Almeria – Celta | A tradition at risk

The youth team has been a hallmark of Celta since in 2008 the club decided to bet on the footballers who were being trained in A Madroa to try to return the Vigo team to the top category. Fifteen years after the last game without a youth player in the starting eleven, the celestial team is exposed tomorrow again to breaking that dynamic that has been maintained uninterruptedly for 675 official matches.

Iago Aspas’ suspension due to suspension against Almería reduces the options of continuing to have a homegrown player on the pitch. Carlos Domínguez is emerging right now as the only option for Rafa Benítez to continue placing a youth player in the starting team of a Celta that has seen how the influence of A Madroa has diminished in recent years after becoming the backbone of the celestial team, when on the field he brought together players like Sergio Álvarez, Hugo Mallo, Jonny Otto and Aspas, with whom he played in a semifinal of the Europa League and another of the Copa del Rey , or more recently with Rubén Blanco, Mallo, Brais Méndez, Denis Suárez, Aspas and Santi Mina fighting for the same objectives.

During recent seasons, however, A Madroa’s accent has been heard less in Celta’s starting eleven, coinciding with the arrival on the bench of first Eduardo Coudet and now Rafa Benítez. The Madrid coach, however, bet heavily on the youth team during the preseason, in which he had up to a dozen homegrown players: Rubén Blanco, Iván Villar, Kevin Vázquez, Carlos Domínguez, José Fontán, Sergio Carreira, Gael Alonso, Hugo Sotelo, Hugo Álvarez, Miguel Rodríguez, Iago Aspas and Gabri Veiga.

On the first day of the championship, Celta appeared in Balaids with Iván Villar, Hugo Sotelo and Aspas to face an Osasuna that took the three points from Vigo. Until the seventh day, the Vigo team began its league commitments with at least two youth players.

The quota of A Madroa players in the starting eleven began to be in danger from the eighth matchday, when Benítez’s team was already worried about its poor streak of results. Iván Villar, who had not yet handed over ownership to Vicente Guaita, prevented Celta from appearing that day without homegrown players.

Of the twelve homegrown players who worked with Benítez in the preseason, half continued to face the new season, although three of them maintained their reserve team record (Domínguez, Sotelo and Rodríguez).

On the thirteenth day, Celta appeared in San Mamés with Aspas as the only home representative against a rival to whom it had become so close in its philosophy of promoting the quarry that in 2021 The CIES Football observatory ranked it as the European club that accumulated the highest percentage of minutes played by players trained in the lower categories. He gave the Vigo team 49 percent, even ahead of Athletic Club (48.5%) and Real Sociedad (40.6%).

But in just two years, Celta has been losing that hallmark to the point that Kevin Vázquez and Carlos Domínguez, on two occasions each, saved the team from losing that streak of loyalty to A Madroa that began on December 13. December 2008. That day, Celta received Zaragoza at home and Pepe Murcia brought Roberto Lago and Dani Abalo into the eleven. The latter was the author of the second goal (the first was scored by Danei) to take the victory against the mano team. That year, Celta achieved permanence thanks to a historic double by Iago Aspas against Alavés, already with Eusebio Sacristán as coach. The Valladolid native would be in charge of filling A Madroa’s squad with promising young players and with them he had a great Cup tournament, eliminating a Villarreal team that was playing in the First Division and putting Atlético de Madrid in a lot of trouble. From there, promotion to the top category would come with a prominent role for A Madroa’s youth players.

More than a decade later, the influence of the youth team on the Vigo team has been diminishing to the point that tomorrow they could appear against Almería without any of them in the starting eleven, after 5,552 days since December 13, 2008 in the one who started this Celta bet.

Benítez is very demanding with the young promises, while the club maintains the discourse of enhancing the value of the youth team. “It is the only way to be a sustainable team, not only for Celta, in any club in the world. It is giving an opportunity to its young youth players who are the main representatives of the club’s identity. It is something that is very clear to us at Celta. The youth players are the ones who have the heart, the Celtic blood and are the representative of the fans on the field,” proclaimed Marco Garcés, new Celtic sports director, days ago.

Up to seven dangerous situations

Celta has been exposed on seven occasions this season to breaking the streak of more than three decades playing with a youth player. The last one was last week in Cádiz, where Benítez only had Iago Aspas in the starting eleven. The Moañés has been sanctioned and will miss the match with Almería. At the moment, the only player with a chance of starting tomorrow is Carlos Domínguez, who came out on top against Barça but had to be replaced due to physical problems. Then, Benítez opted for Unai Núñez and Starfelt for the axis of the defense. Against Osasuna and Getafe, the Celtics also appeared with a single youth player in the eleven and it was precisely the Vigo center back. Against Rayo and Villarreal it was Kevin who maintained the streak of A Madroa’s pupils. It was Aspas’s turn in San Mamés and Iván Villar did the same on the eighth day, in Las Palmas. In the Cup against Valencia, Benítez opted for five homegrown players and Celta thrashed their rival.

2024-02-29 05:11:04
#Almeria #Celta #tradition #risk


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