BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
David Soria admits he is “living the dream” after winning the Europa League with Sevilla – just four years after failing to earn a contract with Hearts.
The gifted goalkeeper, making just his 13th start for the club, was on cloud nine after helping Unai Emery’s side claim a thrilling 3-1 win over Liverpool to lift the trophy for the third successive season.
However, it could have been a very different story for the towering Spaniard.
Following his release by Real Madrid in May 2012, he arrived in Edinburgh along with fellow trialist Diego Moreno Minguez in a bid to win a deal with the Jambos under boss Paulo Sergio.
Soria even turned out for Hearts’ under-19 side, playing alongside the likes of Callum Tapping, Fraser Mullen and Kevin McHattie in a 3-0 win over Livingston’s kids.
However, he did not do enough to convince Hearts, who were approaching a summer which would see their budget slashed, to hand him a contract and he subsequently joined Sevilla’s youth ranks.
Despite only being the club’s second choice goalkeeper, Emery chose to field the 23-year-old in European competition this term and stuck with the youngster for Wednesday evening’s showpiece in Basel.
Speaking after the triumph, which also secured a Champions League spot for next season, Soria told beIN Sports the journey has left him pinching himself.
He said: “Even in my wildest dreams, I couldn’t imagine being here earlier in the season, but now I am living that dream.
“This is not just a team, it is a great team. Despite injuries and adversity we have managed to win.
“I don’t know what is so special about Sevilla in this competition but we were the team that wanted it more.”