After arriving in Seville yesterday, Julen Lopetegui gave his first words as Sevilla FC coach at his official presentation as the Nervionenses' manager. Before responding to questions, he first spoke about the tragic passing of José Antonio Reyes and his cousin Jonathan: "I want to pay tribute to José Antonio Reyes and his cousin and wish José Antonio Calderón a full and fast recovery".
LOPETEGUI: "I COME TO A GREAT AND AMBITIOUS TEAM AND WE WANT TO HELP IT TO CONTINUE GROWING"
Lopetegui then went on to explain: "I have no reason to not be here today. I come to a great, ambitious team, that has shown me a lot of care and determination and I want to be part of this project, and to continue growing. Now we need to start building that dream and to start shaping it. The ambition and history of the Club mean I have no doubt at all that I want to be here".
"We're excited to give shape to Monchi's project"
"The arrival fills us with a huge amount of excitement and we are full of energy and desire to shape Monchi's project. We want to help this Club be a bit bigger and that's why we've come. Now we need to speak little and work a lot so we can make Sevillistas' dreams come true, and, like the anthem says, lift the team. We're not setting any targets - speaking in footballing terms - to make that a reality as soon as possible", said the new Sevilla FC coach.
He continued: "Now we need to work alongside Monchi, who is number one in his job. We're going to have a fantastic squad I'm sure. We're going to try and get the most out of every footballer, to play well, to attack and defend well. We need to do the same at home as well as away in order to make Sevillistas happy and to win enough matches to go as far as possible".
"We want each member of the squad to give the best possible versions of themselves"
"All us coaches want to win. With that as the point of departure, everyone builds their own base for what they want. The objective is to win matches. From there, we'll try to make sure that the squad gives it everything and has a collective cause - giving the very best individual versions of themselves. That is one of the primary guarantees of any team", responded Lopetegui when asked about his desired philosophy for Sevilla.
He was then asked about players who he thought could strengthen the squad: "These days football is global and the important thing is that they are good players. I think even with that, we're going to try and give a bit of care to national football. I had Diego Carlos at Porto when he was a kid, I know him well. We've also seen Dabbur in Austria and we're happy that he's going to be with us".
"What we do, we will do with conviction"
Explaining his style of play: "It's all very well sketching things but the important thing is that it plays out in real situations. Style is an important thing and we'll look for the best style for the squad we have, but with the freedom to nuance a few things. What we do, we'll do with conviction".
On his time off since leaving Real Madrid: "I'm a coach and I've not been able to do what I like to do most for a few months now. I've been able to continue growing and renewing things, but of course we wanted to join a professional and winning project. Clubs are filled with people with sentiment and emotion and that was what convinced us to come here. Of course my family were the first people to congratulate me, my dad joked about needing to put air conditioning in my house".
"We're going to work to give the fans reasons to be happy and proud of their team"
With regards to what the fans can offer, Lopetegui had no hesitation in praising the blanquirroja fanbase: "I know what coming to Sevilla means as an opponent and I've been on the receiving end. I'm very sure it's going to help us as hosts. Every Sevillista is going to push the team, I have no doubt. We're going to work to make sure the team gives the fans reasons to be happy and proud of their Club".
When asked if the academy would play an important role, he was clear that it would certainly feature in plans: "The Sevilla academy has always had answers, it's always contributed important and solid players consistently. We'll be very alert to it, like we should be. If someone comes in it will be because they're going to make us better, that is certain".
To finish up, Lopetegui spoke about the balance of the squad: "Sarabia and Banega are two excellent parts of the squad Monchi is trying to build. On the goalkeeping side, just like the rest of the positions, we'll analyse it and make what we feel are the best decisions".