Eletiofe'We are like a family,' says Sevilla's Luuk de...

‘We are like a family,’ says Sevilla’s Luuk de Jong after Europa League win

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  • De Jong scores two headers in 3-2 final victory over Inter
  • Conte: ‘I’m not sure I’ll be Inter manager next season’

Luuk de Jong with the Europa League trophy






Luuk de Jong with the Europa League trophy.
Photograph: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Luuk de Jong said Sevilla’s sixth Europa League triumph was due to them being “like a family” after helping them defeat Internazionale.

The former Borussia Mönchengladbach and Newcastle striker reprised his heroics when, after his winner had dumped Manchester United out of the competition at the semi-final stage, he scored twice in the 3-2 final victory over Antonio Conte’s men in Cologne.

De Jong told BT Sport: “It’s incredible. We’ve had such tough games all tournament but we have played so well as a team. You could see it during the tournament, we were really a team, like a family.

“We worked together and it didn’t matter who played, who came on the pitch, everybody was working for each other and you could see it also in this last game.

“It was tough. We started well but out of nothing they scored a goal because of the penalty. But then I could score two headers. It’s an amazing feeling for me and luckily at the end, we could win the game.”

Conte told Sky Sports in Italy: “Next week we’ll decide about my future. I’m not sure I’ll be the Inter manager next season. Inter will plan the future with or without me.”

De Jong, who had scored only eight goals all season before the final, came off the bench against United but was included from the start against Inter and Julen Lopetegui’s faith was richly rewarded.

He cancelled out Romelu Lukaku’s fifth-minute penalty with a diving header and then powered home an Éver Banega free-kick to make it 2-1, although it was Lukaku’s own goal that won the final for Sevilla after Diego Godín had levelled.

Asked when he was told he would be playing, De Jong said: “This morning, he [Lopetegui] told me. But I told him – like I told him for the other games – that I’m always ready when he needs me, and today it worked really well for me.

“I think it’s my speciality. The first cross from [Jesus] Navas was perfect. I anticipated at the near post and it went in, and then the second one, a great cross from Banega and these headers are really special when you can put them in at the far post, and it went in perfectly.”

Lopetegui, who was sacked by Spain and Real Madrid before taking over at Sevilla, was delighted to have secured the first trophy of his reign. “It’s very special to win a cup and for me, for the club, for our fans, it is very special. We are very happy because we have worked very hard and we have a happy ending.”

Commenting on De Jong’s contribution, he added: “Luuk is a very good player. He was waiting for his moment and he arrived at the right moment.”

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