On the Spanish football billboard, the movie of the moment stars Girona, a small club, integrated into the vast commercial empire that has been created around Manchester City, with hardly any history in the First Division – four seasons -, destined for fight for survival in the category. He was promoted for the first time in 2017, relegated two years later, he experienced firsthand the drama of the playoff in the Second and returned in 2021 to the main division. Nothing allowed Girona to assume that they share the lead with Barça, they score goals aplenty (16 in the first six games of the championship) and in each game they confirm their reputation as an attractive and attacking team.
Although a member of City’s timeshare system, which has 13 clubs in the world, Girona does not function as a satellite without autonomy. It is true that it benefits from its relationship with Manchester City, but in no case is it the destination of the English club’s most promising footballers. Several players on the team are or have been part of City’s orbit – Aleix García, Yangel Herrera, Yan Couto, Savinho, Jhon Solís and Eric García -, without consideration of figure in all cases, except for the young Savinho (19 years ) confirm this season the fabulous impression it has produced at the start of the championship.
Everything points to a well-structured club, with an excellent eye for signing young players or distinguished veterans, oblivious to media noise and willing to forge a recognizable football culture. It is identified by his coach, Míchel, who has found the perfect habitat to develop his ideas and a club capable of supporting them when things have gotten ugly. Two years ago, when Girona was in relegation positions in the Second Division, the club’s management did not hesitate to keep him in office.
Girona is part of a small group of small teams that have decided to play big. It was not the norm in football, but it is beginning to set a trend. Brighton in the Premier League or Sassuolo and Atalanta in Italy are experiencing their best years against the current in history. In an era marked by market excesses and inequality, a few clubs have shed their complexes and made ambition their motto. They play well, they play on the attack and they play to win.
Years go by and no one takes them away from that model, which works wonders for them in the field and in the market. Brighton, third in the English League, sold the Ecuadorian Caicedo and the Argentine MacAlister this summer for 160 million euros. The rise of the Japanese Mitoma and the Irish Ferguson ensures a tasty income in the future. This class of footballers, most of them unnoticed by big clubs, are appreciated in teams that offer them the best conditions to express their full potential. This is the case of Savinho, a 19-year-old boy, hidden in the PSV Eindhoven B team, and now a dazzling figure for Girona. Something similar happens with the Ukrainian Tsygankov, an elegant and creative left-hander.
Sooner or later, Girona will go through difficulties, nothing new for a club that has weathered all kinds of storms in the First and Second Division, but a certain way of doing things, what has come to be called a model, is already established. It is a team with a defined profile and iron convictions, transferred to the field by its coach and by players who will hardly find a better place to progress and enjoy football. From the outside it is appreciated: Girona is the film that should be seen. A delight of team.
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