Fiorentina President Andrea Della Valle praised his players and thanked coach Vincenzo Montella for their run in this season’s Europa League, after bowing out in the round of 16 against fellow Serie A giant Juventus. The Italian league leader progressed with a 2-1 aggregate win after winning 1-0 on Thursday night in Florence; veteran midfielder Andrea Pirlo’s fantastic free kick proved to be the difference in a game where Fiorentina missed several chances to take the lead. The loss was La Viola’s first in the competition.
“I compliment the coach and the players, as the first half could so easily have ended 2-0 for us,” President Della Valle told reporters. “I am proud of what we achieved and we should carry on from here.”
Indeed, Fiorentina still has much to play for this season. Currently fourth in Serie A, La Viola is 10 points behind Rafael Benitez’s Napoli in third, and is also in the Coppa Italia final against the Partenopei in May.
Meanwhile, Montella said he was equally proud of his players for their display. “For one day we will soak up the bitterness, but tomorrow we will begin again seeking our objectives, without forgetting the incredible work we’ve done so far. Now we want to end our season on a high,” the Fiorentina coach said, “The applause from our fans at the final whistle filled us with pride. It was yet another sign of how close our supporters are to us. Now we must concentrate on Serie A.”