Fiorentina, De La Fuente: “Proud of these girls. The project must continue”


Sebastian de la Fuente, coach of the Fiorentina Femminile, spoke in the mixed zone after the defeat on penalties in the Italian Cup final against Roma which had seen the Viola take a 3-1 lead midway through the second half: “In the 90 minutes and also in extra time we deserved to win against a great team that was able to always stay in the game. Maybe the 3-2 came too soon after our double lead, maybe if we had managed to maintain it longer the match would have ended differently. I congratulate the girls who played 120 minutes, as underdogs against Roma, proving that they are up to these matches.”

Which detail makes you regret the most today?
“The match was prepared well, Roma struggled to play their usual game, but these matches must be determined by episodes, at 3-3 we remained a bit open while we built the action. The detail was the penalties. For us to come here and make this final, putting them ahead despite having finished far from Roma in the championship, means being a great team. There is no regret other than luck in the penalty shootout.”

Is there more bitterness in not having closed the match in the 90′ ​​than in the penalties?
“We conceded the 3-2 quite quickly as I said before, perhaps there was some carelessness on our part, but I would have to review the match, but we are always in the game. In extra time we had 5-6 good balls while they were open, then the same for them with us too open and in the end I’m happy to have seen a Fiorentina who were underdogs play a great match against a great team like Roma.”

What do you take home from this vintage?
“A positive final, a success because this is what it means for Fiorentina to reach the Cup final. An excellent result against Roma in which we were ahead for ninety minutes. Then we were unlucky in the penalty shootout, there is bitterness for the girls who didn’t deserve a final like this, but I can’t say that there is enough bitterness to see it as negative. We are building something important, we will do it again next year. This year we finished third, we returned to the Champions League and we played in this final, losing on penalties against a Roma team that had drawn only one match and lost only twice in the league.”

Has Janogy’s exit taken anything away from you going forward? Was there a physical problem or did he no longer have one?
“After the goal she asked me for a substitution, we kept her on the pitch as much as we could because we know she is a constant threat, but then she and Toniolo asked for a substitution and we took them off. Up until then I hadn’t made any changes because the team had played a great game and whoever came in did the same. I struggled to change, but then she was too tired given the great effort and we took her off. Longo came in as lively as she was, had the opportunities he did and took the penalty, scoring it. She is a girl from 2000, unfortunately she gets Severini wrong who is 2003, but we are a young team that is growing and today it fills me with pride to coach these girls”.

Will this path continue?
“It is a project that must go forward, now we will talk to the club to do it. We are back in the Champions League and we are in the Italian Cup final. I’m happy in Florence and then we’ll see what to do, it’s not my job to make these speeches. I repeat that I am happy to be here, to coach these girls who have made me proud.”