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Nino - the Segunda's best player. Ever. And controversy at Rayo's shareholder meeting. (3rd June, 2017)

Yesterday, I wrote an article about Carlos Aranda, who holds the record for playing in La Liga for the most number of clubs - eight.

If you consider just playing for a La Liga club, not actually playing in La Liga with them, that figure becomes nine.

But I dug deeper, and found out that if you look at professional clubs (La Liga and Segunda), Carlos Aranda holds that record jointly with Moisés García - an astonishing 12 clubs. 

Obviously, only if you use the second metric - by the first metric Moisés García is top with 12 and Aranda comes joint second with 11 with a couple of other players.

That record will be broken soon though - there are quite a few players who are at 11, and they still have a couple of seasons in the tank.

So today, I look at a player whose records are unlikely to be broken anytime soon - Elche's Nino. 




Even his name has the word modest in it.

Juan Francisco Martínez Modesto, aka Nino, was born in Vera, Almería, and first appeared professionally with Elche CF, helping the club achieve promotion from the third level in 1998–99. In the following campaign he made his debuts in division two, with 16 matches and two goals, and would go on to develop as an influential figure for the Alicante team in the following years. He would go on to score 84 goals in just 240 games in the next six seasons (2000-06), including 20 goals in the 2004-05 season and 17 in the 2000-01 season - in which Elche came in fifth place.

Nino made his La Liga debut with neighbors Levante. However, just 923 minutes of football and one goal later, he would immediately return to the Segunda, being loaned to Tenerife.

What followed were four incredible seasons for Nino, coinciding with the time strikers usually hit their peak. He finished the 2007-08 campaign with 18 goals, second best in the league behind Xerez's Yordi. The move was made permanent afterwards, on a three-year deal.

In 2008–09, Nino was - finally - crowned the second division's top scorer, with an astonishing 29 goals, and Tenerife returned to the top flight after a seven-year hiatus. He was awarded the Pichichi trophy and, because he was a Spaniard, the Zarra trophy too.

In the next season, he was again the club's main offensive reference, scoring 14 goals, but the Canary Islanders were eventually relegated. He bettered his tally to 17 in the following season, but his team dropped down another division.

Like many players, Nino left before the start of the 2011-12 season, signing for La Liga outfit Osasuna. He would become their fourth signing of the season, after Tenerife compatriot Marc Bertrán, Mallorca defender Rubén and Atlético striker Ibrahima Baldé.

He was an important part of the Osasuna offense, despite scoring only nine goals in his first two seasons combined. In fact, during the summer of 2013, in preseason, he suffered an ACL rupture that ruled him out until February of the following year. Osasuna couldn't survive without his leadership in the final third, and were relegated to the Segunda.

He would continue to play for the Navaresse club, scoring 18 goals in his two seasons and helping the team get back to La Liga.

But he had had enough - he was 36-years-old, he wanted to stay in the division and, most of all, he missed Elche. So he cancelled his contract with Osasuna, and signed for the club where it all started.

He has scored 12 goals this season - and he turns 37 this week (on the 10th of June). Moreover, he holds the record for the most games played in the Segunda, the most minutes played, the most goals scored. And it's not even close - he's played over 7,000 more minutes than anyone else in the division ever, and has scored 35 more goals than anyone else in the division ever.

He's officially the best player in the Segunda.

And it's not even close.



Rayo Vallecano held its General Shareholders' Meeting for the 2015-16 financial year, on the day after the 93rd anniversary of the Club. The meeting lasted six hours and was marked by controversy from the very start - that being the absence of the press, who could not witness what the shareholders were debating.

Apparently, the decision to allow the press access to the event had to be unanimous by all attendees. But, according to the club, one of the shareholders sent a letter that made it clear that they were against the presence of the press because "it damages the image of the club". The board refused to reveal the identity of the shareholder, citing the Data Protection Act.

But the true controversy is this - Presa revealed that Rayo OKC, in which Rayo owned a 65% stake, cost the club 4 million dollars, but blamed it on former sporting director Felipe Miñambres (now with Celta), saying "He felt it was a good idea and we went along with it". Even though Miñambres was publicly against it.

Oh, and there's apparently a 9.5 million euro bank transfer to the Foundation "for security reasons", but it's unclassifiable.

Sounds muddy.




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