Valencia coach Rafael Benitez saluted his team after their UEFA Cup final win against Marseille.
“We had some great players but above all we are a team that can depend on one another,’ he said after Valencia’s 2-0 win.
“At the beginning we had some slight difficulties but the team gave us the hope and the confidence.”
“This has been a great season and we will set new targets for the next one.”
Benitez admitted the dismissal of Fabien Barthez on the stroke of half-time, had been the turning point of the game. However, he dismissed Marseille complaints that the decision to award a penalty and a red card to Barthez, was unduly harsh.
“From the bench I expected a penalty and a red card because it was a very clear goalscoring opportunity,’ said Benitez.
“It was such a clear chance that it deserved the punishment that it got.”
“We will enjoy ourselves and enjoy the moment,” said the Valencia coach.
“Where are the limits for this team? The limits depend on our opponents and it depends on the limits you set yourselves.
‘We will aim for more titles and set different goals. It is important to keep a winning mentality.”
Marseille coach JosŽ Anigo was magnanimous in defeat.
“In the first half we had more of the game – we started well and could have caused Valencia trouble,” Anigo said.
“I thought the red card was harsh and under other circumstances he might just have been booked. Once that happened the match really became complicated for us.”
“Benitez is a very intelligent man and he did his best to cause damage to us,” Anigo admitted.
“Valencia ended up with too much space.”
“When you lose a winner like Barthez, a calming influence and a player of great confidence, it is hard to recover.”
“I am happy with what we have achieved here; this team has a fighting spirit and a good future ahead of it.ÊNext season we will be a force to be reckoned with in the French league.”