Soccer-Michel left with bittersweet feelings as Girona celebrate remarkable season

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - LaLiga - Atletico Madrid v Girona - Metropolitano, Madrid, Spain - April 13, 2024 Girona coach Michel before the match REUTERS/Violeta Santos Moura/File Photo

(Reuters) - Girona coach Michel said on Friday he was a bit saddened by the end of a season that will be hard to repeat after his side finished third, their best ever league finish, and secured a place in the Champions League for the first time.

The Catalans closed their campaign with a 7-0 thrashing of Granada in front of a jubilant home crowd. They finished with 81 points, a tally that only Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona have achieved in the current league format.

But Michel knows that Girona, who were only promoted to the top flight in 2022, will have to work hard to repeat their next season.

"I'm feeling a bit down because good things are over," Michel told reporters. "We achieved something very important, the day-to-day of the season has been incredible.

"The counter starts to zero. We will start to fight for a great season to come and that's what we will do from tomorrow onwards.

"We are growing and we have to continue taking steps forward. We have to lay the first stone, rest, recover, celebrate this great success and from next week, start planning to put Girona as high as possible."

Amid a carnival atmosphere at the Montilivi Stadium that included fireworks and a concert, the Spanish manager was already thinking about the changes that will need to be implemented during the off season, with several players expected to leave the club.

"The dynamics of football tell you that it won't be the same players or the same season, the problem is that many people will be missed," he said.

(Reporting by Janina Nuno Rios in Mexico City, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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