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Sevilla retain pride amid pain of defeat

Sevilla FC duo Denis Suárez and Nicolas Pareja said the UEFA Europa League holders would return to Spain with heads held high despite defeat by Real Madrid CF.

Sevilla debutant Denis Suárez runs at Madrid's Daniel Carvajal
Sevilla debutant Denis Suárez runs at Madrid's Daniel Carvajal ©AFP/Getty Images

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• Nicolas Pareja after 2-0 defeat by Real Madrid CF: "We are proud of this team"

Denis Suárez, Sevilla midfielder
We were able to compete with Madrid, who are one of the best teams in the world and who won the Champions League. After their goal we had a very clear chance which Iker [Casillas] saved and if we'd managed to score there the game would have changed.

In the second half they scored a very early goal and if we'd kept it at 1-0 until the last 15 minutes we could have hurt them. We're going home proud because we finished the game in their half, forcing five or six corners and we could have hurt them. We should have our heads held high.

[Sevilla] are an important club who have won the Europa League, not just last season but in previous years too, and the Super Cup. I think this is going to be a really good season for us. We're going to have to fight hard to repeat last season's success.

Sevilla always tend to compete well in every tournament, in the league as well as in Europe and the Spanish Cup. I think we have a solid group and we have to keep going like this because we can reach our targets.

Nicolas Pareja, Sevilla defender
It was a very tough game because of the team we were up against and the timing at the start of the season. That said, I think we stood up to be counted throughout, we fought hard, and although we're not happy with the result I think in the first half we did very well.

The first goal set us back a bit and we know Madrid's quality – when we tried to come out a bit, they got the second goal and then it was an uphill battle.

When you have an opportunity, you have to take advantage of it because they have real attacking strength and are strong defensively too. Unfortunately we couldn't do that. It was a final, we wanted to win it, but we are proud of this team and the fact we stood up to a great opponent.

The Europa League is a very important tournament for Sevilla – we've won it three times and we're in the history of the competition. We know we're defending the shirt of a very big club and so we'll try reach that level again this season.