Sevilla's Steven N'Zonzi sorry for partying after Copa del Rey final defeat
Sevilla midfielder Steven N'Zonzi has apologised for partying in Madrid hours after his side's 5-0 loss to Barcelona in the Copa del Rey final.
Mundo Deportivo published photographs uploaded to Twitter of N'Zonzi in a nightclub, and N'Zonzi, who played the entire game, said he was sorry and tried to explain his actions in a video posted on Sevilla's Twitter account.
"It's difficult for everyone and for us, too, as we weren't happy with our performances," N'Zonzi said. "One has to understand that it's not easy for a player mentally to play every three days. For example, I live alone, I'm always alone at home, I go to train and then I come back to rest."
He said that he decided to go out after the game because his family and friends were with him on Saturday.
"I went out because I think the most important thing in life is health," he said. "If we are healthy, life can't be too bad. I prefer for people to say about me that I didn't play well rather than I went out last night.
Qué afectado se le vio anoche a Nzonzi tras perder 0-5 la final de Copa. pic.twitter.com/LrSA1K6kmW— - (@xFinallyPablo) April 22, 2018
"People have to understand that we have a life and that is difficult to be very focused and think just about football. I understand I made a mistake and that is why I'm apologising to the Sevilla fans. I will continue to work and fight as I always do on the pitch."
Sevilla president Pepe Castro told his club's website said that N'Zonzi will be sanctioned for his actions because he has broken rules.
The club emphasised winning the Copa, which would have been their first since 2010, and N'Zonzi and his teammates were booed by fans as they returned to Seville on Sunday.
Sevilla lost 2-1 on aggregate to Bayern Munich in the quarterfinals of the Champions League earlier this month and have struggled in La Liga. They are seventh and in danger of missing out on European competition next season.
"As president, I have to ask our fans for forgiveness," Castro said. "It's been a season of ups and downs and we cannot be happy because we didn't compete on Saturday. If you don't do that in such an awaited and desired final, you cannot be happy. Everything went badly. You can lose, but not in the way we did."
The loss puts pressure on Sevilla coach Vincenzo Montella, the former AC Milan boss who replaced Eduardo Berizzo in December.
Sevilla have won five, drawn four and lost seven of their league games under Montella and will resume their domestic campaign at Levante on Saturday.
"The administration council will take the measures it believes can help in our last five games that remain in order to be in Europe," Castro said. "We shall see what decision we take, but it's a time to keep a cool head and think what is best for the club. We are in contact with Montella and our coaches, [who are] concerned by the situation."
Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.