Of the Spartans of the Country House to the Iraola Laboratory: the driver of an unabordable lightning in Vallecas

That New Year's Day of 1978 was difficult to stand up on the slippery Lawn of Vallecas. The rains of December, more copious than usual in Madrid, had sitting p

Of the Spartans of the Country House to the Iraola Laboratory: the driver of an unabordable lightning in Vallecas

That New Year's Day of 1978 was difficult to stand up on the slippery Lawn of Vallecas. The rains of December, more copious than usual in Madrid, had sitting pretty badly to the green and of little, and the precautions of the technical body of the ray, headed by Héctor Núñez and the physical trainer of him, Carlos Álvarez del Villar. Since the early season, Uruguayan had transferred its work sessions to the country house, the only enclosure available for a club without facilities of training. Among the puddles of the popular sandfield located next to the Arroyo Meacaques, that team had completed its preparation for the party against Betis, scheduled for noon from January 1 and resolved with a 4-2, thanks to three goals of the Argentine González Palín on the mud. The triumph consolidated the francirrojos in the third place of the league, only behind Real Madrid and Barcelona. After 18 days, the ray added nine triumphs, exactly the same statistic that today the Andoni Iraola team looks.

The Pammosa authority at his stadium earned that debutant in the first, nourished by Descartes from his citizen neighbors, the appellation of Matagigantes. Only in the first round, the ray had already smooth Seville (4-1), Real Madrid (3-2), Athletic (3-2), Valencia (3-0), Betis (4-2) and Athletic ( 2-0), resolving with 10 victories and a tie its first 11 commitments in Vallecas. Today the Rayistas can boast eight victories and a tie in nine games, the best average as Laliga's local, at the Manchester City at the Premier, Bayern in the Bundesliga or PSG in Ligue 1. How has it achieved This newly ascended team becomes so strong at home? What should you fear today in Vallecas the Betis of Manuel Pellegrini? To find solid answers, it is convenient to look at what happened four decades ago.

"At the physical level we were the best team in Spain. Nobody ran more than us, we were made mules," explains the world José González de la Vieja, Potele, Living Legend del Rayo, about that triumphal streak of the 70s. "Álvarez del Villar took us at the rate of athletes in the country house. The workload had a barbarian intensity: 20 minutes of continuous race before stretching, then progressions, rhythm changes, circuits between pines and multisalt exercises or Flexibility, "adds Chus Landaburu, a half-year-old mediocentro, freshly signed by Real Valladolid.

Núñez liked to presume before the press of a group of professionals who applied as an amateur team. Upon arrival at Vallecas, after being dismissed at El Granada, he had trusted Álvarez del Villar, a reputing technician of athletics that he intended to approach football. The teacher, as he was known in the dressing room, soon earned the respect of all. "He was the pioneer, a teacher," says Álvaro Ruiz Ruiz, Alvarito, author of 12 goals during that course. "I know each other from the country house, the zoo and the amusement park, but we never had injured, even the rivals told us if we got something", it jokes the former Cantabrian striker by recalling those double sessions, who would end up serving from Foundation for the physical preparation of football based on athletics (Gymnos, 1983), a key book in the modernization of training in our country, published shortly after Miguel Muñoz recruited him for the selection. Although now it is almost inconceivable, it should be remembered that the Spain of José Emilio Santamaría had come to the 1982 World Cup without a physical trainer.

Today, four decades later, the unquestionable legacy of Álvarez del Villar coexists with other areas of development in the sports city of lightning. In front of them is the Pablo de la Torre's physical trainer, responsible for one of the best Laliga teams, both in high-intensity efforts and in number of sprints. In case it was not enough, it should be remembered that even the resounding irruption of the Covid, Iraola had not had to regret any serious mishap, except the knee injury from Martin MerciLANZ. "We have a quite low lesional incidence, and this helps us train and apply the maximum ability to availability, a factor that adds for team achievements," the tower account, in conversation with this newspaper. "Prevention at high performance is a chimera, since there are a lot of intangibles that do not depend on us. However, we can control factors that will help us reduce the risk, understanding the lesion as a multi-engine and Multifactorial ", adds this 32-year conquest, whose success in the care is evident in another data: only Ivan Arboleda and Radamel Falcao, both with discomfort in the abductor, populated the nursing at the end of 2021.

Strength levels are a differentiating element, given the density of the calendar

"We knew about the importance of strength training to compete at high rhythms since the beginning of the season. And that may have allowed us to adapt more quickly to first, since the main difference between the categories is the rhythm," he says of the Tower, who already worked with Irale at the AEK Larnaca and the Mirandés. "We also knew that football players with higher strength levels are able to recover better and this seem a differentiating element, given the density of the calendar," he reveals. If it were not enough pride, it is enough to review that Álvaro García is the fastest soccer player in Laliga, not only in speed, above 35 km / h, but with an average maximum speed at very few. Likewise, Ivan Balliu and Fran García also highlight in high intensity efforts. The three are sneaked into the Top-5 of the championship in this physical section.

The energetic plan of Iraola, which orders long movements towards a rival field, says the enthusiastic follow-up of his men. Up to 11 of them - almost half of the template - debut at first. And this voracity for reaching new goals, just as it happened with the Matagigantes, it is marking the difference. "We had very few means, but we were young and we had a lot of desire. Héctor Núñez was a dialogue guy, a great motivator, it was based on squeezing up and going back to the backlight," Landaburu reflects.

"This tall pressure that takes so long now we already did it by then. And it did not cost us. The teacher always said the same thing: 'You have to suffer in the workouts to have fun on Sundays'. And of course we had a good time. We removed the ball to Madrid and Barça! "Proclaim Fermín Gutiérrez, the only Rayist with previous experience in the highest category. "We can conclude that the physical preparation first was born in Vallecas, we trained as Spartans and we were flying in the countryside. Then we went out to take the appetizer and we were all friends. At night we went with our women to play Bingo," reveals the former Madridista .

Winds of abundance were blowing for the president, Marcelino Gil, under whose mandate the stadium had been inaugurated. "Felines and I were the ones who talked the most with him, he appreciated ourselves more than the rest for our veteran," says Potele, Vallecano de pura strain, of those who reached the countryside. "By winning the Gallites gave us something more than 3,000 pesetas per head, and he paid well at ease. In fact, when he arrived at La Caseta I already knew the next rival he would come here," completes the left-hander. Johan Cruyff, Luiz Pereira, José Martínez Pirri, Johan Neeskens, Carlos Santillana or Rubén Ayala were just some of the illustrious who bite the dust that course in Vallecas.

Unfortunately, that fairy tale would last little for Gil, who resigned at the end of the course, tired of accounts that remained unquayed. "They took us out to the bus that took us to the country house because there was no money to pay for it," reveals Fermín. It was another time. That of a football marked by illusion and precariousness. If a couple of anecdotes are enough, let Potele and Fermín, after defeat in the planting (2-1) lost the train at the Burgos station and returned in the car of some amateurs. As unusual as the travel projected by Núñez to Buenos Aires and Montevideo, when Alvarito presented himself in Barajas dressed in a fox shelter that he had bought the woman of him, but who did not let him go through the customs. The fact is that in the summer of 1978, according to the figures of the Assembly of Partners, the debt of the Club amounted to 41 million pesetas. The dreaded descent would end up consuming in 1980.

I see numerous similarities with our stage

Today, the Raúl Martín Presa era, jelly with all kinds of institutional and social turbulence, at least features the irrefutable support of the results. "The team is liking it a lot, I already knew Iraola of your stay at the Mirandés and has coupled all the pieces very well. It also counts up with people from the size of Sergi Guardiola and Radamel Falcao," says Alvarito, while Fermín delves in The potential of the Basque trainer. "I see numerous similarities with our stage, and I'm convinced that Irale will not only direct Athletic, but he can also aspire to bench from an even greater prestige".

By his side, maybe he will follow a mendy, right hand in the tactical aspect, and the always enthusiast of the tower. "Far from seeing the limitation of material or human resources as a handicap, we have been able to extrapolate it and turn it into a strength," he reveals with that feverish cordiality of whoever enjoys working. With this feeling by the strip that seems to have soaked through the technical department, the ray can continue dreaming about Europe League. As they say on the Avenue of La Albufera, it is enough with courage, courage and nobility.

Updated Date: 08 January 2022, 21:58

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