Sevilla hold heads high
Saturday, 1 September 2007
Sevilla FC coach Juande Ramos was disappointed he could not dedicate a victory to Antonio Puerta, but drew strength from his side's display against AC Milan.
Sevilla FC coach Juande Ramos was unstinting in his praise for AC Milan after the European champions fought their way from behind to claim the UEFA Super Cup 3-1. In acknowledging the difficult circumstances facing his team, he reiterated that he was "full of hope" for the season ahead. Rossoneri coach Carlo Ancelotti stressed his team's superiority – demonstrated by a fine second goal that saw Andrea Pirlo's raking pass pick out Marek Jankulovski for a stunning volley – but returned the compliment to his opposite number when praising Sevilla's spirited display.
Juande Ramos, Sevilla coach
The second half was too much for us. In the first half we did our all to stop Milan and I think we played well for an hour and then they got some encouragement. The second goal was a very good shot and that opened the game for them. We did our best but to lose a final to a team like Milan is no shame. We wanted to win to dedicate the game to Antonio [Puerta] but we at least played well. After losing a final, the team is not happy but we did our best. Towards the end of the match, it was no surprise we spent a long time running after the ball. Possibly the last 20 minutes were too much and I hope it will not have any consequences for the match ahead [the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round decider on Monday against AEK Athens FC]. I am certain we are going to win. We're full of hope about getting to the group stage.
We didn't have time to prepare because of the special circumstances. The only work we did for Milan, the European champions, was our knowledge of their great players. We had to try and prepare on the board, not on the field. This has not been a very typical week and people have worked very hard to do what they could. [On Renato's missed chance]. At 2-0 it would have been much more difficult for Milan to come back. We can't complain as Renato played well. [On Daniel Alves] He is a professional and has tried to prove that. Some players did well, some a little below, but after such a difficult week this is something you can understand.
Carlo Ancelotti, Milan coach
What has happened in the last few days with the death of Puerta created a unique atmosphere for this game. Obviously Sevilla were more affected by that than us but they played well particularly in the first half when we were a bit weary. But we recovered and did much better in the second half. We prepared really well, the team were compact and we kept calm when we were behind. We have had a really good week for the first week of the season. [Filippo] Inzaghi lives for these matches. This is the first time he has played from the kick-off in the Super Cup and he was really ready to play, having prepared well for the game.
[On coming from behind] We told them to try to be less weary and to be more flexible. They hesitated too much at the beginning so it was a question of getting rid of their insecurities. I think in European matches it is the show that counts, people come to be entertained. This is definitely a new trend and we see it in every match and this is what we want to do in Italian football. [On Ronaldo] He is recovering from an injury. He is almost ready and he will play in the next match.