Lopetegui: "Win the league? I don't buy things like that"

The coach faces his second season in Nervión after having lifted the sixth Europa League of Sevilla but knowing the demands of a club that seeks greater goals.


The international stoppage allows a relaxed Julen Lopetegui to sit down in front of the computer to answer AS's questions without leaving anything in the pipeline, from how the opinion of the fans has changed about him to the objectives of the season.

Do you still have the feeling that you should have won at the Camp Nou?

More than I had would leave it in that we could. I think we had a real chance of winning. A team like Barça always has one last chance and they had it, they are like the movies. But we had options to harm them.

How does the season look after such a strange summer?

You do not visualize the future, you try to arrive. The circumstances this summer are especially atypical. In this scenario and after the pandemic, some players have been on vacation for five days, which is crazy and the most, 12. We have tried to take advantage of those training sessions in the best possible way, to get mentally hooked again. We stayed with the Camp Nou, we beat Cádiz in the end and Levante. That is the reality of the Spanish League. We are going to have a hard time beating any team. And it will be difficult for anyone to win over us.

Do you feel invincible after the tremendous streak of matches without knowing defeat?

The only feeling we have is that when we do things well we are difficult to win. Even doing them well, we will lose. The only thing I focus on is trying to set the way for the team, let them know that when there is collective feeling we can win each game and get hooked on each scenario with the same enthusiasm as a final. We don't look at the records, that's more for journalists and outsiders. To get the best prepared it is better not to look at the context. The day-to-day is a blessed topic, but topics are sometimes absolute truths.

How do you rate Monchi's work in the transfer market?

I do not put notes on the market. We have full confidence in Monchi's work and he is aware of the needs and what we wanted. The market has been complex and the supply and demand situation has been disproportionate. Almost no team has done what they wanted to do, but we are in the best hands, Monchi's. There have been two important exits and players have arrived to replace them. We go to Europe with few players and what we have tried is to try to have two footballers per position, to consolidate the second year of many boys.

How will you manage a squad with a lot more members than last season?

The squads have to anticipate the toughness of the competition, especially demanding this year, not only because of the Champions League but also because of the accumulation of matches in a short time. There are Champions League games in which you play a lot of things. We have to try to consolidate.

The game of his Sevilla will no longer surprise as much as last year and he will not have many training sessions to prepare alternatives ...

This year we will have little time especially to prepare new things. The word adaptation in the world of football takes on special relevance with the pandemic. That they have that mentality we need it as a group and as a team. You have to use imagination and that lack of time does not penalize us too much in the different competitions that we will play.

It is mandatory to ask him about Koundé and his continuity in the team.

Koundé has evolved in a year, it arrived very young and it still is. You have a good mindset to keep learning and improving and we will help you where we can. Players who mature also need a good mentality and he has it, he will be a great ally for their career.

How big is the void left by Banega?

No one is going to play Banega, whoever replaces him will do whatever it takes. No two players are the same. The important thing is that they work for the group, that they give us the best version and play naturally. We all have that very clear. To those who come, a hand extended to help us and understand what this team proposes.

Does it help that the forwards are looking at the door to take pressure off? Even more so after the failure of En Nesyri against Bayern in the Super Cup ... 444 444

The focus will be on the strikers again, there will be times when they don't score. Drawing definitive conclusions every three or four days changes everything. The important thing is that the players, in whatever position, are able to understand what we ask of them. We trust that the goal goes by streaks and sometimes others score. We are happy when the strikers come to the door because we know it builds confidence and because these debates only appear when they don't score. It happens on all teams.

How are you seeing Rakitic?

Rakitic is not new, he is someone who had an important journey here. But his backpack is loaded with illusion and ambition. It is the first word regarding him. Everything else will come alone. He is knowing us and we know him. He has a fantastic character for the group, he has his peculiarities. We try to convey naturalness and security to you so that you can help us, which will be the case without any doubt.

What was your opinion of the return of football after confinement? Do you agree with how everything has been handled?

When emotion appears, reason disappears. Behind there is a lot of work and many hours, it is what football needs. I said that clearly the priority of society was another, because we go through and continue going through terrible times. The human being gets used to cold data, it is very hard. From there, all the organizations have made a very important effort so that the world of sports adapts to that reality. People are helped by this point of leisure and entertainment, from preserving health, also of footballers.

How did you feel when you played with the public again in the European Super Cup?

Before football started, he could not imagine without fans in the stands, but when you get into the competition you forget everything. The intensity and commitment of all the players is the same as if there were the public, although it has nothing to do with it, because football is a show made to be played with the public. We can't wait for them to come back and in those 30 percent tests we did enjoy that ambient noise.

How do you feel when your Sevilla is included among the candidates to fight for the league title?

I feel neither cold nor hot with what is said that we can win the League. Qualifying for the Champions League was an adventure, very difficult and it is very difficult to finish a season in the top four. We will grow as a team, we will be more and more competitive. Doing the old woman's accounts or selling things like that I don't buy them because they don't help the wardrobe at all. We are focused on winning every game, against any rival. Last year we were out of the Copa del Rey against a Second team, deservedly also. It should not be forgotten.

But you will not deny that it should be a pride that your team is considered this way.

I don't give any importance to compliments. Doing things well has cost us to win. The distances are very short in the League and you just have to see it day by day. We put the focus on what we have to do and on trying to continue growing, without looking much at the context, in the world of football.

Does the national team stop help because you have players who need rest or are you worried about the number of internationals you have in the team? What weighs more?

Now there are three national team matches in each break ... They are the same number of players, they have few changes, which is something very curious. It is a circle where these types of demands can lead to a greater overload and injuries or fatigue can appear. The player has that illusion of going to his country, it is a recognition of his work and his clubs. And that we are able to manage this scenario in the best way, we will try to face it. I've been on the other side and I know how the matter works.

After more than a year working with Monchi, what do you think of him?

I did not know him, it is a pleasure to be able to work with him daily. But that does not mean that we always agree on everything. Working alongside him is something that helps us in every way. For me it is a pleasure to be side by side with a professional of his level.

Sabina sings that you should not return to the place where you left happy. However, you will have to return to Krasnodar in the Champions League, a place where you were not happy precisely because your journey as coach ended ... 444 444

I love Sabina, she also has other lyrics that we could surely contribute. If you look back you have many special things, I am not much of those things. It has grown a lot in the Russian league, it has facilities that are difficult to imagine. They have made a very competitive team and the latter in particular. I don't see a connotation of anything. There were fantastic facilities to work with and that's what I stick with.

What has changed so that a Lopetegui is seen in Sevilla much more vehement in the band than as a coach? 444 444

I try to stay connected to the games so I can help the footballers Sometimes they listen to you and sometimes they don't. One cannot kill the personality, the way of feeling matches.

Sevillismo received it from nails and has turned it around.

It would be a false humility to tell you that I do not want people to speak well of me. That the sevillista is happy matters to me, because I work for that. It is the maxim that I have and will continue to have. We work to make them happy, from the time we get up until we go to bed. And we will continue to do so.

Photos from as.com
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