Today, everyone should recognize the greatness of Spanish football. From 2008 to 2012, the world’s two largest international football events; the World Cup and the European Cup were won by La Furia Roja. At the club level, idem ditto. Real Madrid and Barcelona are very dominant on the European stage, the Champions League. Not to mention if counting underdog like Atletico Madrid and Sevilla, the king of the European League.
Not only the national team and clubs, the Spanish footballer also plays dominance in various leagues in European countries and even the world. Invasion of the Spanish footballer also occurred in the country of football such Italy.
In fact, it had been a long time in the 60s that the Spaniards had traveled to the Spaghetti’s land. But the trend of Spanish footballers moving to Italy began to echo in the late 90s and early centuries of the millennium. At that time many clubs Serie A contracted players from Spain, even those who have a great reputation.
Great players such as Iván de la Peña and Gaizka Mandieta (Lazio), Josep Guardiola (Brescia and Roma), Iván Helguera (Roma), José Mari and Javi Moreno (Milan) and Javier Farinós (Internazionale) joined Serie A clubs at that time. However, the majority of that Spanish players failed to meet the expectations. Especially in Rossoneri team, José Mari and Javi Moreno.
José Mari, is the first Spanish footballer in Milan. The striker joined in mid-season 1999/2000 from Atletico Madrid. However, Mari’s performance can not be expected. He was just a dust grain among Milan’s top-class attackers at the time, like George Weah or Shevchenko. He then sold to Villarreal in the summer of 2003. The story of delantero (Spanish term for an attacker) that failed is still growing with the name of Javi Moreno.
The striker was bought from Deportivo Alaves in 2001/02, a package with Romanian defender, Cosmin Contra. Moreno’s appearance at Alaves was excellent, especially as they took the club into the final of the UEFA Cup (now Europa League) in the 2000/01 season. However, Moreno’s performance was similar to Mari in Milan. In fact, he only lasted a season there and left the bad reputation of Spanish footballers in Milan.
From that time on, whether Milan’s management was traumatized by Spanish players or not, in fact, no Spanish players were in the Rossoneri squad until 2010. Before the taboo was finally broken by Dídac Vilà Roselló.
In the 2010/11 season, Milan coach at that time, Massimilano Allegri bring the left-back from RCD Espanyol, named Dídac Vilà. However, the performance of the Spanish footballer in Milan was similar (bad). Dídac Vilà only appeared once that season, before repeatedly lent and never shone at all.
After Dídac Vilà, one of the players who had predicted just as talented as Lionel Messi; Bojan Krkić came to Milan. He came as a loan player from Barcelona in the 2012/13 season. However, the Serbian descent was only able to make three goals of the season and then he returned to the Catalan club. Furthermore, some Spanish footballers come in the 2014/15 season. Fernando Torres, Diego López, and Suso.
Torres and López came early in the season, while Suso was in the middle of the season. Torres flop as an attacker in Milan, López benched for the sake of wonder-kid Gigio Donnaruma while Suso still struggles to adapt to Italian football. Torres only feel at home one season, López two seasons, while Suso had loaned to Genoa in 2015/16 season. From Mari to Torres, the Spanish footballers were likely “cursed” for not being able to show performance as expected in Red and Black jersey.
Regarding the bad fact about Spanish footballer, actually, there was a bright hope in Milan since the 2016/17 season. Suso, transformed into a potential right-winger under Milan coach at the time, Vincenzo Montella. While in the middle of last season, Milan brought another Spanish footballer, Gerard Deulofeu from Everton (loan). He performed well as a left-winger on his half-season in Milan.
Suso on the right and Deulofeu on the left it seems to increase the optimistic aura of every Milanisti around the world. However, Deulofeu could not resist when Barcelona want him back in this early season. Now, the remaining Spanish footballer in Milan is Suso. Currently, a player with the full name: Jesús Joaquín Fernández Sáenz de la Torre is likely to be more important for Milan, either in the rest of the season or in the future.
One of the most we remember from Suso was a brace at Derby Della Madoninna last season and his spectacular goal against Udinese this season. In addition, his influence is greater even Suso’s position on the right wing, because he is also one of game creator. Dribbles, moves, passing and long-distance shoot from the 24-year-old player’s is vital to Gennaro Gattuso’s side.
The bad record or “curse” of previous Spanish footballers always haunting all Spanish footballers in Milan. But, with Suso’s progress nowadays, hopefully, and definitely he will be the man who breaks that “curse” and become the first most reclaimed Spanish player in Milan. Ven Suso, estamos seguros de ti!
Source of pictures: acmilan.info, daily mail, and the sun.