Aritz Aduriz had a glittering Spanish football career playing 640 games and scoring 221 goals from 1999 until his retirement last season. He played for Mallorca for two seasons from 2008 to 2010 and finished top scorer in both seasons. He was a legend at Athletico Bilbao playing for the club on three separate occasions and he had announced that last season was to be his last as he needed a hip replacement operation. He was determined to win a trophy with his club in his final year. Just before the pandemic hit Bilbao had qualified for the Copa Del Rey final to play Real Sociedad. However due to the pandemic the final still hasn’t been played thus cruelly denying Aduriz a chance to win that coveted trophy. The Spanish Super Copa is played out by the winner and runner-up in La Liga and the winner and runner-up of the Copa Del Rey. Barcelona had beaten Real Sociedad and Bilbao beat Real Madrid to set up the final. Aduriz was invited by Bilbao to the team hotel to give his former team mates a boost. It obviously did the trick as they ran out 3-2 winners in a game which saw Lionel Messi get his first red card for Barca. Aduriz was invited on to the pitch to celebrate with his former team mates and help lift the trophy.
A few months ago I mentioned Carlos Vicens who was born in Colonia de San Jordi in Mallorca and was the academy director and assistant manager at CD Llosetense. He was promoted to Head Coach of Manchester City’s U-18 team after being the assistant.
Well this week I became aware of other Mallorquins who are doing extremely well coaching around the World after cutting their training teeth here on the island.
Carlos Cuesta at just 25yrs old has already got a very impressive coaching CV. He was born here in Palma and was an accomplished footballer playing at Santa Catalina Atlético and representing a Balearic representative side alongside fellow Mallorquín and Real Madrid player Marco Asensio. But playing wasn’t his thing, he enjoyed coaching so started with his clubs Benjamin(U-9 to U-10’s) team. After training the kids for four years, at 18 years old, Carlos moved to Madrid to study at INEF (Faculty of Sciences for Physical Activity and Sport) and also helped out at Atletico Madrid. Where, as he did here in Mallorca, he took control of a number of the youth teams and all the while he watched Diego Simeone coach the first team. Since then he has worked at Manchester City with Pep Guardiola and at Juventus with Max Allegri and Maurizio Sarri. He is now part of the new set up at Arsenal under Mikel Arteta, who was part of Pep’s coaching team where he first met Carlos.
Another good example is Xisco Muñoz, from Manacor, the ex-footballer from Tenerife, Recreativo and Valencia assumed control of Watford just before the Christmas holidays.
Looks like we’re not only producing good players but some great coaches too.
It’s the second round of matches in La Liga Smartbank this weekend and Real Mallorca needed to get back to winning ways after three games without a win. It wasn’t going to be easy away at fourth placed Rayo Vallecano who had beaten them in the first game of the season at home 0-1.
Obviously a two week break worked as Mallorca were 0-3 up within 19 minutes. It was similar to Real Oviedo away a couple of weeks ago when they went 0-2 up but they failed to hang on and drew 2-2. This time round they managed the game better and ran out 1-3 winners. With Espanyol losing 1-0 to Girona, they are joint top on 45 points. Almeria are third, four points behind with two games in hand. Alex Alegría has left the club on loan for Real Zaragoza.
Both Ibiza teams unfortunately lost their Copa Del Rey last 32 matches last week. Peña Deportiva took Valladolid to extra time before losing 1-4. UD Ibiza went 1-0 up on Supercopa winners Athletico Bilbao before losing 1-2 to a 90th minute winner. It was Ibiza’s first loss of the season after they won again last weekend in the league to maintain their lead at the top. Peña lost away last week at Villareal B 2-0 and need to start getting points and scoring goals. Only 2 in 10 games is not good enough. Peña play Valencia Mestalla today and UD play La Nucia.
No game again last week for Atlético Baleares because of the weather in Madrid, so todays game against Rayo Majadahonda is a must win.
UD Poblense drew 1-1 last week with Atlético Madrid B with Fernando Torres making his managerial debut for Los Colchoneros. This week they have a difficult task against top of the table San Sebastián.
In Tercera Group A, Andratx still lead the way from Manacor. The third and fourth placed teams CD Ibiza Pitiusas and SD Portmany played each other last week in an Ibizan derby. With Pitiusas winning 0-3.
In Group B Platges de Calvia are still leading by six points from Mallorca B.
In Division Honor Real Mallorca played CD San Francisco in a midweek local derby. San Fran went 0-1 up but Mallorca fought back to win 2-1. The league is still dominated by Espanyol who lead by 12 points from Barcelona. Real Mallorca are fourth, San Fran sixth and Penya Arrabal eighth. Penya play San Fran today in a big local derby which San Fran won last time out 4-1.
As we are still on tier 4 here there’s still no youth football although the teams can train twice a week.
Take care everyone.
Richie presents the Radio One Mallorca Breakfast show Monday to Friday 07.30-11.00am on 93.8fm in Mallorca and 102fm in Calvià, online at www.radioonemallorca.com on mobile through their free App for IPhone & Android, The Tunein Radio App, iTunes, the Spanish TDT TV service and all smart speakers. If you can’t hear him on the radio then you’ll find him working at Pirates Adventure the islands number one night out and every now and again he may make an understudy appearance!
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