Valencia CF19 April 2024

Baraja: “This game is a magnificent opportunity”

The Valencia CF coach talks before the game against Real Betis

Valencia CF coach Rubén Baraja talked in a press conference before the LaLiga Matchday 32 game against Real Betis on Saturday evening.

Managing additional motivation

“It is normal that you have a certain excitement and enthusiasm for tomorrow's game, and we have to manage it as we have been doing, concentrating on the game and trying to be competitive because the game is going to be very demanding. We are facing great opponents and we know that we have to be at our best. We have a magnificent opportunity with this game and what it means and we have to approach it with that mentality.”

 Jaume Domènech’s contract extension

“It is the reward for his hard work, for his career, for the fact that on a day-to-day basis he is a very competitive goalkeeper. He also contributes in terms of experience and what it means to convey the demands of playing for a club like Valencia CF. This is always positive; it is positive for Mamardashvili and for Rivero. The energy he transmits to the team due to his passion and experience at the club and in Primera Division is also a help, and these types of players must also be rewarded.”

 Gaya and Yaremchuk

“We had already talked about their recovery processes, and that they would have some room for improvement depending on their development. At the moment, they are within the established deadlines. We will see in these two weeks and we will know when they are going to get closer to the possibility of returning.”

 The change of kick-off day against FC Barcelona

“We have to be blunt about this because there are Valencia CF fans who had prepared for the match, booking their trip and wanted to watch the team in the next match and now, suddenly, when one thing was set, it has been changed. These are situations that can be very improved, and our game does not influence anything at all... We understand that other games might be modified, but what influence does ours have with respect to the kick-off times that have been changed? Sometimes, there are things that you can’t understand, and the victims are our fans, who would have their hopes set on that match due to the schedule, because it was a comfortable trip to Barcelona at 2 pm. These types of things are should be taken care of, and our fans, of course, should be taken care of more.”

 A possible ‘final’ for European qualification

“We don't have that pressure, Betis do. They are a team that, if we really analyse the start of the season, are made to be in this situation. They have a fantastic squad; a coach with a lot of experience and a great career, who is a reference for everyone. They are a team that combine this individual quality with important collective work. We are going to play with great enthusiasm, ambition, humility and knowing that there is a differentiating factor in Mestalla. The fans are like our wild card that we always use in important moments and tomorrow is a game in which, without that pressure, we have to face things with a great mentality. At Mestalla, we can always achieve something and get a good result.”


“Historically, Valencia CF have always been a competitive, combative, strong team, which generally don’t concede many goals, are committed and have quality, having been capable of winning trophies against great teams. Our DNA is that combination, but mainly, everyone's goal is to win. How we do it is also important, although if you win you have a let-off.”


A good dynamic of results

“Thanks to the commitment, hard work, quality, drive and courage of these players in each game, we are now experiencing what all coaches would like to experience, which is a game of these characteristics. We train to experience games like we have tomorrow. The fans know that they are going to push us on tomorrow, and they are difference makers. We hope that Mestalla pushes us and helps the team as always.”


Playing a triple pivot in the middle

“The season reveals things to you. At times we have been competitive with two strikers and we have to take advantage of each player's form. Now, André is in good form, Javi is on it, Guillamón is looking good too. As coaches, we have to adapt to the different situations that arise to get the best performance from the team. This team have shown that both with and without important players they are capable of winning. It is a very positive thing that everyone is motivated.”

 The maturity of young players

“That also comes from the fact that most of the players who are in the first team have been brought up at Valencia CF. This is a team that has great self-demand, and since you are little they instill in you that you have to win -and at different stages of their career, they have had to compete to win leagues. In the Primera División, it is similar, although with different objectives. They have assumed this responsibility of wearing the Valencia CF shirt and they are doing it in a fantastic way. This shirt weighs heavy and not everyone is able to withstand the pressure of playing for a team as big as Valencia CF. They have assumed this role with naturalness and personality.”

 Jesús Vázquez

“He has had ups and downs in the season, generally based on the fact that if Gayà is playing and has continuity, it is difficult to get into that position -although he has sometimes played further forward as well. He has been quite consistent in terms of being available and now his work, effort, desire to improve and his qualities put him in a situation in which, through good performances, he has minutes. He has to take advantage of it. He has earned it.”

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