And someone said the phrase one night in the newsroom, in full closing: “And if we go to Mexico?”. And we went. It was an improvised trip, from one day to the next, desperately looking for tickets, not even knowing what dates to go and not knowing if yes or no until the very last moment. But we went. LA NUEVA ESPAÑA traveled to Pachuca (Mexico) to learn first-hand how the conglomerate of Jesus Martinez, the new owner of Oviedo. 8,711 kilometers away to find out what’s going on where the blue club’s decisions are made. The continent jump, it must be admitted, did not have much preparation. Because we didn’t have, we didn’t have a valid passport. A call and a dose of whining fixed that fundamental procedure to cross the pond. The plane left on Friday, July 22: Asturias-Madrid and Madrid-Mexico City.
In Santiago del Monte, that same day, the Sporting expedition headed for Alicante. The flight was somewhat delayed, enough time in any case to get on the plane to the Aztec country. On the aircraft, most of the travelers were Mexicans. Perfect opportunity to catch up with experts in the country and ask about this and that. “Don’t go out much at night, be careful with taxis, always go accompanied”, were some of the tips. Ahead, more than ten hours of flight. It was not particularly long. At 6:35 p.m., Mexican time, the plane landed in the Aztec capital.
Leaving the airport was not easy at all. What if this paper, what if this other one, what if you fill out this receipt. Just before leaving the control, the reason for the trip must be explained. “Inform about the purchase process of Real Oviedo by the Pachuca Group”. That was enough. “El Oviedo? Of course, the one that belonged to Carlos Slim.” Employees from Pachuca were waiting for us at the checkpoint exit. Kindness and resolution. Before heading to the city, a key management: a chip for the mobile. Then, heading to Pachuca, about an hour and a half by road in the midst of the traffic chaos of Mexico City.
Saturday the 23rd dawned early to visit the sports city of Pachuca. In one of the training camps Gabriela Murguiageneral director and wife of Jesus, accompanied, among others, by Carlos Trucco, former Pachuca player. Murguía shows the fields and takes us to his office. A neat and clean room, with a projector, a computer and a long table. It has two doors. One of them opens and a voice is heard: “Hooombre! They already came from Spain”.
It is Jesús Martínez, the owner of Oviedo, whose office is attached to his wife’s. Martínez, who greets all the employees, stops with the children, asks the players he sees and does not let go of the Oviedo shirt, shows us the spectacular facilities. He could do it a thousand times, because he loves what he has built. He is proud of what has been achieved in Pachuca and with the challenge of establishing it in Oviedo. It will be difficult, but it is the mission. Martínez always wears prescription sunglasses, he has astigmatism and myopia. He makes an aside to entertain LA NUEVA ESPAÑA with a special gift: a Pachuca t-shirt. Education and attention to foreigners is an unwritten rule that is strictly followed.
In the middle of the visit appears Martin Pelaez, president of Oviedo, also in his blue shirt. Peláez, a tall guy who usually wears a coat even though it’s summer and who sports an excellent tan, is immersed in a process of total life change. He will go to live in Oviedo after half a life in Pachuca. His family, essential to him, supports him in everything. After the visit, Martínez sits in his office and gives his first interview as owner of Oviedo. In the afternoon, Martín Peláez does the same. The treatment of visitors by the new owners is unbeatable and close, pending any problem that may occur, and in fact occurs, such as when the bank blocked the credit card without prior notice and with no possible solution. In Pachuca and with what is on, but wanting to tell what is happening. For the owners of Oviedo, family is fundamental. The Pachuca Group cannot be understood without the Martínez family or without the Peláez family. The latter search the internet and ask and re-ask about areas of Oviedo. They are excited, although the move will be slow.
The city of Pachuca is extremely quiet: hardly anything happens. It has many shopping centers, few buildings and stands out for its security. That is why there is no problem walking through the streets, even if it is at night on the way to the hotel.
Sunday the 24th is a special day for Pachuca: Jennifer Beautiful, the soccer player, has come to the city for her signing. Martín Peláez goes to look for her at her hotel, the same one where LA NUEVA ESPAÑA was staying, very soon, at ten in the morning. He shows her around the facilities and introduces her to the staff. Then she went back to rest. Before, she stopped at the mall: a chip for Hermoso’s cell phone and also an adapter, which she ends up finding after a lot of work. The afternoon starts early. Pachuca plays against Pumas and Jesús Martínez organizes a meal at the stadium restaurant. Minutes before the match, Martínez speaks in a video for the Oviedo fans from the pool at his house. He is nervous as a child, wanting to get on the plane. Then, at lunch, there are many jokes, spicy, confessions, compadreo and a wish: that Oviedo rise and that Pachuca be champion. Several well-known Mexican commentators from Fox chat with Martínez and talk a lot about Oviedo, this player and that one, and how good the project looks. They plan to pay a visit soon. They ask where you can eat a good bean stew in Asturias. They take note.
Those of Hidalgo do not win, they tie, and the result tastes like defeat. That is why there is no party after the game, although Jesús does not shy away from any photo or an autograph to all the fans who ask for it. The expedition comes to an end on Monday, with a very calm and sunny day in the city and much to write. Pachuca says goodbye with a hug and a handshake. Only for a few days, since the new owners were already preparing the trip to Oviedo. There will be another 8,711 kilometers and, of course, many other stories to tell.