January 5, 2018 / 4:45 PM / in 10 months

Soccer: Valencia coach Marcelino 'born again' after car crash

Villarreal's coach Marcelino Garcia talks during a news conference ahead of their match on Thursday. REUTERS/Heino Kalis/File Photo

(Reuters) - Valencia coach Marcelino said on Friday he feels “born again” after being involved in a serious car crash with his wife and mother on Dec. 23 after colliding with a wild boar on a motorway in northern Spain.

Marcelino and his wife and mother spent one night in hospital after their car skidded off the motorway between Logrono and Bilbao as they were returning to the coach’s home in Gijon after Valencia’s 1-0 La Liga defeat to Villarreal.

“Physically I’m feeling better each day, I have the occasional pain in my neck but it is not that bad, and mentally I’m trying to get over a difficult moment,” Marcelino told a news conference, speaking in public for the first time since the crash.

“Enough time has now passed and I’m focusing on looking forward.”

The coach returned to Valencia on Wednesday wearing a neck brace but was advised by doctors against travelling with his team to their King’s Cup game at Las Palmas. He will return to the dugout for the first time since the incident for Saturday’s home game against Girona in the league.

Marcelino’s car was destroyed in the crash, while the boar, which typically weigh over 90 kilograms, was killed instantly.

“It’s difficult for me to describe what happened but it’s as simple as we were on a toll road for security reasons and then suddenly I saw something ahead, it crashed into us and after that everything is difficult to remember,” he said.

“Fortunately we are all here, three people have been born again. It was a distressing moment but we had a lucky outcome and the car came to a halt. That saved our lives and prevented us from having more serious injuries.”

Valencia made a flying start to the season under Marcelino and emerged as title contenders but have dropped to third in the standings, 11 points behind runaway leaders Barcelona.

Reporting by Richard Martin in Barcelona; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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