Real Sociedad coach enjoying sleepless nights after beating Madrid

Reuters , Sunday 9 Feb 2020

Imanol Alguacil
Real Sociedad's Spanish coach Imanol Alguacil gestures during the Spanish Copa del Rey (King's Cup) quarter-final football match Real Madrid CF against Real Sociedad at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on February 06, 2020. (Photo: AFP)

Real Sociedad’s momentous 4-3 victory away to Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey has left their coach without sleep and fearing it has shaved years off his life, but he would happily go through the emotions all over again if it meant lifting the trophy.

“I haven’t slept for days and I may have lost five years of life after the game but I’d gladly lose five more to see our fans celebrate winning the Cup,” Imanol Alguacil said ahead of Sunday’s Basque derby at home to Athletic Bilbao.

Sociedad, who have not won a major trophy since lifting the Cup in 1987, face second division Mirandes in the last four.

Athletic Bilbao, who beat Barcelona 1-0 in their quarter-final, meet Granada in the other last-four tie, meaning the two Basque sides could meet in the final.

Alguacil admitted that the euphoria of the victory over Real Madrid had overshadowed the build-up to Sunday’s derby, but insisted his side were fully focussed on the match as they look to kickstart their bid to get back into the top four in La Liga.

“People have told me they saw people crying with happiness the other day and that means so much to us,” he added.

“But tomorrow’s game is vital for us if we want to continue growing and continue believing.”

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