Valencia CF15 March 2024

Baraja: “We can have a Good end to the season"

The Valencia CF coach talks ahead of the game against Villarreal CF

Valencia CF coach Rubén Baraja talked to the media in a press conference before Sunday’s LaLiga game away at Villarreal CF.

The Spain squad

“My job is not to make assessments of why the Spain coach chooses one or the other. We have to be happy with the possibility that our players are, in the case of Gayà, once again in the Spain squad, and other players who were on the pre-list can be able to be there. It is a reward for their performance. Honestly, I would have liked Hugo Duro to have been on the pre-list, because the national team really rewards current performance and he has very good numbers. Just like Pepelu is on there, I think Hugo could have been too. From there, making the squad itself depends on the form or the opinion of the coach. His performance deserves to be valued.”

The target of European football

“The next game we play is against Villarreal CF, who are a team that have improved significantly in this final of the season - especially in LALIGA. Facing the challenge well can give us the possibility of winning and, -why not?-, perhaps of getting excited. There is still a long way left, we are in a good position heading into the final stretch of the season and that gives us extra motivation to fight until the end. Our objective must be to compete at the highest level of demand in the next match. With our performance in each game, this still gives us the possibility of dreaming of achieving something beautiful.”

Mosquera’s competition for a Spain place with Cubarsi

“The Spain coach will have his reasons. Fortunately, Mosquera is going away with the U-21s. He has worked very well during this time to be able to be at this level. I don't think the choice has to do with the club he plays for, but rather with the preference or the selection made by the person who decides, which is the national team coach."

Squad availability

“Everybody is available. We have had some stomach problems with some players, but they are all in good condition. Except for Guillamón, who is suspended, the others are all fully ready.”

The upcoming challenges

“My goal is to concentrate on trying to get the most out of the team, in order to be competitive in this final part of the season. We will see how far it takes us. From there, we will talk about other things in the future. Right now, in terms of getting lost in other situations, I don't waste time on that. We can have a good end to the season, exceed the initial expectations and manage not to suffer, which last year was very hard for everyone.”

The fans

“I hope they can enjoy a good game and that we compete well. Valencia CF have not had good results against Villarreal CF for a long time and it will be a difficult game. They are a team with decisive players, who have improved a lot. The arrival of Marcelino has given the team a boost. We have to be at our best so that all the fans can see a good Valencia CF.”

Villarreal CF

“They are a team that are competing better, taking more care of the details. In the winter transfer market, they signed interesting players and are beginning to achieve good results. Our confidence level is high, we come from competing against great teams at a high level and I hope the team is at the level I expect.”

Hugo González

“These things can happen in the process of the season. At the beginning, he was with us, and his participation was very interesting. There were times when he was able to play, and he participated in some games, but we cannot guarantee that a player will start every game or enjoy all the minutes he would like. We take great care that if a player does not participate with us, he has a positive dynamic with the reserve team, he has minutes, grows and has experiences. That happened with Hugo. He renewed his contract and now he is in the reserve team for the moment. He knows perfectly well what the situation is because we have talked about it on many occasions that he has to accept it and work hard so that when his time comes in the first team, he will be there.

Hugo Guillamón

“He is a player who gives us control, balance, reading of the game, positioning… he has a lot of experience, despite his youth. His participation has been important and I hope it remains that way until the end of the season. His suspension opens the possibility that Almeida could come in.”


“They are both making it very difficult for me because they are both playing at a high level. That competition makes them both better. Their season has been quite remarkable. It is a relief to have the peace of mind of having two players in that position; depending on the game or their form, you might choose one or the other. At the moment, Foulquier is playing more, but we know that Thierry is a player who, when he has participated, has done so at a very good level and at any moment would be able to come in.”

 Fallas and his positive and negative experiences at Valencia CF

"I hope that Valencians can enjoy Fallas and all the experiences because there are moments in which there are positive things, and others can be negative... I have had tough moments, but I’m generally pretty optimistic about what lies ahead for me and my path ahead. There is nothing I can complain about. I am in the place I want to be and enjoying the moment.”


“You have to appreciate his career. Playing 350 games for Valencia CF is always indicative of commitment and passion for the club... I’m sure that he has had moments like I had when a player, in which there were opportunities to leave, but playing those 350 games means a high level of performance and consistency not within reach for every player. 

He is an undisputed starter, on the Spain national team with the possibility of playing in the European Championships, and is always important. I have a very sincere, demanding relationship with him; I put a lot of pressure on him to give him an important role and understand that his qualities in attack give us a boost -and score us points. 

I have pushed him to transmit the values of the club and always try to be what a captain has to be, and he has done that.”


“The assessment of Pepelu has always been positive. He is a player who has got here due to consistency and high performance. Getting onto the Spain pre-list is not easy and his consistency has a lot of value. He has taken on the role that we needed in that position in terms of organising things and picking his moments. He has grown a lot concerning his personality and prominence in the game and in the final part of the season he needs to have this same dynamic."

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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