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Welcome to The Hinchas y Jugadores project! (30th April, 2017)

The Hinchas y Jugadores project was founded with the aim of bringing fans and footballers together. It is convenient to think of fans as fanatics and footballers as pawns on a tactics board.

It is convenient. It is also wrong.

Behind the scenes, fans and footballers are people, and their stories deserve to be heard. And what makes it beautiful is that all those stories, no matter the source, are connected by the sport they love.

This project will last 19 consecutive days. Why 19, you ask?

Because 19 is the number of autonomous communities and cities in Spain, a regionalism that is often contentious in its existence yet celebrated for its diversity. Because it was in 1919 that King Alfonso XIII of Spain came to the throne - the last monarch until the proclamation of the Second Republic in 1931. Because Spain's U-19 team is one of the most successful in the world. Because La Liga players have accumulated a record 19 Ballon d'Or awards. Because I discovered a surprising number of English speaking Ponferradina fans and next season will be their 19th Segunda B stint.

And also because my other blog is 19spains.com and you should totally check it out.

Starting tomorrow, for 19 consecutive days, fans, writers, footballers and coaches - you name it - will talk about their clubs and experiences.

I hope you enjoy it!

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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.

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