Girona, the nice surprise of the season in La Liga, was brought back to reality on Saturday by Real Madrid (4-0), its coach Michel measuring the distance that the Catalans still have to go to be able to compete with the greats of Spain . “You have to recognize when the rival is stronger. (...) We saw a great Madrid this evening. If they continue like this, I think it will be very complicated to see them lose points and not be champions,” said the Girona coach at a press conference.
“It’s a learning defeat, which puts us in our place. Our level is not that of Real Madrid, we still have one or two steps to go to be at that level,” he added. Relegated five lengths from their evening opponent after this second defeat of the season, their team (2nd, 56 points) will now have to achieve a flawless performance and hope for missteps from Real, to possibly become the first club to steal the crown to the big three of Spain (Real, Barça, Atlético) since Valencia 20 years ago.
“Our championship is played against Athletic Bibao, Real Sociedad, Bétis, Valencia... We cannot play in the same league as Real Madrid, Barça and Atlético. We are not the fourth candidate (for the title),” conceded Michel. The Spanish technician nevertheless affirms that Girona “is currently in a dream” and intends to “stay there”, while the small Catalan club is already having the best season in its history and remains well on its way to securing a first European qualification.