The figure of Quini will return to El Molinón. A statue of the Sporting legend will be added to the name of the municipal player from Gijón in September, coinciding with what would have been his 73rd birthday. It will be a piece of El Brujo celebrating a goal, in bronze, life-size and with a green marble base, in front of the field. It is already in the hands of the renowned artist from Gijón, Carlos García. The work will be financed through popular contributions and places the “Walk of Fame” as the only pending project of those studied in the Gijon municipal environment to remember the red and white history. “Let’s see if we can finish it off”, José Ramón Tuero, Councilor for Sports, assumed yesterday, referring to the latter during the presentation of the statue project.
The image chosen for the statue of Quini will be that of the Sorcerer in his natural state: celebrating goals. Seeing him with his fist raised has been one of the most repeated moments of his career and one of the reasons for his legend. The artist Carlos García relies on this, whose project has replaced the one based on the popular goal volley against Rayo Vallecano and which Vicente Santarúa had begun to carry out. “The image of the volley is a unique and aesthetic moment, but perhaps not the most representative. That way of celebrating was very much his. It is very human and iconic”, introduced the author, with a long and recognized career beyond works as popular as the busts of the late priest of La Calzada José María Bardales; the Portuguese footballer Cristiano Ronaldo or Anselmo López, one of the founders of Sporting. “They have all been of great value in my life, but in this case it is unique, for the city and for my own career,” he stressed.
“An emblem was needed, to have the opportunity to take a photo with it. We had the example of Manolo (Preciado), but it is not comparable, with all due respect”, explained José Ramón Tuero about the need to carry out the statue of Quini, which had not finished materializing for years. Joaquín Alonso, institutional relations of Sporting and Quini’s former teammate, was moved by remembering him and applauded the initiative. “If they told us a few years ago that we were going to be like this…”, he commented in reference to the hard loss of the seven-time “Pichichi”. “It is an important and better step to have chosen such an internationally recognized sculptor”, he emphasized.
The location has been specifically established in an intermediate area of Luis Adaro street, on the esplanade between the El Molino Viejo parador and El Molinón itself. The place also has a sufficient elevation above the sidewalk and the road -it is located before some stairs that allow access to the road from the Isabel La Católica park- highly valued by the artist. “It raises it up and will also allow people to get closer and be photographed with it. We thought of doing it on a larger, larger scale, but it was not needed, he already was, ”he highlighted in reference to the player’s charisma.
The process of making the statue began “about two months ago” and, at a normal rate, about six months of work would be required. Carlos García acknowledges being dedicated to it, “working almost 16 hours a day”, to finish within the scheduled date, September 23. The man from Gijon regretted not having been lucky enough to meet Quini personally, but those who have already been able to see the progress of the statue highlight the realism and quality of the work.
As for those who wish to contribute their grain of sand in financing, Adrián Núñez, president of Unipes, informed that the details to do so will soon be given. “We have not wanted to discover the gunpowder and we have opted for the crowdfunding formula”, commented who is integrated, as a patron, in the Sporting Foundation, which is part of the project that has just been given the green light by the Gijón city council, which has ceded space. Its development and realization will have nothing to do with or interfere with the result of the sale process of Sporting to the Orlegi Group, which is close to being completed.
The creation of the statue of Quini has been one of the ideas promoted in recent years to enrich the surroundings of El Molinón, one of the great symbols of the city and the oldest field of Spanish professional football. What remains aground is a “Walk of Fame” that promoters and municipal officials still do not agree on.