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The PoV End of Season Awards 2017! Part 2. And the origins of Thiago (16th June, 2017)

Yesterday was part 1 of the Pride of Vallekas End of Season Awards! This is part 2...

Best goal

So many contenders - Fran Beltrán goal against Tenerife was shocking. If you hear closely, you can hear the Tenerife stadium go "woah!". It was his only goal of the season. Embarba's goal against Gimnàstic was perfectly threaded - it went through four players and somehow hit none of them. This one by Javi Guerra at UCAM Murcia was vital - Rayo didn't deserve the three points - and harder than it looks - Patrick Ebert's cross was amazingly precise.

But this pass by Pablo Íñiguez, along with Embarba's run, makes it the winner. No contest.

Best player

Any one of Patrick Ebert, Embarba and Javi Guerra could take the plaudits here. I'm going to give it to Ebert though - in many games, everything went through him. Which leads me to award...

Best performance

Patrick Ebert. Against Oviedo no less.

Best save by a goalkeeper

Gazzaniga's save against Gimnàstic. Wow.

Most improved player

Gazzaniga again - he went from this shocker against Zaragoza to saving his teammates' arses again and again in three months. (On a side note, speaking of blunders, how about this one by Toño).

Most inspired substitution

I praise Ernesto Galán a lot because he brings a lot of defensive stability to the right-back position, something which Quini doesn't provide.

At Alcorcón, with the scores at 0-0, Michel decided to take off Patrick Ebert who was playing on the left wing and bring on Lass - a player whose defensive work ethic has earned him criticisms of being lazy. Essentially, Michel took Embarba, a hard working winger who was playing on the right and compensating for Quini, and put him on the left. That was in the 78th minute.

In the 80th minute, left-back Carlos Bellvís jogged past Lass and Quini - who made no attempts to stop his cross to Iván Alejo - 1-0 to Alcorcón.

Rayo lost that match 2-0.

Best sums-it-all-up expression

In the 13th game of the season, UCAM traveled to Vallecas, and scored a 93rd minute winner from an impossible angle.

The expression of Sandoval immediately afterwards really sums it all up.

He was fired after the game.

Almost ominously, 13 games later, Rubén Baraja was fired after Mirandés came to Madrid and scored an 85th goal winner to win 2-1.

The expression of Ernesto, who had scored against his former club, comes a close second.

That concludes the PoV End of Season Awards 2017! Watch out for another crazy season in a few months!



On the outskirts of the hustle and bustle of Vigo, a 20 km coastal drive south takes you to a small town of 18,000 people called Nigrán, which, amazingly, is also a 20 km drive north from Portugal.

It is off the radar on the footballing madness in Vigo - off the radar in general too. Infrequent buses and a highway are the sole connection between the two.

But its close proximity to Portugal, combined with the cooler temperatures due to being located in the lap of high mountains, have helped grassroots football develop here and link the two countries. "Schools" such as ED Val Miñor and Ureca, and teams such as Nigrán CF and Racing Vilariño have all set up here.

And it's working - players like Thiago Alcántara, Rafinha Alcántara, Rodrigo Moreno (all Ureca) and Pedro Vázquez (ED Val Miñor) have all come from the good work of these schools. Full back Jorge Otero was born in Nigrán but was quickly picked up by Celta Vigo, where he played senior football for seven seasons.

By the way, Santi Comesaña is from ED Val Miñor. Make of that what you will.




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