Valencia CF goalkeeper Santiago Cañizares refused to let the scenes following his side's 2-2 aggregate triumph against FC Internazionale Milano spoil the afterglow of a fine achievement.
Thrilled at win
Twice a beaten UEFA Champions League finalist - against Real Madrid CF in 2000 and FC Bayern München in 2001 - the 37-year-old is thrilled that Valencia have reached the draw for this season's quarter-finals, but did reflect on events after the final whistle. Cañizares said: "I can't offer a verdict on how things started or got out of hand. At the final whistle I went to pick up my towel and my bottle of water and it was all going on when I turned round.
"However, that cannot spoil what has been a tremendous victory for this club," he added. "I'm proud that Valencia are in the last eight of the UEFA Champions League and achieving this has been hard, hard work for our team. Inter are a strong, tough side and it wasn't easy getting past them. But at the end of this or any match all you can do is shake hands with your rival and congratulate him on a good game."
The Spaniard, like the majority of his team mates, faces the next round with optimism and confidence. "Really at this stage there are only extraordinary teams left and that's the case every season," he said. "You'd like to draw a team which was struggling and doing badly in their league but none of them exist in this draw. I'm realistic enough to know that if you want to win the European Champion Clubs' Cup, the greatest club competition in the world, then you have to beat the best teams. Now we will draw one of them in the quarter-finals but I'm sure we have the ability and the confidence to surpass that challenge too."
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