Squad news

THE PLAYERS EXPECTS A TOUGH MATCH IN MESTALLA

07 Dec 2006
The matches between Deportivo and Valencia are now classics in Spain, and every classic has its own controversy. The penalty of Djukic, <i>el monedazo</i> in the past copa del rey eliminatory... all these things are part of the history, but they are returning into memory now that a new confrontation between the Galicians and the Valencians is near to ensuing.

Valencia Vs Deportivo; this confrontation represents more than just three points. Besides the poor situation lived by both clubs in la liga, the rivalry between the Galicians and the Valencians has grown during the last decade. Everybody remembers scenes like the last-minute penalty failed by Djukic, the coin hitting referee Egido Rozas in last season's copa del rey eliminatory or the endless battles in midfield between Albelda and Mauro Silva.

The players are also conscious that a match against Valencia isn't like any other confrontation, a fact very well explained by Joan Capdevila: "We have been living a big rivalry since some time ago. To play against them is like been playing our second derby. The confrontations aren't exactly a demonstration of brotherhood. I just hope that the rivalry this time will only be a sporting one. Everything started with the penalty of Djukic, people talked about a payment done by Barcelona, nobody liked the gestures of Gonz??lez (the keeper of Valencia at that time)... Since that day, people in La Coru?±a have marked Valencia with an X."

One of the worries is the treatment that the fans at the Mestalla will give to Depor's players, after all, it's the first visit of Depor since the incidents in copa del rey. Juanma is one of the players that analysed this situation: "I guess that they will be hostile. We didn't do anything on that occasion, because our fans weren't the ones that threw the coin. Later the people in Valencia seemed like trying to blame us for those incidents, because they couldn't blame the referee. Valencia will try to heat up the environment, to put pressure on us. But I like these kind of environments."

In this sense, one of the veterans in the group and captain of the team, Manuel Pablo, has the key to manage the situation: "They will yell at us as they always do, but nothing more will happen. We only have to dedicate our time to play football."

Another veteran, Sergio, is convinced that Valencia will try to take advantage of the situation in order to put some pressure on the referee: "They will try to put pressure during the first minutes, and if there is a polemic play, they will try to take advantage of it. We weren't involved in that (the incidents in the copa). We just were seeing the things happening."

Javier Arizmendi also knows the meaning of a match against Valencia. The Madrilian arrived just one year ago, but he was part of the lineup that faced Quique Flores's team in copa del rey. Arizmendi said that he is motivated in order to face this challenge: "This game gives me a special motivation. I perceived the rivalry lived by both clubs during the past season, especially after the incident with the coin."

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