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Dito salutes quality and character of Braga winners

Published: Tuesday 28 June 2011, 23.25CET
A jubilant Dito said his Braga side's triumph in the 2011 UEFA Regions' Cup final was achieved by virtue of quality and a strong team ethic following their 2-1 win against Leinster & Munster.
by Wayne Harrison & Nuno Tavares
from Estádio Cidade de Barcelos
Dito salutes quality and character of Braga winners
Braga celebrate their victory as a dejected Laurence Dunne (right) looks on ©Sportsfile
Published: Tuesday 28 June 2011, 23.25CET

Dito salutes quality and character of Braga winners

A jubilant Dito said his Braga side's triumph in the 2011 UEFA Regions' Cup final was achieved by virtue of quality and a strong team ethic following their 2-1 win against Leinster & Munster.

Dito lauded the quality and spirit of his Braga players after they became the first Portuguese winners of the UEFA Regions' Cup following a 2-1 defeat of Leinster & Munster. The hosts' coach also urged his victorious squad to enjoy the moment − which comes a decade since another Braga selection lost the 2001 final − with Leinster & Munster's Gerry Smith joining his opposite number in paying tribute to  a "technically very good and very quick" side.

Leinster & Munster have played together for six or seven years and we only put this team together seven months ago, so this win is basically down to our players' quality on the pitch and their marvellous relationship off it
Dito, Braga coach
There were top quality players out there. None of the Braga players would have any trouble playing in our top division back home
Gerry Smith, Leinster & Munster manager

Dito, Braga coach
Leinster & Munster have played together for six or seven years and we only put this team together seven months ago, so this win is basically down to our players' quality on the pitch and their marvellous relationship off it. There is tons of quality in the lower divisions where these guys play and the people in charge of bigger clubs should really take the time to find out just how good they are.

We knew that the Irish would try to score very early in the match and that's why we had a more cautious attitude in the first 20 minutes. Beyond that, we started to settle down and play like we are used to it and we fully deserve the trophy. I'm very pleased, especially for the players, because they deserve to be living this moment. I don't want to single out any player in particular because what's more important is how they play as a team.

Gerry Smith, Leinster & Munster manager
We're disappointed, obviously. To finish second to the top team in Europe is no mean achievement. We gave it our best and were right with them to the very end. It could have gone any way. They're a very good team − technically very good and very quick. It was all the way to the wire and we gave it our best shot.

The team showed great character after going a goal behind to equalise and stay with them. I'm so, so proud of my team, the back-room staff and logistics people; we've given it everything for the past couple of months. There's no shame to be beaten by a very good team from Portugal. There were top quality players out there. None of the Braga players would have any trouble playing in our top division back home.

Last updated: 29/06/11 1.21CET

http://www.uefa.com/regionscup/season=2011/matches/round=2000108/match=2008076/postmatch/quotes/index.html#dito+salutes+quality+character+braga+winners

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