Benfica coach Jesus proud of team

Amsterdam, May 16 (IANS) Benfica coach Jorge Jesus was disappointed by the 1-2 loss of his side to Chelsea in the final of the Europa League here but said he was proud of the performance of his players.

Benfica was better most of the game but lost after Branislav Ivanovic scored the winner in injury time Wednesday night, reports Xinhua.

“I am proud that Benfica showed that we would have been be worthy winners. The Benfica fans deserved the win. It is especially difficult for the fans. Benfica was better for most of the 93 minutes, more consistent. We played high quality football against a very good team like Chelsea which was very good in counter-attack,” Jesus said.

Benfica also lost the possible championship match last Saturday against FC Porto in injury time.

“This is not usual for Benfica. We were not unlucky. We just had to do something and we did not do it. We did not deserve to lose.”

Jesus admires the total football style of the Dutch national team of Johan Cruijff in 1970s and took the opportunity to have a trial at FC Barcelona in 1990s, at that time coached by Cruijff. After the final, he not only met former French legend Michel Platini, now UEFA boss, but also Cruijff himself.

“Platini not only congratulated me but also said we played an excellent game. But I was even more proud when Johan Cruijff hugged me and said that Benfica showed it has a great team and that Benfica played football he liked,” Jesus said.

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