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Fran Beltrán. The best Basque striker. And the best Mirandés player (28th May, 2017)

A player who we all love at the club. Fran has more maturity than his age says


-Paco Jémez, in 2015

I was wrong.

Fran Beltrán has been linked with Barcelona many times. His talent is unquestionable and his desire to make it at Rayo undeniable.

But his desire to stay at Rayo was always in doubt. Despite signing a new contract that kept him at the club till 2020, a eight million euro release clause seemed like the board were looking to make a quick buck.

It's important to know his history - at the tender age of 16, Fran made his Rayo B debut against CD San Fernando in December 2015. A tireless midfielder with excellent technique and ball-winning capabilities, he has also been called up for the U-17 Spanish national football team, and regularly plays for the first team.

But in an interview with Marca this week, Fran said this:

"I was clear that if another team came, Madrid or Barça, I wanted to stay here. I can not think of a better place than Rayo"

Obviously, words are just that - words. It's undeniable that Fran will be tempted to leave. But it's always nice to know that the future of the Rayo midfield is in safe hands - at least for now.



There are difficulties in player's lived when you remove the glamour of the First Division, where players have already gained higher economic status and better sporting opportunities. 

Born in Barakaldo, Biscay, Urko Vera played mostly amateur football until the age of 23, having represented Basque giants Athletic Bilbao as a youth from ages 10–12. During his spell at SD Lemona, he received part of his wage by taking the team's kits to the laundry. 

In the last minutes of the 2011 January transfer window, after impressing with Lemona in Segunda División B (the club was coached by legendary Athletic player Aitor Larrazábal), Vera was acquired by the Lions, signing a one 1/2-year contract and initially being assigned to the reserve side, Bilbao Athletic.

He earned the the affection of Athletic fans, despite playing just five games, for his hard work and his determination. The 6'3" striker showed humility at a club that competes with the very best - difficult even at a club where Basque identity is a symbol of pride.

After being released in 2011 he resumed his career in Segunda División, representing five clubs in just four years, including Hércules, Ponferradina, Alcorcón, Eibar and Mirandés. For the last club, he netted 20 times in all competitions.

Vera moved to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC in the K League Classic in late July 2015. Six months later, in January of the following year, he returned to his country and joined Osasuna in the second level.


In August 2016, Vera signed a one-year deal with Huesca, still in the second tier. The following year in January, he returned to Mirandés after leaving by mutual consent.

At a struggling Mirandés, he is already the second top scorer with five goals. He works hard for his goals, he runs without pause, he is strong in the air and he creates space for teammates.

But, most of all, he is humble. He listens to the coaches instructions. He puts his heart and soul in every game without any applause to greet it.

He is the best Basque striker. Period.



Urko Vera is arguably the most successful Mirandés player. But the player who Mirandés fans will always keep in their hands is someone, ironically, from Burgos.

He spent until the age of 29 in the Tercera. Pablo Infante played at youth level with local Real Burgos CF, Vadillos CF and Racing Lermeño. He started playing senior football at the age of 19, for Racing Lermeño (1999-02), Río Vena (2002-03) and Arandina (2003-05).

In 2005, Mirandés acquired his services while in the fourth division. Pablo Infante was a constant in an ever changing squad, helping the team to the Segunda B in 2009. In 2011–12, his name became known in Spain after the Castile and León club's performances in the campaign's Copa del Rey, disposing of La Liga clubs Villarreal and Racing de Santander, with the player scoring four of the team's six goals in those four matches, and eventually being crowned the competition's top scorer; in the domestic league, he netted 13 goals in the regular season alone to help the side promote to division two for the first time ever.

At the age of 32, Pablo Infante made his professional debut in the Segunda, and in the 2013-14 season he even scored nine goals. He subsequently played for Ponferradina for two seasons (2014-16), before retiring.

But even nine seasons with the Rojillos may not have cemented his place in the club's history.

It turned out that Infante spent years refusing offers from club in higher divisions due to his work as director of a bank branch, located 50 kilometers from Mirandés' facilities.




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