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An unlikely record-holder - Ramón Pereira (13th August, 2017)

It's a great quiz question - which player has played the most consecutive games as a substitute in the Segunda?

With 40 games, that record goes to striker Ramón Pereira. 40 games, that even more weirdly, spanned six years and three clubs.

This is that story




Born in Mérida, Extremadura, Pereira went from hometown club CP Mérida to Atlético Madrid as a youth, and made his professional debut with the latter's reserves on 21 September 1997, in a 1-1 Segunda División away draw against Real Jaén where he came on as an 86th-minute substitute for Luis Tevenet.

Used rarely - there in the 1997-98 season and at previous team Mérida the following season - he dropped down to Segunda División B where he played for Écija Balompié and Ponferradina during the 1999-00 season. Rarely used at Écija, he became a part of a historic squad in Ponferrada: on the last day of the season, Ponferradina occupied a position they hadn't occupied the entire season - higher than 16th. Yes, Ponferradina survived on the last day of the season in the most unlikely of circumstances, and Pereira's three goals in 651 minutes earned him a move to Segunda outfit Getafe.

Sadly, and predictably, seven games - the last four as a substitute - and six months later he went back to the Segunda B with Xerez, and won promotion with them in 2001. He then played 21 games (all as a substitute) in the 2001-02 season with the Andalusian club.

Half a season later and with 0 minutes played he was back in the Segunda B with Ponferradina for the latter half of the 2002-03 season, followed by six month stints at Logroñés and Raith Rovers, a season at Hearts and a few months Livingstone - a journey that ended in November 2005.

He was back - again - at Ponferradina for the latter half of a season - this time the 2005-06 season, as Ponferradina won a first-ever promotion to the Segunda.

He would go on to play 23 Segunda games for the Ponferrada club - the first 15 were as a substitute. The record was broken when he played the first 74 minutes of a 1-1 draw at Poli Ejido.

The record started on the 24th of September, 2000, the fourth jornada of the season, Pereira at Getafe played the last 28 minutes of a 1-0 loss at Extremadura. And it ended on the 25th of February, 2007, the 26th jornada, Pereira at Ponferradina played the last one minute of a 1-0 win against Ciudad de Murcia.

He was with Xerez when they won promotion. He left Logroñés after just six months due to financial difficulties - difficulties for which they were relegated administratively. And he was with Ponferradina for their first ever promotion.

But you know what sums him up for me? When Ponferradina were in the promotion playoffs, playing against Universidad de Las Palmas, away from home, defending a 4-3 aggregate victory but knowing that a goal conceded was the knockout punch due to the away goal rule - and it was looking likely, manager Pichi Lucas sent Pereira on for legend Rubén Vega in the 86th minute.

Three minutes later, Pereira killed the game - running from his own half with the ball, no one being able to stop him, and a cultured finish past the keeper that brought the Universidad and Ponferradina players to their knees for very different reasons.

Exactly two weeks later, after beating Alicante over two legs too, Ponferradina were in the Segunda for the first time ever.

Ramón Pereira would go on to play in the Segunda B - for Huesca in the 2007-08 season (ended with promotion), for Atlético Baleares in the 2008-09 season and for Jerez Industrial in the 2009-10 season (the last two both ended with relegation). And he called it quits after Tercera stints at Las Rozas (2010-11) and a strange situation where he belonged to Móstoles for the latter half of 2012 but only trained there.

Oh, and also because he attracted controversy due to a "situation" at Jerez Industrial, where he and Manu Barreiro refused to negotiate debts that the club owed them - but that also meant that the other players couldn't negotiate their debts. And so the other players had to give up some of their wages for Manu and Ramón to collect theirs.

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