we’ve been looking for it and because of how it all turned out. It also means a lot to break that streak without winning the title in the 2015 Super Cup and how we did it against Barcelona. But it is a Cup, which means that the Cup is in Bilbao. It’s all for the team and all for me too. We have to enjoy it, we think about winning all day because it doesn’t stop, it’s a machine that goes for miles. We already know what a Cup title means to Athletic in every final we’ve played. Finally we achieve it, in that moment you are left with peace of mind. There is a moment of euphoria that is incredible, but over time you have a feeling of well-being, of calmness, which compensates for all the moments where you did not win. We have experienced great victories and other moments where we had to suffer defeat.

Do you now remember the semifinal against Osasuna last year and even the semifinal against Betis in 2005 where Athletic were better in both games and did not advance to the final?

Yes, you remember, but those things also help you make your way. You think about the opportunities you lost, but at the same time they were fundamental to achieving what we have achieved today. I would love to be able to always be right, for the penalties to always be in our favor and for us to go to the final last year. What will you do. Everything is a path. Today we are looking at the final, but we started winning the Cup on the first day with Rubí, which is a complex match in that field, with Cayón or with Barça, Eibar, Alavés or Atlético… It is a trajectory. Last year’s semi-final loss against Osasuna helped us.

Finally, it proved that the decision to return to Athletic to complete the third phase was absolutely correct.

Yes, I had no intention of participating in the election because I never liked it. It was a last minute thing, personal issues and with a friend. Things that evolve. You make a decision and then you change it. Once you’ve made a decision and you’re committed, you do everything you have, everything you know and what you think you can do to make the team better. Last year we reached the final and we also entered Europe. We had an incredibly bad run in the last minute and didn’t make it. There are critics, that’s how this movie is. We persevered and we achieved it this year. All of that paid for us.

A little uncertain about his continuation as he has not yet renewed and his contract expires on June 30.

Look, last year I renewed early because there was a feeling that Iñigo Martínez might leave at the end of the season and if someone else leaves… My intention is to give everyone continuity, a little stability. But it is also true that at the end of the campaign we did not achieve the goal, we did not manage to enter Europe. There was criticism, we had a game at the end, Elche, that we should have won like the others, Betis, Sevilla, Mallorca… And yet we lost it in a cruel way at the last minute. It’s not very good, the end game is ugly for me. It’s true that they beat us in the last minute and it was an incredible thing, but the team was left behind a bit, that’s the feeling I have. So this year I thought we’ll wait until we get what we’re looking for, we’ll wait until the end. I don’t want to make any decisions ahead of time.

Now they have achieved it.

Yes, we have entered Europe and we are champions. Now is the time to deal with such things. Considering what happened last year, that’s my idea. I told the club, let’s wait how it is, that the movie is very good when you win but if you lose you know what it is. We’ve all seen this movie.

Do you want to continue?

I’m very comfortable here, I think that’s clear. Let’s see, now we have to talk.

Source: La Verdad


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