‘Couldn’t be more proud’ – Real Sociedad boss Imanol upbeat despite Champions League exit

Real Sociedad head coach Imanol opted to focus on the positives, on the back of his side’s exit from the Champions League on Tuesday.

La Real, of course, were back in action late last night.

Turning attentions back towards matters on the continent, the Txuri-Urdin welcomed French heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain to Anoeta, for the 2nd leg of the Champions League Last-16 tie between the clubs.

Sociedad headed into proceedings aware that they faced an uphill task in booking a spot in the competition’s quarter-finals, on the back of a 2-0 first leg defeat in Paris.

When all was said and done in San Sebastian on Tuesday, though, quality, once more, proved telling.

As much came as a brace on the part of the electric Kylian Mbappé proved enough to guide visitors PSG to victory, with Mikel Merino’s late strike having represented little more than a consolation come the full-time whistle.

Speaking to the media post-match, Real Sociedad boss Imanol was in turn asked for his take on the difference made by Real Madrid-bound Mbappé over the course of the tie’s two legs.

The Spanish tactician, though, was keen to highlight the fact that PSG are far more than just a one-man team.

“It’s not just Mbappé, it’s Dembélé, Vitinha…” he began, as cited by Diario Sport. “They have tremendous physical power, a top level and a great coach who has the team hooked. To take the ball away we have to run a lot.”

From here, Imanol also made use of the opportunity to heap praise on his squad, ‘proud’ of the never-say-due attitude displayed by La Real’s stars:

“A coach cannot be prouder than I am today. That applause from the public is the result of the team’s work in recent years and they have been able to appreciate it.

“Even at that moment when the team could have fallen and PSG could have killed us, the team rebuilt itself and stood up to the end.”

Conor Laird | GSFN

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