Tuesday, 6th May, 2014

Athletic Bilbao boss Ernesto Valverde has expressed his delight after seeing his team secure fourth place in the Spanish league, thus managing a Champions League spot.

Los Leones have now won two games on the trot, opening up an eight-point gap between themselves and fifth placed Sevilla.

The 2011/12 Europa League runners-up will now have the chance to return to the Champions League for the first time since 1998/99.

Terming it as a moment of "immense joy" the former Villarreal boss hailed the collective effort of the team for securing the achievement.


"The unity, the connection within our group is our strength; in that sense, it's the best [group of players] I've had", Valverde told UEFA's official site.

"For a team like ours, finishing behind Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid is a triumph, especially for this club's special philosophy.

"It represents enormous joy to be to be in this UEFA Champions League playoffs, but we have two Liga games remaining.

"Our goal is to register as many points as possible and to remain true to what we have been doing up until now."

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