Valencia CF14 February 2024

Baraja: “The unity between the team and the fans is extraordinary”

Valencia CF coach Rubén Baraja spoke to L’Informatiu on VCF Media Radio about his first year in charge of the first team.


“There has been an evolution in every sense, especially on the sporting side. When we arrived, the situation was tough, and through a lot of work, effort and commitment from the players we managed to resolve a difficult situation. This year the team are in a good dynamic and, logically, that is with the help of everyone and the support of the fans, who have always been with us and been fundamental. Thanks to them we have been growing and now we are in a completely different scenario.”


“One of the most powerful messages we can send out is that through our work, quality and team, we have to try to do our best in these 14 remaining games and focus on going game-by-game. This is where we can be more competitive, facing these 14 matches with a great mentality, thinking that we want more and we want to be ambitious. This is the mentality that this team and this club have to have, and we will see how the season goes.

 We are such a big club that, without realising it, you get carried away by the positive moments and results and can enter a dynamic in which, instead of enjoying the moment, how the players are trying to give their best every game, how they are competing... The feeling is that being at this big club makes you want things that still need time for, or you win in the competition so that you can get those things. What I don't want is for there to be frustration, for us to go to Mestalla and for people to be angry because we didn't beat a certain team, when our aim is something else. We have to keep our feet on the ground and recognise that we are in this process of improvement and that, thanks to the fans, the team have grown tremendously.”

23-24 SEASON

“Last year everything was much more complicated, but this year the evolution of the team has been positive. I see how the young players are growing through playing and having continuity. We are in a good spot as a team. We compete well and in general, we have to be happy. Now, what we have to do is not settle and still be ambitious, but, above all, keep our feet on the ground. We have to try to enjoy this moment.”


“There are two moments that stick out: Firstly, my first day. That excitement of loving Valencia CF, and having the club, who made you as a player, give you the opportunity to coach in the Primera División. It was a tremendous rush. The other moment was after the game in Seville when we achieved our goal of staying up for the following year.”


I find the unity between the team and the fans extraordinary. It's something that makes you wonder, at times, how we have been able to achieve this with how we suffered last year. How it is that people believe in us, that they believe in the kids, that they see that they put in an effort, that they give their best, that we are competitive, that we play to the limit. That unity with the team, with a full stadium and a great atmosphere, with fans looking forward to seeing Valencia CF at Mestalla, for me is what has the most value. 

When you're down at the bottom and you have moments of difficulty and the fans spur you on, they don't know how important it is or the message they transmit to the players. When they applaud you, it’s something that is notable about Mestalla. 

We play for our fans and one of the challenges is to live up to what our fans ask of us: Effort, hard work, perseverance... They help us a lot. You feel the fans behind you a lot. They have supported us unconditionally. I can't give enough praise because it is superb and it is the best thing we have.

As a club and coach, we have to live up to their demands. Every time you celebrate a goal it is tremendous what this means to them and how they enjoy every moment. Many times they make me want to get in there with them and join the huddle when we score.”

 Presentation as Valencia CF head coach

“I felt great emotion. It might be expressed in another way, but everything I have transmitted from that first day is what I would like to do as a coach. I am grateful that, despite the many difficulties we have experienced and all the limitations we have, people have supported us, because they have made us improve and grow. There is something that is intangible: the demands of this club. When you are at a club as big as Valencia CF, in the end, it forces you to give a little more, to pick yourself up in moments of difficulty… and this is how important the history of this club is.”

 His first win: Against Real Sociedad at Mestalla

"This match gave me hope. The team had been playing for a long time without a win and winning it at home gave us hope to improve the team's situation."

real betis game (22-23 season)

"It got very tough at the beginning. We achieved our goal in a very difficult year on a personal level, on a club level, on an individual level for the players. There was that feeling that a great club like Valencia CF were in the difficulty we were in, and for me, it was a feeling of liberation when we achieved the objective. The hug with Marchena was a celebration that, after all our effort, we have achieved the goal.”

Carlos MarchenA

"He knows me well, he also knows the club and he knew what we needed at all times. That's why, when Valencia CF called me, one of the first calls I made, even before signing, was to him to find out if he wanted to come with me to help me. His answer was ‘yes‘ and he didn't ask me anything else. He is a humble, discreet person, but his participation was fundamental, more than anything for his emotional support, his knowing how to overcome the moment of difficulty... and the day-to-day work of us being able to push and make the players believe it. Whenever he wants to return he will be welcome. He is a Valencia CF fan and this is his home. He came for nothing in return.”

Identity of the team 

"There is a lot of work behind it. There is a plan and a way to execute it. Gayà participates as captain because the captains are the team's point of reference. They have believed in what we have told them. Everything is a process and it makes the team have an identity. The important thing is that we have generated an identity and everyone who wants to participate in that has to give their all. They know what they have to do if they want to play for the team and they are giving that. The merit for the current situation goes to them.”

The dressing room 

“We have a great atmosphere in the dressing room. They have a great ability to assimilate things. We are quite demanding in our details, routines and habits... but when you do it continuously, in the end, the player acquires it as just one more thing. We can finish the season brilliantly and this depends on our mentality and our ambition.”.


“For the objective we have set out, Mestalla is the starting point. We have to be strong at home because it is, practically, what makes you achieve the aim we have set for ourselves this season. The numbers are good. The feeling is that at Mestalla, the team multiplies in strength. The fans are helping us achieve our goal.”



“We reap the rewards of work that has gone before. It was a risky gamble, but they have shown personality, commitment to the club and what wearing this shirt means, and they are going to be the basis of the future. 

We are ensuring that these players, some of whom were making their debut in the top flight this year, such as Mosquera, can finish LaLiga with 25/30 games. That’s good for a 19-20 year old player. Then we have Javi Guerra who can consolidate his spot, Diego López, Fran Pérez.

They are all growing with the demands we ask of them. We must not forget that we are asking this of kids who, without having yet gone through this entire process, put on the Valencia CF shirt and shoulder that responsibility. Guillamón is 23 years old, and we think of him as a veteran because of the games he has played, or Pepelu, who has just arrived, seems like he has been there for 7 years because of the specific weight he has within the team.

 That energy, the atmosphere in the dressing room, believing in the coach, the coach believing in them, the bond with the fans... there are many factors that add up and make us overcome the difficulties we have."

Copyright 2013-2024 Valencia CF. The use of the editorial content of the article is permitted as long as the source gets the credit and contains the following link: Photographs by Lázaro de la Peña, reuse is not permitted.

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