Just ten days after breaking his left arm, Eduardo Salvio helped SL Benfica to hold off Juventus and reach a second straight final, saying: "I convinced myself that I could play."
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Just ten days after breaking his left arm, Eduardo Salvio helped SL Benfica to draw 0-0 at Juventus and qualify for the UEFA Europa League final, his fourth in five years after winning the trophy with Club Atlético de Madrid in 2010 and 2012.
The 23-year-old winger's season seemed over when he fractured his arm in a league game against SC Olhanense on 20 April but his quick recovery allowed him to play in the last 14 minutes as Benfica held a 2-1 aggregate advantage with ten men to reach another final after the last-gasp defeat by Chelsea FC 12 months ago, Sevilla FC awaiting on 14 May – here at the Juventus Stadium. "Football gives you opportunities for revenge," Salvio said. "Now we have to give our lives to win."
Eduardo Salvio, Benfica forward
We are very happy to have reached another final. I tried to support the team from the sidelines when I was on the bench. I had missed a lot of games with a knee injury this season and the truth is that I didn't want to miss any more. They gave me this cast to enable me to play – I cannot say it's perfect but it certainly helps. I'm strong and I convinced myself that I could play.
We are in a great period, both in defence and attack. When we have to go through the mill, we do so and defend well. Today we had to defend a lot, especially in the last part of the game with ten men. We did it really well and now we are very happy to have reached the final.
Football gives you opportunities for revenge. We have worked hard for this – we knew it was difficult to repeat what we did last season but we reached another final and now we have to give our lives in order to win it. Sevilla are great opponents – we have the same respect for them that we had for Juventus, Tottenham, AZ, PAOK. All the teams are equal for us. But this is a final and we want to win it.
It's always good to know that Diego [Maradona] is in the stands to watch the game – I hope he was happy with Benfica's victory. Our secret is hard work. This is the reward for our sacrifices, our hard work for a long period of time. We did everything properly and now we are in the final, but we also won the league and we are in two more finals in Portugal. Four trophies are possible. We are going through a great spell – we are all working hard and fighting for this. After winning the league now we have three finals to play. We are very happy.
Guilherme Siqueira, Benfica defender
Once again we proved our great spirit tonight. We qualified for a third final after winning the league in Portugal so we are extremely happy. This is the result of the hard work we put in every day as a group. We have great players but the squad is more important. We are working well, giving everything we have day after day, and this is the reward for our commitment. Sevilla are very strong but we want this trophy very badly as we proved tonight.