Skip to main content

Santi Comesaña - la perla and a wannabe-Sergio Busquets. (15th September, 2017)

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 - in fact, he had the opportunity to go to Celta as a child, but neither he nor his family were convinced of making the leap then. And even before Rayo signed him, Spanish newspapers such as the Atlántico Diario, Ferrol360 and Vavel were singing his praises while he was at Coruxo. La perla, they called him.

The pearl.

Santi Comesaña, signed by Coruxo in 2015 from ED Val Miñor, went on to score on his debut against Atlético Astorga FC, and even score a hat trick against Compostela. Eight goals and 37 games earned him that move to Rayo - a move that Celta, again, tried to acquire, by attempting to sabotage the deal at the last minute.


Credit: vavel.com

But even then, it was a risk. Rayo were placing their La Liga dreams - present and future - on a player who had up till then played one season of senior football - in the Segunda B. Before then, he had been playing youth football - in the juvenil División de Honor with Val Miñor.

"[How have I gotten to where I am?] Work, work and more work."

Last jornada against Osasuna was one of many times where Rayo's midfield can play exceptionally well and work extraordinarily hard, and yet get battered by teams of similar quality.

A lot of that hard work has fallen on Santi - and he has delivered. Others have not, though, and he has been quite visibly upset with a number of fellow teammates. Not just on the pitch either - after the Osasuna game, he cut a frustrated figure while describing the team as having a "poor dynamic".

But that is to be expected from someone so young. What's more dangerous are the media comparisons to Roberto Trashorras. To be fair, being from Galicia, the comparisons to a younger Trashorras were inevitable. Santi, too, is 6 feet tall, and at Coruxo played in attacking midfield, in center midfield and on the left. He, too, has an eye for goal. He, too, keeps the ball at his feet rather than give it away.

When asked which player he would like to be like, he said Sergio Busquets. And has been public with Trashorras' influence on his game.

Perhaps, it is a metaphor for the transition from the present to future.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

From Catalonia to Heybridge - the story of an eighth division club (19th October, 2017)

After spending his whole life at UDA Gramenet and a season at Europa, Guillem Ramón moved to Terrassa in the summer of 2014. It was just another Catalan player transferring between two clubs in the Catalan regional leagues - nothing extraordinary.

But it was consequential.

In March 2015, in a match against Sabadell, the full back suffered a complete meniscal rupture, and his season was over. So was his contract - and a big chunk of the 2015-16 season as well. He ended up signing for Cerdanyola, without pay (as he was recuperating), and the doctors said that January would be his return time. However, he debuted in November.

In hindsight, it was a mistake.

After two games, in a training session, on November 25th he got injured again - this time in the quadriceps in the same leg. After two months of recuperation, and still no guarantee of pay, Guillem left for new pastures in February 2016. A trial at Coplestonians FC followed; so did an opportunity at Needham Market FC, in the seventh t…

Non-league Incider: Dulwich Hamlet 2-1 East Thurrock United

When I was more young and foolish I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't visit a football stadium until I visited Vallekas. Frustrated by my inability to plan a trip, I broke that promise by watching a game in the sixth tier of English football.

This is that game. This is my story.

If I've learnt anything, it's this: never make promises to yourself. Promises to yourself are like bonds to an imaginary world - they're not attached to anything. Instead, they only serve to frustrate you, and sometimes those around you.

In 2016, I remember being outside Wembley and not going inside for a stadium tour. In 2014, I remember giving up the opportunity to watch Real Madrid play AC Milan in Dubai. For a year the stadiums of Chelsea and Fulham were on the same street as mine. For three years, every time my friend said he was going to watch Leyton Orient, every time my brother talked about his love for Arsenal, every time I looked at a map of London and saw how close I was to the …

Fuenlabrada - the mighty challengers: Part 2; aka Juan Quero - the roller-coaster (15th October, 2017)

In just a few months, Fuenlabrada have competed for promotion to the Segunda, signed a center-back from a La Liga side, and will now be playing Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey.

This is part 2 of a series about Fuenlabrada, the mighty challengers to Real Madrid, who they play in the cup on the 26th of October.

You can read part 1 here.



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…