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29.01.2010 11:40

Abelardo and Iván: Barça memories

Miquel Agut / Sandra Sarmiento

Both former Asturian footballers have praised the work being done at La Masia and have spoken ahead of the game at El Molinón.

David Villa is currently the biggest name to have come out of the Mareo football school in Gijón, inaugurated in 1978. Iván Iglesias, Luis Enrique and Abelardo were all produced by Sporting before triumphing at Barça.
Iván Iglesias will always be remembered for his fifth goal against Madrid in 94. “It was a historic result and you never forget it. When I go to Barcelona, it is always the first thing people remember. Time will pass by but that goal will always stay with me”. Abelardo was at Barça for eight years between 94 and 2002. “Apart from the titles, what I most miss is the day to day with the squad, with so many friends, all those experiences”.

Praise for Masia

ABELARDO.jpgAbelardo’s time at the helm of Sporting B came to an end a few weeks ago. Since 2003, when he resigned from playing at Alavés, he worked for the football school at Sporting, the Mareo. He claims that La Masia “is an example to follow. The first team right down to the youngest players use the same system. When they get to the first team, they know what to do. But here in Gijón, the youth teams don’t necessarily play the same way”. He was proud to see Barça win everything last year with so many home bred players. “It is the envy of any club, you save in every aspect. They are players that cost very little and all they have achieved is fantastic. You have to appreciate not just the coaches that brought them into the first team, but all of those working in the youth system”.

Gijón, Barça influence

IVxN_IGLESIAS_-_2.jpgQuini, Luis Enrique, Abelardo and Iván Iglesias all came from Sporting and later played at Barça. That may be why Iván Iglesias says “people at Sporting are more likely to be fans of Barça and Oviedo fans of Madrid”. But Abelardo believes the empathy with the Catalan club is because “Sporting have always liked to play attacking football, and play the ball around, and that’s why Barça have looked for players here”.

Abelardo, admirer of Puyol

When Puyol made his first team debut at Barça, Abelardo played alongside him. “As a defender he is a God and has had a spectacular career. If he is not in the Barça defence, it takes a lot out of the team. Puyol makes the players around him look good”.
Abelardo and Iván: Barça memories

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Making predictions
Both men are from Gijón and both have their faith in Preciado’s team on Saturday night. “Barça are the better team on paper, but this is my homeland and I’m going for 2-1”, said Abelardo. But Iván Iglesias was more prudent: “It seems impossible to beat them right now. They play spectacular football, it’s a monologue. It’s difficult, but anything could happen”.

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