Rather than bask in the glory of his penalty heroics, keeper Beto reflected on a collective moment of "pride and happiness" as Sevilla FC won the UEFA Europa League.
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Rather than bask in the glory of his penalty heroics, Sevilla FC goalkeeper Beto reflected on a collective moment of "pride and happiness" after Kevin Gameiro's ice-cool spot kick settled the 2014 UEFA Europa League final.
Following a goalless 120 minutes in Turin, the 32-year-old custodian produced two instinctive saves down to his right to thwart Óscar Cardozo and Rodrigo in the shoot-out, leaving Gameiro to finish off SL Benfica. "I just wanted him to score, so when he did it was like a great explosion in the heart," Beto enthused before switching his focus to what he envisages as a bright future for Unai Emery's "growing" side.
UEFA.com: Were you almost hoping for a penalty shoot-out in the end?Benfica were really pressing at the end of extra time.
Beto: Yes, they were. Those last 20 minutes Benfica came at us with everything they had. We just tried to keep the ball and look to hit them on the counterattack. Benfica are a great team – we knew that already. We gave it our all. We took the game to penalties and there, luck was on our side.
UEFA.com: We'll talk about the penalties, but before that there was the Lima shot at the start of the second half ... You were beaten and it looked like it would go in, but then Nicolás Pareja appeared – like another goalkeeper ...
Beto: Obviously I thanked him. It's like that with Sevilla. We help each other. When someone is beaten, there is always someone there to back them up. And that is one of the secrets of our success, what got us here.
UEFA.com: You were also the hero in the penalty shoot-out against Betis in the round of 16. When you get to that point, what do you think? Or do you just need a lot of luck?
Beto: You can't really predict what will happen. The outcome of a penalty shoot-out is always unpredictable, whatever you may know about the players and they know about you. You react at the last moment according to a feeling you might have, your instinct. And you need power in your feet to jump.
UEFA.com: Did the fans you had behind the goal in the penalty shoot-out give you that extra motivation to do well tonight?
Beto: Well, it was an advantage to have our fans behind the goal helping and supporting us, as they did throughout each of the previous 120 minutes. To have them behind me supporting us was a great help.
UEFA.com: How did you watch the winning penalty taken by Kevin Gameiro?
Beto: With a lot of hope. I know that he is a cool player, a player who handles pressure well. I just wanted him to score, so when he did it was like a great explosion of the heart. A lot of pride and happiness. It was just a beautiful and historic moment. Every player wants to be part, even a small part, of the history of a club. Today we wrote history. And I am very proud to be part of Sevilla's history.
UEFA.com: Next season you will defend this title. Is the next step breaking into the Champions League?
Beto: This team is very eager to grow. There is a buzz about this team. It's a very young side and the personnel has changed a lot over the past year, with 14 or 15 new players – players with little experience but with a lot of quality, with joy in the legs, head, mind and soul. We've become stronger and we are looking forward to achieving more and growing.