As the season is coming to an end, everything is wrapping up and teams are starting to focus on the upcoming 2021/22 season. But there is a way to be noticed even now: read on to discover the ultimate secret to playing in La Liga.
This is the perfect opportunity for me to clock some playing minutes and show my hard work in an actual league game. Finishing in the top three is now impossible, due to the point gap. But my own individual dream lives on.
Playing in La Liga against Real Madrid
The last time we played a league game was on the 25th of April against Real Madrid CF. This was the first time I was called off the bench to warm up. My coach called me and two of my teammates 10 minutes before half-time. At that moment, I was very eager to step out on the pitch to compete against the team everyone dreams of playing and one of the best academies in the world: Real Madrid.
The secret to playing: Dare to Dream
I continued to warm up in the break as well as the second half, not allowing myself to get too excited. Which is just as well, because this was not my time. And this might look like a negative to someone else but to me, it was another step closer, the closest I’d been so far.
For the other games, I had been selected for the playing list. But this time the coach had thought to put me on the pitch. Right next to the action. Everywhere I looked, Whites. Closer to the action and closer to making my dream a reality.
Double down, double dare
From then, we didn’t have any games for two consecutive weeks and I knew what I had to do. Prove to my coach that he can rely on me on the pitch. The secret to me playing in La Liga is to get out of my mind and inside of his.
In those two weeks, I knew what the mindset of my teammates would be like. They would be relaxed and comfortable. But I, on the other hand ran for every single ball. I worked two times harder than everybody else. And I was the loudest on the pitch, encouraging and informing my teammates. Letting them know I’d arrived.
Playing in La Liga
Two weeks went by and I trained well. I started to learn more about the game. And the coach was caring more about me. I started feeling more confident in my ability. During this time, at the end of one of the sessions my coach pulled me aside and spoke to me about the Real Madrid game.
I wanted to put you on against Real Madrid CF. I am the coach and I think you are performing amazingly and training very intensively.Getafe CF U19 Coach
It meant a lot. Remember, the beginning? He could barely give me an answer about my level and how to improve. But now he is giving me tips and tricks to use to gain an advantage over my opponents. I dared to voice my opinions on the team during these two weeks. As no-one really cared to put their best foot forward with no upcoming games. The coach told me to focus on myself and not to worry about the others.
Two more games to go, two more chances
So the two weeks went by quickly and our previously 10 man group training sessions turned to 23 man sessions. We included goalkeepers to get ready for the match against Rayo Vallecano. But these are 23 talented football players, all vying for the starting line-up and the right to represent Getafe CF on the pitch.
From all the weeks of training, I felt I deserved a spot on that team for the match. But was it enough to convince the coach?
The day before the game
We had our normal Friday session before the game, which consisted of a warm-up as usual. Then we headed into our tactical play. This paid careful attention to the opposition’s playing style and how we to counteract it. I didn’t let up. I dared.
This was followed by the “doble area” which is a small-sided pitch with two goals and three teams. It’s challenging on many levels. Two teams play on the pitch, while the third team plays on the outside to assist with play. Whichever teams scores, stays on the pitch. I dreamed.
Every single Friday session before a game, there are always two teams. One that will start on the weekend, and the other that will either be on the bench or not make the 20 man squad. I dreamed big.
Being selected for the squad did not surprise me at all. I went into confident and optimistic that I could be put on in the second-half. But I still had to be ready for the actual game.
I wasn’t asked to warm up in the first half nor in the break, which made it seem like my chances of playing were small.
At about the 50th minute into the second half, the assistant coach called upon me to warm up. So straight away I focused on the task at hand. I was imagining certain movements that the coach asks of us in training. And I saw a lot of openings to be able to perform them while I had been sitting on the bench.
Shortly after, I was asked for again, but this time to the bench where the technical staff were located to put my game shirt and shin pads on. And finally, to be sent on the pitch.
Before I hopped onto the pitch, the assistant coach ran me through the tactics and certain decisions he wanted me to execute.
And just like that, I was on. Years ago, months ago, weeks ago, days ago, minutes ago. I had dreamed of this moment. And then that dream became a reality.
In the moment
I came on in the 60th minute, prepared and excited for the game ahead. The big moment but I wanted to keep everything simple and follow the coach’s game philosophy.
I played a normal game, but I think my performance reflected the hard work and fight I have.
Although it was a nice feeling, at the end of the day, I had an obligation to do my job. And I needed to display to the club, the spectators, my teammates, and especially to the technical staff that I deserve to play. And that if I am playing, the team is benefiting.
Living the dream
The Rayo Vallecano U19 squad was not nearly as good as opposition we previously played. They made constant errors defensively and offensively and the team as a whole wasn’t strong. Sadly, the result from the game doesn’t really display that. But then, it’s football.
Don’t forget that every team is a worthy opponent. And that’s part of the secret to playing in La Liga, every team is good enough on your journey to the top.
But then there’s this:
My debut goal with Getafe CF U19 against Rayo Vallecano in the Division de Honor.
Share the secret to playing in La Liga
While I felt extremely proud to have scored this goal, and to be frank, I think I got a little bit lucky with the shot considering there were a lot of opponent bodies trying to defend.
Although there is only 1 more game left in the season, I am still extremely eager to get on that pitch for that final game and try to gain some more minutes. Follow me and share how you are making your dreams your reality. And do you have a secret to playing in La Liga that you can share?