• Crónica Bono becomes giant in penalties against Roma and Sevilla is again King of Europe
  • Mendilibar "To have played me in a tombola to come to Sevilla, is not bad. If I don't renew I will leave friends."
  • Mourinho's 'show': The congratulations at odd hours to Mendilibar and the rejection of the medal: "I always keep the gold, I do not want the silver"

When Anthony Taylor signalled the end of the 147 minutes, the plans were clear on the Sevilla bench. Mendilibar knew who was going to shoot the penalties and that's why he was obsessed with asking Rakitic that, as captain without Navas on the field, he asked to shoot first if he won the draw. The Basque knew that this unwritten law of football gives him an advantage. It was also clear to me who had to launch the last one. He did not put it in 94 replacing Navas for that, but with Gonzalo Montiel on the field there was no doubt. The reason is simple, the pressure does not weigh on him. And that was something that last night benefited Sevilla a lot.

The Argentine has scored ten penalties since he threw for River Plate the fourth of the knockout round of the Copa Libertadores to eliminate Cruzeiro. It was July 30, 2019. Then came seven more, at a rate of two per season until December 2022. Then he premiered with the albiceleste. First against the Netherlands to close the way to the semifinal. Dibu Martínez saved twice and the right back, who had left in the second part of extra time, threw the bolt to the classification. Then, in the final against France, with a whole country behind, he had to stand against Lloris. If he scored, Argentina was world champion again. He deceived him undeterred with a cross rejection. All Sevillismo then thought why Sevilla had never taken advantage of that ability.

The Sevilla third of the Puskas Arena visualized that image when, again in the fourth penalty, after two saves from Bono, Montiel was heading to the penalty spot. It was not up to him but to Suso in the order set by Mendilibar, but the failures of Roma could make it the last and the Argentine asked for it. He wanted to be able to make his team champion. In fact, he didn't have one but two." It was my turn to define it. I made a mistake, but the goalkeeper had gone ahead and I was able to pass it on and I kicked calmly, "he described in the mixed zone where he did not stop wearing a flag with the shield of his neighborhood, the names of three deceased friends and a photo of him and the World Cup. "They're gone but they always go with me," he explained.

From stand-in to hero

Montiel hugs Bono after winning the Europa League.ANNA SZILAGYIEFE

The Sevilla player had words of affection for his friend Dybala and praise for Bono, the protagonist of Sevilla's seventh Europa League. Bono had not been allowed under the sticks in a penalty shootout since Dec. 6. In Qatar, with the shirt of Morocco he saved the shots of Soler and Busquets to put his team in the semifinals. Since then, Sevilla's goal has had ups and downs that led Mendilibar to bet on Dmitrovic in La Liga and give him the Europa League that was stinging could be short.

Yesterday at the Puskas Arena he was not only a starter, as against United or Juve, but he was agitated to give the title to Sevilla. If there was a hero it was the goalkeeper who stopped the penalties. Not one, as Mendilibar said in the press room and he corrected him with derision: "If I don't touch it, it goes inside, look at the image." He trusted his teammates to score, so it was up to him to look for Roma's ruling. "We couldn't go past this cup after we got here," he warned as he looked at a man of the match trophy that was almost forgotten in the press room. The desired one they had in the locker room.

The Europa League unleashed a storm of emotions that led Navas to not be able to hold back tears confessing that he had spent weeks without being able to leave home, Acuña to jump through all the bowels of the stadium and Joan Jordan to not know how to explain the resurrection. "It's been a very difficult year, I've seen all my teammates cry and there were times when nobody believed in us. But Europe did respect Sevilla and there is the result, "he said.

The question now that everyone is asking is what will happen to Mendilibar. "He hasn't cried because Mendi doesn't cry," Jordan joked. "I'll get angry if he doesn't continue," Navas warned. Neither Pepe Castro, who was in the photo of the title before the coaching staff itself, nor Monchi clarified anything. In that suspense lives the Basque, carefree, and his assistants, who dismantled the dressing room to take the panels with which UEFA dresses the stage of the finals. Just in case it was the first and the last.

  • Sevilla FC

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