Striker Fernando Morientes said Valencia CF "could not continue to suffer" after Wednesday's Spanish Cup final triumph revived their moribund domestic season.
Juan M. Mata and Alexis scored within the first 12 minutes to put Ronald Koeman's side up against Getafe CF, and while Esteban Granero pulled one back for last season's beaten finalists from the spot, Morientes headed a third late on to earn Valencia a 2008/09 UEFA Cup place. "We could not continue to suffer," said the 32-year-old. "I am very happy for everyone who has worked so hard. It's not easy to reach a final and even less so to win it."
Mata, who registered just three minutes into the game, said: "This is the happiest day of my life. It's my first title and it was a dream final." Still 15th in the 20-team Primera División, Valencia are not yet out of relegation trouble, but the cup triumph will give them renewed hunger for the fight. In the relative comfort of 12th place, however, Getafe must accept that their exciting season is all but over after Wednesday's loss.
Knocked out of the UEFA Cup quarter-finals by two late FC Bayern München goals, Michael Laudrup's men can reflect upon an exciting campaign, but one that has ultimately fallen a small step short of glory. "The ball just didn't want to go in and then Valencia killed us off," rued midfielder Granero. "We wanted to win something and have been left empty-handed. I don't like that."
A losing finalist in two Spanish Cup finals with Getafe and a UEFA Cup final with Deportivo Alavés, Romanian defender Cosmin Contra has grown accustomed to disappointment, and hopes his younger team-mates can recover. "It's the third final I have lost and I know what it feels like so we have to cheer the team up," he said. "It's a young squad and they'll have another chance. Valencia played better and although we had a chance to turn it around in the second half, they are worthy winners."
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