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On procrastination. José María Movilla - the terrier. (6th June, 2017)

Every time I look at my drafts folder I feel a sense of failure. Those are ideas that I've started but never finished. Articles for this blog for which I've pounded at a keyboard and then hit a brick wall and stopped.

No, I didn't finish it. No, I didn't stop - I failed. I keep thinking that I failed.

I started a piece on Movilla a few days back (herebut never finished it. Then, and at other times, thoughts of failure bleed into this blog.

Today, I finished it. It's not perfect by any means, and certainly doesn't completely cover his career.

But it's one less draft in my draft folder. One more article finished and scheduled.

One more failure turned into a success.



Last time, I asked: "where do I even start"? I really should have seen it. 

I started at the very start.

It's almost poetic that one of the most successful careers in Spanish professional football starts with a series of failures.

José María Movilla was born in the municipality of Leganés in Madrid. According to his classmates, José Maria was able to touch the ball from home to the classroom of his school - the Colegio Público Miguel Hernández - without the ball falling, including up and down the stairs.

Real Madrid signed him from Leganés at the age of 15, but José María Movilla would end up being an unsuccessful graduate of La Fábrica.

The Madrid born player, who had never played anywhere else, started his professional career playing for modest clubs. He joined fellow Madrid based side Colonia Moscardó in 1994 at the age of 19, being a regular starter and playing at the club till 1997, with a loan spell at Numancia in between (1995-96) - all in the Segunda B.

It was during this time that heads, for a very brief moment, turned towards the midfielder. In the 1995-96 Copa del Rey, Numancia ousted La Liga outfits such as Real Sociedad, Racing Santander, and Sporting Gijón - in a row. And when Barcelona came to Soria, it was an 88th minute goal by Movilla that helped level the scores at 2-2. Numancia took the lead.in the second leg but were eventually ousted 3-1.

In 1997, Moscardó's relegation promoted rival clubs to act quickly. Segunda outfit Ourense snapped him up, but just three appearances in his first six months meant that Movilla's first shot at professional football was over before it started.

And in January 1998, Málaga took a shot at the 5'7" midfielder.

The rest, as they say, is history.

He took Málaga from the Segunda B to La Liga in back-to-back seasons. He helped Atlético Madrid return to La Liga, won the Copa del Rey and avoided relegation with Real Zaragoza, and helped Rayo return to La Liga after an eight-year absence.

He has played 10 seasons in La Liga, 7 in the Segunda and 4 in the Segunda B. He has played the ninth most games in the top three tiers (612) - almost 50 more than Xavi and Raúl. And he has taken three clubs from the Segunda to La Liga.

But what makes this story even more compelling is the person behind one of the greatest passers and tireless midfielders of all time. He was a bin man whilst playing for Moscardó, and then a union man throughout his playing career. He spoke out against Real Zaragoza's mismanagement while playing for them in 2014, for which he was suspended without pay for 30 days, and subsequently expelled from the club (about which he found out on Twitter). He was a vocal Atlético fan even whilst playing for Real Madrid. He publicly opposed the owner of Rayo Vallecano - José María Ruiz-Mateos* - by announcing on the SER radio show that he only received seven of the last eighteen months of pay and that there were a few players who ‘couldn’t even afford car repairs’ - for which he was condemned on the same radio show by Mateos' wife and club president Teresa Rivero.

It's frankly baffling how one of the most successful careers in Spain has so little attention paid to it.

Actually, it's not - it's not baffling to see the media pay no attention to those who speak out against the wrongs of capitalists, to those who punch above their weight in terms of economic class. It's not baffling to see the Spanish media pay no attention to something that isn't even remotely connected to Barcelona or Real Madrid. It's not baffling to see the media pay no attention to trade unions, to pretend they don't exist.

Sod them. They're missing out on wonderful stories on purpose. And Movilla is one of them.

*Nueva Rumasa was the company that owned Rayo and other companies - mainly specializing in dairy products. In early 2011, the directors announced announced a debt of over 700 million euros, that it was on the verge of bankruptcy and that staff wouldn't be paid. José María Ruiz-Mateos was the head and main shareholder in the company. A day later, Movilla was on the radio show.




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