Skip to main content

Hyping up the next five Michu-esque signings: Part 1 - Antonio Rukavina (9th October, 2017)

Even though [Michu] had just one season of greatness in the EPL, for me his impact on the league has been larger than that. It was that, suddenly, the Premier League took notice of a market that produced brilliant players, who resided at clubs that would take any money thrown their way. Not a few months after his move to Swansea, this was the coverage La Liga teams were getting:



So what happened to those five players?

Right-back Antonio Rukavina moved to Spain in July 2012 and signed with Valladolid, on a three-year deal, thus joining his countryman and former manager Miroslav Đukić. In his two seasons at José Zorrilla, Rukavina collected 71 appearances and scored twice in the top flight of Spanish football.

In 2014, after Real Valladolid's relegation, he joined Villarreal. Now 33, he is a back-up to Mario Gaspar.

But his rise to the top tier of Spanish football starts in the third division of Serbian football.

Rukavina started out at his local club Bežanija, making his senior debuts in the 2002-03 season, as they won promotion to the Second League of Serbia and Montenegro. He also helped them win the 2005-06 Serbian First League, thus earning promotion to the Serbian SuperLiga.

In December 2006, two players moved to Partizan from Bežanija - Rukavina and Žarko Lazetić. Both players signed four-year deals in January 2007. Under newly appointed manager Miroslav Đukić, Rukavina immediately established himself as a first team regular, scoring three league goals from 15 appearances in the second half of the 2006-07 season. He was subsequently named the team's captain ahead of the 2007-08 campaign.

Two seasons after his move to Partizan, in January 2008 Rukavina signed for Borussia Dortmund. However, in February 2009, Rukavina moved on loan to 2. Bundesliga side 1860 Munich until the end of the season. He was permanently transferred to 1860 Munich in June 2009, with Sven Bender making the opposite move in lieu of a transfer fee. He became a regular at the German side, playing in 120 games and establishing himself as a starter once again.

Three seasons later, Rukavina joined Valladolid. And Spain got its first sight of the buccaneering full-back, terrorizing the left side of defenses...

Watch out for part 2, where I talk about Patrick Ebert

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…

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…

La perspectiva de Málaga - with Paul Schrijver (5th August, 2017)

You can follow Paul on Twitter here.

A bit about yourself and your background

My name is Paul Schrijver (27 years old). I live and work in Zwolle (The Netherlands) for PEC Zwolle, a club that plays in a division called the 'Eredivisie', which is the highest division in our country. My work involved doing the communication for the club.

In 2012 we went from the First division to the Eredivisie. And then two years later we won our first prize: the Dutch Cup final against Ajax. We beat them 5-1! That year we also won the Dutch Super Cup. Again vs Ajax,this time with 1-0. Because we won the cup we played our first ever matches in Europe: at home we drew 1-1 against Sparta Praha but away we lost (3-1). Nevertheless, it was a great experience for us...

How long have you been a fan of Málaga and what made you support them in the first place?

This goes way back. When I was younger I played FM98 (Football Masters) and FIFA - I always choose Málaga as the team to play with. But my real lo…