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The fall and rise of Antonio Campillo, and Rival Watch: Mirandés (21st April, 2017)

A huge thanks to Ignasi Torné for designing the official new logo for this blog! Follow him on Twitter: @groundhopperbcn



Sometimes, you have to get knocked down lower than you have ever been to stand back up taller than you ever were.

Born in Madrid, Campillo graduated with Atlético Madrid's youth setup, and made his debuts as a senior with the C-team in 2008, in Tercera División. In the 2009 summer he was promoted to the reserves in Segunda División B.

In July 2010 Campillo moved to another reserve team, Getafe CF B also in the third level. But, in January 2012 he signed for fellow league team UD Melilla, after being rarely used by Getafe. He had been touted as the next big thing for years. But the opportunity never came.

So he went down to the Tercera.

In July 2012 Campillo joined CU Collado Villalba, in the fourth division. After scoring nine goals for the side he agreed to a two-year deal with Rayo Vallecano, being assigned to the B-side in the third tier.

He helped Rayo B get promoted back to the Segunda B, and then scored a career-best 13 goals for them in the 2014-15 season. And in July 2015 Campillo signed a two-year deal with CD Lugo in Segunda División. 

In his first season he was used as a rotational option, but the 26 year old attacking midfielder has found his groove this season. He has scored three goals and has already clocked 2752 minutes - moreover, he has assimilated in a difficult division.

Watch out for him - some mid-table to relegation threatened sides in La Liga will be looking for him this summer, when his contract expires.



Rival Watch

A new segment where I explore another team in the division and how they are doing

If you thought Rayo was having a turbulent season, with three different managers and relegation trouble, spare a thought for Mirandés.

Since 2013, Carlos Terrazas had been at the helm of the club, guiding the club to 19th, 8th and 15th place finishes in the Segunda - it must be noted that in the 2013-14 season Mirandés should have gone down but were saved because Real Murcia (4th place) had failed to obtain a professional license.

But after 16 games Mirandés were bottom of the league, and he was sacked despite the club being just two points off safety.

What followed was turmoil to a degree never seen before.

Caretaker coach Javier Álvarez De los Mozos took over for the 17th game - a 1-0 win against Elche - before handing over the reigns to Claudio Barragán. He, in turn, was sacked after just four games, which included one win and three losses - and 11 goals conceded.

The reigns were given back to Javier Álvarez De los Mozos, this time on a permanent basis. But permanent probably means something else at the club, because he was sacked after 10 games which brought just a solitary win.

Finally, after the 31st jornada, he was replaced by current manager, hopefully current-manager-for-some-time, Pablo Alfaro. Currently, Mirandés are bottom of the league, six points off safety with eight games to go.

Good luck.

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He was short. Very short. At 5'3", the left winger sometimes played in an over-sized shirt.

The ball never left his feet. His feet were tiny but they had magic. A dizzying array of body feints, close control, direction changes and sheer speed, often resembling a roller-coaster, left opposition defenders outwitted. And yes - sometimes, he frustrated. Sometimes, he was irregular.

But when he turned up, the world was at his feet.

If Juan Quero plays against Real Madrid he'll be playing against the club that let him go. The club that didn't think he had it in him to become a La Liga player.

The club that was wrong. Very, very wrong - he went fr…