MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish coach Marcelino Garcia Toral said he was convinced the main reason he was sacked from Valencia was to win the King's Cup last season at the expense of Barcelona.
"I am absolutely sure, without any doubt, that the main reason for this situation was the trophy," he told a news conference on Friday. "During the (last) season, we received direct messages and through other people that the trophy was indifferent."
Marcelino was sacked abruptly last Wednesday, after only three rounds of the new season, and Albert Celades replaced him.
Marcelino said he was surprised when Valencia owner Peter Lim congratulated him on qualifying for the Champions League and not winning the King's Cup, an achievement that the players had not congratulated after the final in Seville.
"The King's Cup was a minor tournament and the club told me we should venture to qualify for the Champions League."
"The fans wanted to fight for the cup and try to win it. I have no doubt that winning the cup is what triggered this situation."
The title is the first for Valencia since 2008 and was achieved after a spectacular 2-1 win over Barcelona in May.
Local media reported before the start of the season that Marcelino had been at odds with the club's management over the contract policy.