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Beto savours Europa League glory

15 May 2014 10:01:52

Beto savours Europa League glory

Sevilla's shoot-out hero Beto has described his pride after the Spanish club won a record-equalling third Europa League/UEFA Cup.

Beto kept out two spot-kicks as his side won 4-2 on penalties after a goalless draw in Wednesday's final in Turin.

"It's a beautiful, historic achievement for me, the team and Sevilla," Beto told the club's official website.

"We deserve this title and we are so proud to defend these colours."

The former Porto player stood strong to save Oscar Cardozo and Rodrigo's attempts as his side took the trophy.

"We, the goalkeepers, always study the players that usually take the penalties," the 32-year-old said.

"I know very well the Benfica players but in the final seconds it's a case of instinct and a little bit of luck."

The Portuguese stopper showered Emery with praise for the work the Spanish tactician has done to create a strong team spirit since arriving at Sevilla in January 2013.

"The secret to our glory has been the unity of the team. We don't want stars, we want to be a team," Beto added.

"All the merit is of Unai (Emery), who has succeeded in joining together all of our strengths.

"We have been able to build a strong group, a fantastic team with a united changing room."

Emery, whose side are fifth in the Primera Division, was just satisfied that he and his players were rewarded for their efforts throughout the competition.

Sevilla, 2006 and 2007 UEFA Cup winners, were made to work hard to reach the final in Turin.

A last-gasp goal saw Sevilla progress to the final on away goals with a 3-3 aggregate draw with Valencia.

The Andalusian side had previously beat Porto, Betis and Maribor.

"We have had to suffer a lot to get to the final and this is our reward," Emery said.

"Benfica is a great team and they were the favourites.

"We knew it was going to be hard. But we were able to defend and suffer in order to win on penalties."

Sevilla president Jose Castro believes his team fully deserved the title.

"We are worthy champions," he said.

"This is our competition and we have fought from August 1 up to know. We are over the moon because a title like this one you don't get it every day."

Sevilla captain Ivan Rakitic, who was voted man-of-the-match against Benfica, was ecstatic to win his first title with the Spanish club.

"Things go so fast in football and we have to enjoy this," he said.

"I want to thanks my team-mates, the club and our fantastic fans.

"We have done an incredible job and we all worked together to achieve this."

Benfica striker Lima felt his side can walk away from the competition with their heads held high.

The recently crowned Portuguese champions were determined to clinch their first European success since 1962.

However, Benfica finished runners-up in the competition for a second straight season while losing their eighth European final.

"There is great sadness as we lost a final, yet another one," Lima said to www.ojogo.pt.

"But this cannot take away the excellent work we have done this season. We must be proud to have led Benfica to another European final.

"It's obvious that our fans really wanted this trophy just as we did. But we never gave up and we fought until the end."


PA

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