José Luis Mato Sanmartin nation in Stuttgart, Germanyon March 27, 1990. And on Teutonic soil he began to kick a balloon until At the age of four, his parents decided to return home, to the town of Silleda in Pontevedra.. There he began to stand out in the Silleda Sports Society, from where he jumped to the big team from the Galician south, Celta. At the age of 13, he signed for the club from Vigo and quickly began to attract attention due to his physical size and his ability to score goals. He came to proclaim himself Cup champion in a batch in which illustrious Celtic people such as Hugo Mallo appeared. And that allowed him to jump to the Sub-19, where Luis Milla recruited him as the figurehead of his team.
Iago and Joselu in Vigo
Then there was a peculiar guy with a reputation in the goal business, Celta, as coach, Hristo Stoichkov, who made him debut at the age of 17 in the first team in a friendly against Porriño. The official premiere took place two years later, in 2009, with Eusebio Sacristán as coach. It was a difficult stage for Celta in which Joselu coincided with another prominent youth squad: Iago Aspas Juncal (Moaña, August 1, 1987). Iago and Joselu lived together in the Vigo ranks until in 2010 the Stuttgart giant went to the Real Madrid youth academy, where he did not stop destroying the rival nets.
In his first season he was proclaimed top scorer in Segunda B tied with a teammate of his, Álvaro Morata, today a teammate in the national team. The following year he was proclaimed top scorer in group 1 of 2ªB with 19 goals, adding 40 goals at the end of his career in the white academy, which places him as the fourth scorer in history along with Emilio Butragueño, among others.
On May 21, 2011, José Mourinho made him debut against Almería replacing Benzema in the last five minutes of the game, enough time to score the eighth goal for the Whites. Then he began a long journey through the desert passing through Hoffenfeim, Eintracht and the German Hannover, Stoke City and Newcastle in the Premier, returning to Galicia to join Deportivo and ending up in Vitoria, where he found his place scoring 36 goals. in 113 games. That caught the attention of Espanyol, who had been left without a striker when Borja Iglesias left for Betis. Joselu has 13 goals in 27 games with which ‘parrots’, which has led him to be called up by Luis De la Fuente to make his debut as an absolute international.
While Joselu packed his suitcase, Iago Aspas put Celta on his back to keep him in the First Division with his goals and assists. Until he decided to try one of the most legendary clubs in the Premier, the Liverpool. He arrived there in June 2013, in exchange for 10 million euros that relieved the olive coffers. But Iago was never quite comfortable at Anfield, where he played only 13 games and scored one goal. So a year later he went on loan to Sevilla. In Nervión he confirmed his quality by scoring 10 goals in 25 games and proclaiming himself the Europa League champion, but his heart and head were in Vigo.
Aspas returns home
And he returned to Celta, the club of his life. Aspas is a ‘One man club’ interruptus who returned to Balaídos to continue completing a dazzling career with 194 goals dressed in light blue. At 35 years old,The Prince of the rafts’ returns to the National Team after becoming the great highlight of the era of Luis Enrique, with whom he did not coincide in Vigo. Far is that assignment to Rápido de Bouzas as a second-year youth. Or the lie that he told about his age to be able to enter the club from Vigo. As he likes to say “I just want to keep going out on the grass to enjoy”. Now he will do it again dressed in red, with the other shirt of his life, that of the national team, in which he has played 18 games and scored six goals. The first, that shoe that he put in the squad at Wembley the day he made his debut. Tremendous presentation seal.
Borja Iglesias also has his football past written in light blue ink. The striker kicked the ball for the first time at the Conxo, from which he went to the Valencia youth academy, where he spent three years putting crosses from the wing to a 9 who stood out called Paco Álcacer. Villarreal recruited him in 2010, passing in three years from Roda, to the youth team and from there to C through goals. But Borja, born in Santiago de Compostela on January 17, 1993, liked the land. And in 2013 Celta offered him a place in B. And Borja left there.
Borja with Iago at Celta
That team of kids turned the song ‘Panda’, by rapper Desiigner, into the locker room soundtrack. And in the end Borja ended up hanging that nickname. He was in the sky-blue subsidiary between 2013 and 2018, making his debut with the first team on January 3, 2015 at Pizjuán against Sevilla. Borja broke all the goalscoring records in the youth academy, scoring a total of 75 goals, and proclaiming himself top scorer in the 2nd B division in 2016-17 with 32 goals. In those years the Panda coincided with Iago Aspas, on his return home from Liverpool and Seville. By then Joselu was already tumbling around Germany and England.
After spending a year on loan at Zaragoza, where he scored 23 goals, being the team’s top scorer and third in the second division, Espanyol paid the ten million of his release clause and signed in 2018 for four seasons. But only one summer later it was Betis who deposited the 28 million of the termination clause of the 9 ‘perico’ and the Panda was dyed verdiblanco.
Iago, Borja and Joselu, in the Selection
Today the three celestial homegrown players make it to the National Team, showing that “in Galicia there are a lot of goals. And in addition, the one that exists works very well ”, points out Borja Iglesias. The bético states “he greatly admires Iago and Joselu. whatWhat can I say about Aspas? It is a reference for all the boys who play football in Galicia and beyond. He has class and has a lot of goals. And Joselu has earned to be here. He has worked a lot to get to the National Team ”. The goal speaks Galician in this new Spain of Luis De la Fuente.