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First Team

‘I’d like to play against Barcelona… in the semi-finals’

Fernando, the player of the match vs Osasuna, states ‘after the game, it took me some time to fall asleep because of all the excitement.’

‘I’d like to play against Barcelona … in the semi-finals’ expressed keeper Fernando to the question made by the club’s official media about his personal preference as to which team he would like to play in the Spanish Cup quarter-finals. Almeria’s next rivals in the last eight will be known this Friday after the draw (1 p.m. CET). 

The 30-year-old goalie explained that ‘the truth is that I’d prefer to play the least solid team, although at this point in time…there’re no more. That would make things easier for us to advance and then play Barcelona in the semi-finals. It’s always exciting for any player to compete against such a great club.’

Hospitalet, Numancia, Alavés and Osasuna have been dumped out of the cup competition. ‘What we’re doing is incredible. We’ve knocked the first two out. We’re in one of the final rounds of the Copa del Rey and that gives us a real buzz.’ he stressed.

He was unquestionably the player of the match, not only because of the penalties he saved, but also because of other brilliant interventions he made. On this subject, he indicated that ‘this is everyone's achievement and the team's hard work must be highlighted. We must also congratulate the penalty-takers.’

Fernando acknowledges that after the game ‘It took me some time to fall asleep but when you had a great experience, there’s nothing to complain about. We finished very late and it takes a while to take it all in. My mobile phone wouldn’t stop ringing ...’ On Thursday morning, when he got the stadium, he ran into a Saint card with his face on it next to a candle left in the dressing room: ‘My team-mates were just playing the fool,’ he laughed.

As for the penalty shoot-out, Fernando revealed that ‘when the 90 minutes were gone, I asked the coaching staff to prepare all the information we had collected from the Osasuna penalty-takers in case we also tied after extra-time. We didn’t know about the shooting style of all of them, but we did know about some of them. For example, we knew about the first spot-kick that I saved, but we didn’t in the second. I dived to the left before…and the penalty-taker knew about it. So, I made up my mind and dived to the right instead and I was right.’ 

As mentioned above, Almeria will find out their quarter-final rivals this Friday. However, the main objective for Fernando right now is none other than to beat Castellón in the league fixture.