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Mourinho message inspires jubilant Drulović

Coach Ljubinko Drulović took the advice of José Mourinho to heart as he masterminded Serbia's first Under-19 title with a memorable success in Lithuania.

Victorious Serbia coach Ljubinko Drulovic with the trophy
Victorious Serbia coach Ljubinko Drulovic with the trophy ©Sportsfile

Ljubinko Drulović, Serbia coach
I knew that it would be very hard game against France, especially tactically. We prepared very hard on that side of our game. We played as a team today and deserved to win. Before the game I received a text message from José Mourinho and he told me that you don't play finals, you win them. That was good advice and we followed it to the letter.

Today's games was different to our group encounter against France [which ended 1-1]. We had six first-choice players on the bench then, all of whom played today. We put in a very high-level performance, especially in the second half, as the players knew it was the biggest game of their lives. After the break we waited for our chance and we took it.

These boys deserve to be their country's heroes; they deserve to be champions. This is definitely the biggest footballing success in Serbia's history. The next few days will be a celebration for this team. They will all have big careers in football. They have been fantastic from the very beginning and I believed in them since then.

I must say a big thank you to the Lithuanian fans. This is a very happy country for us and Marijampole a happy city. We have won three games here now. We started our tournament in this place and it is where we are finishing it. We love this city. Want also want to say hello and thanks to the people back home in Serbia. Our players have strong characters and that is what decided the tournament in their favour.

I had a long career as a player in which I won 14 trophies and 38 caps. I played at a World Cup and a European Championship, but this is the biggest win of my career because it's the first trophy I have won with Serbia.

Francis Smerecki, France coach
In reality we played two finals here in Lithuania. The first was the semi-final against Spain and today was the second. Maybe we lost this game because of what we put into beating the Spanish. Today it wasn't possible for us to reach that same level. If you don't play to the right level, you don't win the final game.

Of course it has been a good tournament but you always go home with bad memories when you don't win. There is no doubt that this experience will stand these players in good stead for the future. They've got a lot out of this tournament.

We let in a goal in a tight game and in the end that proved the difference. I thought that our players still had the potential to equalise but Serbia were cleverer and a bit more experienced. I think the result reflects Serbia's greater experience, something that's very important in á final. The match slipped away from us and I feel for the players. 

This is the end for this generation. Now some will move up to the Under-21s while the rest will work with their clubs. We have five players who were born in 1995 who can play in this tournament again next year and use this experience next time around. They know what they will have to do to win this competition now.