Getafe coach Michael Laudrup admits he has been taken aback by his side’s run to the UEFA Cup quarter-finals.
After knocking Benfica out of the competition on Wednesday night, the Spanish outfit have been drawn to play favourites Bayern Munich for a place in the last four. Laudrup concedes that their progress this season, which also includes reaching the semi-finals of the King’s Cup (where they lead Racing Santander 3-1 after the first leg), has come as a surprise.
“I came here thinking they have just had a good year in the league and that we would be about the same again (they finished ninth),” Laudrup told radio station Cadena Ser.
“I thought it would be hard for us to make a second consecutive final in the King’s Cup (and we still have a tough second leg to get through against Racing to do it again), and the UEFA Cup would be an adventure, something to enjoy.
“But here we are in all three which for a club, a team, and players who are not used to it all, is very tough and deserves a lot of credit.”
As a player, Laudrup won four consecutive league titles and the European Cup with Barcelona in the early 1990s, before joining Real Madrid where he won a fifth league title.
“I was lucky to play in big clubs and to participate at the highest levels of the major competitions when I was a player, making quarter-finals, semis, and finals,” he added.
“But to be at a modest club and to get so far is very special. On top of that you have to remember that at the start of the season we only picked up two points from our first seven league games.”
The Dane’s success with Getafe has not gone unnoticed, and he continues to be linked with both Barcelona and Real Madrid.
“As a coach I don’t take too much notice of what is said,” he added. “If you do it can be unsettling. It’s nice that people talk well about you, but I’m quite happy.”