When Javi marquez debuted with the first team of Spanish, all fans of Sport City they opened a bottle of cava. Obviously, in a symbolic way, but finally they saw at the top one of the players in the quarry that had cost him the most to earn the opportunity. And boy did he take advantage of it. When he was better in the first team, the injury came and then a renewal that became so enraged that it ended with that of Badalona in the stands and his march out the back door to the Mallorca. There he was demoted. Then Granada, Elche Y Nastic, with a period in the Major Soccer League U.S. Now retired, he now comments on Spanish and European football for Movistar and Gol. Connoisseur of LaLiga SmartBank, is also the protagonist of the star meeting of the day.
From Espanyol he went to Mallorca nine seasons ago and this Sunday both teams meet in Second. What does this duel transmit in style to you?
I see two very reliable teams. It is true that Espanyol in these last five games stopped dominating the areas. He lost that defensive solvency. It was not effective at the top but it generated a lot, but its problem is behind it. You must regain that security. Espanyol can play against it or they can dominate and subdue their rival, like Mallorca. They are alike. Espanyol has more resources in attack, but Mallorca is in a moment that minimizes errors. The centrals are doing very well.
You, who now analyze football for Movistar, Radio Marca and Gol, are a great connoisseur of Segunda. Which Espanyol player has surprised you?
Javi Puado. He is the player who lives in the shadows, and I think he is the most important in recent games. He has five goals and several assists. He is very intelligent, he knows how to occupy the spaces, he knows where to receive, he interprets the movements of his companions, he presses … And he has quality and is generous. In addition, it is from the quarry, and that is why you have to give it value. He had a very good half season in Zaragoza. He doesn’t raise his voice. At the beginning it seemed that it was not going to be important, but it has shown that it is vital.
And of Mallorca?
The centrals, Salva Sevilla, Dani Rodríguez … But those no longer surprise me. The one who has surprised me for the better is Iñigo Ruiz de Galarreta. His work is essential, he travels kilometers, he has a game, he does not lose balls … It is essential.
He continues to transmit the same passion for football as when he played. Do you want to continue linked to this sport?
At first it was not something I had in mind. Every time I am more comfortable in this facet. This is how those responsible for the media transmit it to me. I always thought I could be close to a soccer team. I try to live from day to day, but I am prepared for the opportunity to be in a club. I am waiting to take the UEFA Pro coach course. I have studied a lot: I have the rest of the levels, the technical secretary, the sports director … I like to do analysis courses, scouting… It makes you have a bigger perception of everything.
And, now, with the passage of time and once you have retired, what is your career rating?
I must be tremendously proud. When I was ten or 12 years old, when I went to the Teixonera field or to the Zona Franca with the Espanyol bus, I did not imagine it. I saw conditions to get to First, but not to play so many games. But the thorn of my leaving the club remains, I should have gone differently. The injuries were significant. When Illarramendi made that entry for me, I was close to the National Team … And then in Mallorca the same thing happens with my injury. Those of us who have the ball have more options than they can give us. Maybe my career should have reached a higher point.
Talk about that departure from Espanyol. Years have passed and everything has been explained. Do you regret something?
I was sorry how I had to go. He was an important player in the squad. There were a number of non-sporting problems, and then I went from playing to being in the stands. I wanted to renew and to be valued. It came from the subsidiary and my contract was low. But I never wanted to be the highest paid, only to win according to my minutes, and I wish I could have been at the club for ten years. I could have left, but I didn’t, I always wanted to stay at Espanyol.
And he went to Mallorca …
It is true that when I am in the stands for so long without opportunities in the end I have to leave and I have to continue on my way. At that moment I should have expressed myself, put it in another way … Perhaps I was silent for a long time. I did not want to harm the club or have my image damaged, since it came from an injury, from playing undercover as well. I went through hard things and I felt hurt, but I don’t hold a grudge against anyone. Surely I was wrong and Pochettino surely was too. We would both act differently now. He has matured as a coach and I think differently. I admit that I learned a lot with him. There is a situation that marks a before and after. He saw me as captain and playing for ten years … But I don’t hold a grudge, I wish him well.
What did Mallorca mean to your career?
The club opened its doors wide for me. I am very grateful to Serra Ferrer for everything he did for me. On matchday three they broke my ankle and Nunes injured his knee … The team’s spinal column broke, we broke down when we were also in Europe. When you have great players and you go down, you end up having a bad time. And we go down.
And how does a player accustomed to playing in First to do so in Second?
You have to accept it. There are players who feel committed, who want to return the club to its place. Others who do not have options to leave because of their contracts or because there are no offers and in the end must stay because there is no other solution. The player wants to go back to the First Division, and if you also have the link with Espanyol or Mallorca it roots you much more.
Was it difficult for you to hang up your boots this summer?
The previous season was difficult at Nàstic. Many of us came from First Class. There was a very fast change of coach and a number of things happened that were not positive. It depleted me mentally. On day ten the illusion waned. I was able to go abroad, to some other club in Segunda, but the illusion faded.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.