Exclusive: 'I was absolutely gone’ – Brecel ‘didn’t fancy winning’ when Selby fought back

Luca Brecel has revealed he was “absolutely gone” and “didn’t fancy winning” when Mark Selby was fighting back in the World Championship final.

Brecel led 16-10 after winning the opening frame of the final session, before Selby won five consecutive frames and stopped the Belgian Bullet from potting a ball for 54 minutes.

However, Brecel dug deep and took the next two frames to become the first world champion from continental Europe.

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“Just unreal,” he told Eurosport. “When he came back at me, 16-10 to 16-15, I was struggling so much. I didn’t fancy winning at all, to be honest, I was absolutely gone.

“I knew I needed a good chance to settle down again and feel calm again. In the last frame I was okay, actually. I was so focused, I just wanted the perfect angle on every shot.

“I didn’t want any difficult shots. The first pink was quite difficult, but apart from that, my cue ball was good. It was such an intense relief to get over the line, it’s crazy.”

Asked what went through his mind when he potted the final balls to secure title, the 28-year-old added: “A lot of things. All the stories I heard about myself not being good enough and things like this.

“But also the positive thoughts like my family is here, my best friends, my girlfriend is here. It’s an unbelievable moment for me, it’s so special.

“If I would have lost that I would have felt so bad for so long, which I normally wouldn’t do. I had so much pressure on myself and there was only one way, that was winning.”

Brecel clinches ‘sensational’ maiden world title against Selby at Crucible

Brecel had not won a match at the Crucible prior to this year and admitted he did very little practice before the tournament.

However, he thinks winning snooker’s biggest prize will only lead to better things and he will be back on the baize at a pro-am tournament in Vienna on Wednesday.

“I’ve never really been a person to think about winning specific tournaments, not even the World Championship, I just love playing,” he said.

Brecel holds trophy aloft after making history in winning first world title

“I’ve won this now and in two days I’m going to the Vienna Open, that’s the way I am. I just love playing on the table and it doesn’t matter where.

“This is just the ultimate dream come true and I won’t believe it for a long time.”

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