Bruno: “I will never forget it”
Bruno: “I will never forget it”

The midfielder underlined what it felt like to play once more after more than three years without being able to due to injury

He is here again. Bruno Soriano once more played an official game for Villarreal after more than three years without being able to do so because of an injury. The midfielder yesterday came on to feature in the closing stages of the game against Sevilla FC at the Estadio de la Cerámica (2-2). Bruno appeared in a press conference this morning alongside Villarreal CF dead of medical services Adolfo Muñoz, to talk about what he was feeling.

The Yellows captain was extremely happy to have returned, and also for the support he’s received: “I’m very happy. Yesterday, I found it hard to get to sleep because of what happened on the pitch. I missed the fans, but my team-mates made me feel really good and it was a very special day for me. It’s been hard, and it’s been tough. We know there are long-term injuries, but mine was something else. There have moments with every emotion possible, including some where I thought about throwing in the towel. The day by day becomes hard. I’ve had doubts, but now I’ve been able to play after all this hard work.”

His team-mates, the coaching staff and even members of the board received Bruno with a warm applause and hugs in the dressing room after the game against Sevilla: “Being able to enjoy moments with my team-mates is a very big step. I felt their support and now I want to play as many games as possible in what’s left of the season. I will try and give my best to help the team. For me, it meant a lot. I was very emotional. I didn’t expect it and I couldn’t believe what was happening. Everyone congratulated me and they were really good to me. It’s something I’ll always keep in my heart. I won’t forget people being so good to me. If it wasn’t for Javi Calleja, I might not have been back. He always believed in me, that I could return. Everyone at the club has been great to me. They’re things you note in life. When I’m at home, I’ll remember it and I’ll get emotional.”

Bruno underlines that he gave his all when he went onto the pitch: “I was as prepared as you can be to go on. I didn’t have time to adapt. I wanted to enjoy every second on the pitch. I felt good and in two minutes, my nerves had gone. I enjoyed it which was what I wanted.”

Bruno has recovered, but he hasn’t forgot the past: “All this time has given me time to think in a lot of things. In returning to pull on the yellow shirt, in retirement… My day-to-day life was based on coming to work and listening to the medical staff to get out of this situation. It’s been hard for everyone, even the fans. With time passing, it’s normal for people to think that it would be best for me to retire. I’ve heard some ugly things, but at the end of the day, when you’re having such a bad time, you only take on board what helps you. A lot of people have been great with me and that’s what I’ll take from all this. The people from the town have shown their support and I’ll always keep that in my heart.”

The Yellows captain also wanted to thank the club for their support: “In the club, they’ve been great to me. The president gave me a hug and it was one of the best hugs I’ve ever got, I’ll always remember it. I don’t think there are many clubs who would be as good to a player as they’ve been to me. At no point at all have they pressured me, in fact, the opposite. They’ve always supported me.” 

Adolfo Muñoz: “Bruno is an example of overcoming adversity”

Villarreal CF head of medical services Adolfo Muñoz hailed Bruno’s hard work and underlined that he shows how to overcome hard moments: “Bruno is an example of overcoming adversity. You have to be very strong mentally to deal with what he’s dealth with. There are other cases of team-mates who have had serious injuries, but I think Bruno’s was the hardest psychologically. You have to overcome small obstacles each day. He has returned full of joy and is keen to enjoy. His case is worthy of being studied in the football world.”

Finally, Muñoz underlined that during these three years, they have focused on an objective which finally came true: “The hard work that the player put in has been immense. His ability to suffer and then recover has been incredible. At every moment, we’ve tried to find the best solution so he could return to playing football. Yesterday we managed it and we’re all very happy. Bruno knows we were persistent in his recovery. We always thought he could recover. He’s always been pushing him. I would also like to to thank Jordi Vives and Josep Rochera for their work, as they were very important. If this club wasn’t like a family, his return would have been much more complicated. We owed it to Bruno to get him back playing.”

Watch the press conference in Spanish and Valencian by clicking play.