• Crónica Bono becomes giant in penalties against Roma and Sevilla is again King of Europe

When on August 20, 2005 he put on his tracksuit for the first time to train in Primera he was clear that this opportunity only comes to a handful of chosen ones and that very few of them have the fortune to see their champion teams. At the Puskas Arena in Budapest, José Luis Mendilibar entered that select group. With his arms crossed, the smile on his lips but the euphoria very contained. The excesses do not go with him despite being champion after a final suffered.

Sevilla win their seventh Europa League to reaffirm that they love it more than anyone, and the Basque his first title with five games in the competition, another feat. One more step in his two decades as a technician in the elite that has risen step by step after almost a year in unemployment. As champion he has not yet received confirmation that next season he will be a Champions League coach. "We're going to enjoy it and on Monday we'll talk. We all know what we want," Monchi simply said, maintaining a suspense that seems feigned.

Mendilibar in Zaldivar expected someone to entrust him with the reconstruction of a broken team and Sevilla was in March. That is why there is no other rational explanation for understanding his resurrection other than to look at the dock. With the same squad as Lopetegui and Sampaoli, what has changed is the booklet that led him to turn a team two points from relegation into a champion that has only lost two games since he directs it. And it is that tracksuit that never changes contains a philosophy: football as an earthly game, without gods, without egos.

Look into the eyes of their players, correct them shouting as if they were still childish and not some of them World Champions capable of repeating a last and decisive penalty without trembling; make them do somersaults when they fail very clear occasions and not give them much ears in the press rooms, in case they believe it. Perhaps because football has a part of product that forgets the essential, Mendilibar is special. It magnifies it.

It had to be in Seville where the eyes of the whole League have been opened to demonstrate what Mourinho himself admitted of who won the final on Wednesday: "I only have more titles than him because I have had the opportunity to coach teams that play in Europe. " The sugar of the Portuguese contains truth: the Basque preferred him to achieve promotions or avoid relegations, the vital thing in football but that does not leave a mark on the record. He did it in Eibar, his home, in Valladolid, Osasuna, Levante and could not achieve it with Alavés, the thorn that has nailed next to his brief passage through Athletic.

Whether or not Monchi's third bet was going to work only Dmitrovic, Joan Jordá and Bryan Gil had any idea. The three of them took a breath as they saw him enter the locker room. All three had been made better players at Eibar. Why wouldn't it happen with Suso, Oliver or Bade? Why wouldn't he get along with Navas, Rakitic, Gudelj or En-Nesyri? Not only has it succeeded, but the captains are asking for its continuity. And they are free even to change the order of the penalty takers. "Montiel was fifth, but they have changed. We only chose who pitched, "confessed the technician naturally.

With the seventh cup on the way to Seville reinforcing the status of king of the competition, the unknown can not be maintained any longer. To the corridor that they will have to make in the Reale Arena of San Sebastian, very close to his home, he has to arrive as another Basque who leads Sevillismo to glory ... and the Champions League. Mendilibar will not demand it. His work is done with outstanding. "If I don't renew, there will be another club. And if not, unemployment, "he warns matter-of-factly. The simple life.

  • Sevilla FC

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