Julen Lopetegui


Lopetegui was delighted with how his team performed: 'We're happy with how we coped with the challenges, it is in the DNA of this team.'
Cuerpo Superior

Sevilla FC coach, Julen Lopetegui, was delighted with the win against Rayo Vallecano in the first league game of the 2021/22 season: 'Every victory is a good victory. We wanted to overcome the challenges that we have faced. It has been quite a tough time for us, we couldn't finish the preseason in the way we wanted. It meant that we didn't have a full squad and players who weren't at their best. It was a colossal effort from the team as we have overcome a lot of obstacles. We managed to get the three points against a difficult side. Every newly-promoted side is a tough team to come up against because they have nothing to lose. Rayo has a lot of pace up up front. The sending off was a big moment in the game. We were able to win and get the three points.'

Cuerpo Inferior

The coach spoke about the difficulties the team faced in the game: 'We struggled to find our rhythm at first and Rayo is a very energetic team. It was good play by Oussama which eventually led to the penalty when Luca got sent off. Playing a man down in this setting and the heat is not easy. We lacked composure in some parts of the game. We were better in the second half, and we played more like we're used to playing, which eventually helped us to get the three points.'

The coach also praised Dmitrovic and Lamela on their debuts as Sevilla FC players: 'It's always good to see players getting off on the right foot as it helps the team to win. They played well. Coco did not have a lot of time to train and prepare properly because he hasn't played in any friendly. However, he played really well tonight. Scoring goals is a reward for hard work. Marko also played well. He saved us twice, and he showed that he is a competitive and lively person. This can help us to have the competition in the squad that we want.' The heat was a hindrance: 'It definitely complicated the game. There are players who weren't able to play, and players who were able to play but not completely fit. This had to be taken into consideration. We're happy with how we coped with the challenges, it is in the DNA of this team.'

'It's always good to see the new players helping the team to win'

Julen Lopetegui was delighted to see the return of fans: 'Firstly, having the fans in the stadium completely changes the atmosphere. Just being able to hear the anthem being sung again was something that we dreamt about for so long. Despite it not being a full stadium, it felt as if every seat was taken. They sang for everyone who couldn't be there with us. This energy can help us in difficult situations. We will need their support to overcome some tough challenges. They are our twelfth man, and they can definitely help us achieve our goals.'

Lastly, Lopetegui emphasised the importance for the players to have time to recover: 'Recovery time can help other players who aren't fully fit to get up to speed. It is a time where there is a lot of changes. A lot of coaches do not understand why the transfer window closes two weeks after the season starts because it restricts the way you can prepare your team for the start of the season. That is the reality and we just need to try and take advantage of the time we have to prepare and recover.'