November 25, 2017 / 1:39 PM / in a year

Sevilla-Berizzo to decide future next week after cancer diagnosis

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Sevilla coach Eduardo Berizzo said on Saturday he will wait until next week to decide if he continues in charge of the club while he receives treatment for prostate cancer.

FILE PHOTO - Soccer Football - Champions League - Spartak Moscow vs Sevilla - Otkrytiye Arena, Moscow, Russia - October 17, 2017 Sevilla coach Eduardo Berizzo (R) and Spartak Moscow coach Massimo Carrera (L) react REUTERS/Grigory Dukor

Speaking for the first time since the club confirmed the diagnosis on Wednesday, the day after his side battled back from three goals down to draw 3-3 with Liverpool, Berizzo confirmed he would take charge of Sunday’s game at Villarreal but did not know what would happen after that.

“I have to take this seriously and I will do what the doctors tell me to do,” Berizzo told a news conference on Saturday.

Sevilla are fifth in the Liga standings, one point ahead of Villarreal in sixth.

“I’ll be at the game tomorrow like I am at every game and next week I will put all my attention towards solving this problem. I don’t like to talk about myself or play the victim,” he said.

“I’m one more member of the team, with a special job, but some things need to be resolved privately. I need to take this decision with calm.”

Berizzo also said he did not tell his players he had been diagnosed with cancer during halftime against Liverpool, as some local media had reported.

Sevilla were trailing Juergen Klopp’s side by three goals at the break but staged a stunning turnaround in the second half, snatching a point with Pizarro’s 93rd-minute strike which saw the entire team race towards the touch-line to celebrate with Berizzo.

“I’m grateful to Pizarro for focusing the attention on me but this second half was so exciting for me as a football fanatic, I had my heart in my mouth,” he added.

“I didn’t use such a delicate situation as this to motivate my players, I have enough tact and other arguments. I don’t like being the focus of attention. In my job the players are the most important ones but I thank them for that gesture of support and for showing faith in their coach.”

Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Stephen Powell

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