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Valencia make amends

If Valencia CF recovered some lost pride for Spain, the French press were left to wonder what might have been.

Maiden win
However, it was newly crowned Spanish champions Valencia CF who gave themselves extra reason to celebrate with a 2-0 victory. Here uefa.com rounds up the reaction from both sides of the Pyrenees as well as from the host city to the Mestalla club's first success in this competition.

Valencia CF 2-0 Olympique de Marseille

History is made by performances like the one Valencia produced in Gothenburg. It brought a double that a whole city had been dreaming of, and which made amends for Spanish football's poor showing on the continental stage. It is a triumph that makes Valencia's future look brighter than ever. (Marca)

Valencia's great strengths are their solidity and teamwork, which had allowed them to move inexorably towards the UEFA Cup with each round of the competition since September. Recovering their winning habit was made easy by this magnificent group of players, whom Rafael Benítez has helped to shine twice in the Spanish league and now in Europe with this historic first victory in this tournament. Mista sealed the club's most glorious year with a long-awaited double and earned himself the man of the match award in Gothenburg. (AS)

What would have happened without the cruel blow dealt by fate in the 45th minute? Everyone in Marseille's Old Port had their own thoughts on the subject. They were not dissimilar to those of the players - a likely victory. So Marseille complete their eleventh straight season without a trophy and in the rich history of the club it will be remembered as one of the most painful. The team's magnificent run to the UEFA Cup final, a remarkable first half of courage and precision, and the belief of a club marked forever by the events of 1993 suggested that the years of wait were over. But it was Valencia who took the only European trophy France lacks, thanks to a victory assisted by their numerical advantage and experience. The Spanish side can be proud of their season. But they did not disgrace Marseille with the scientific tactics and collective superiority that generally characterises their play, and that is perhaps what is most terrible for OM, who have now lost their third final in 13 years (1991, 1999, 2004). (L'Equipe)

This year UEFA will be 50 years old, the UEFA Cup 42, and the Ullevi staged a big European final for the fifth time. It was a historic moment as well, and half of the crowd at the Ullevi will forget the gusty winds because they benefited Valencia as the Spaniards won 2-0, a result no one can argue against. (Göteborgs Posten)