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Gerhard Poschner - the Romanian refugee and German midfield genius. Age is no barrier, again - Albert Dorca (19th June, 2017)

There are many midfielders known for their ability to "clean up the mess", to defend with both heart and mind. There are many midfielders known for their ability to distribute the ball with authority, to create chances with ease, to keep the team ticking, to control the tempo and flow of the game.

There aren't many midfielders known for doing both. Gerhard Poschner was one of them.

Poschner was born in Dumitra, Romania - a country from which in 1974, at the age of five, his family fled to escape the communist regime and moved abroad to Bietigheim-Bissingen, West Germany. Poschner started playing football at the age of nine with SpVgg Bissingen. At 13, VfB Stuttgart spotted him playing at a talent scouting event organised by the Württemberg Football Association, and e began his professional career in 1987–88 with the club. He played three seasons with little impact in the first team (an average of 15 Bundesliga appearances) due to intense competition in his position.

Poschner emerged as a top flight player with Borussia Dortmund, scoring 14 league goals from 1990 to 1994 and losing, for the second time, the UEFA Cup - the first time, with Stuttgart, he was a spectator. He returned to Stuttgart for four and a half additional campaigns, helping the side win the 1997 edition of the DFB-Pokal and reach the final of the 1998 UEFA Cup Winner's Cup - a final in which he was sent off.

He would move to Venezia in Italy in January 1999. Six months later, however, he would move to Spain, signing for Rayo Vallecano in 1999.

In the 1999-00 season, he helped Rayo to its best-ever classification in La Liga (9th), and the club was eventually awarded a place in European competition via the Fair Play award, after which it reached the quarter-finals with the midfielder being an important element. He subsequently played for Rapid Wien, Polideportivo Ejido and 1860 München, before retiring at the age of almost 35.




I've written about Sergio Pelegrín, Edu Albácar and Nino - the veterans at Elche who've made their mark in their own way. But there's another veteran at the club who only joined last summer who has left his mark too.

Born in Olot, Albert Dorca was raised in the Barcelona youth academy, playing for the Barcelona C team between 1999 and 2003 in the Tercera.

His first shot at rising up the Spanish footballing ladder went to dust quickly - he signed for Palamós in the Segunda B at the age of 21 but after just one season the team was relegated, finishing in bottom place and not winning a single away game all season. The olotí went back to the Tercera and joined another Catalan team - Castelldefels - in 2004, and then recently relegated Girona in 2005.

The tough-tackling, all action midfielder stayed with the club for seven seasons, winning back to back promotions in 2007 and 2008.

The 26 year old made his professional debut for a club that was in the same province as, and just one hour away from, his hometown, and became an integral part of the team that gave him an opportunity when just an amateur player.

He left the club in 2012, and has never left the Segunda since. He has gone on to play for Racing Santander and Real Murcia for a season each - both of which ended in relegation, and Real Zaragoza for two seasons - and in both of them Real Zaragoza would stumble at the final hurdle before promotion.

And despite being 34, he is still playing professional football. And going strong - he has been an integral part of every team he plays for.



Couple of days back, I committed myself to shorten my titles. Today, it's 125 characters.

It's almost like I'm trying to not come up with short, catchy, clickbait-y titles.

I don't know if I'm proud of that.



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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…