Going to Zurich
The hope of a soft start to the new season was crushed when the LIGA BBVA
schedule came out. We were not just going to play four games in two weeks to start the season but also had to start on the road playing Real Madrid FC
Within the first 37 minutes of the game against Real Madrid CF
we gave up three goals to a 26-year Adis Hadziabdic
from Bosnia & Herzegovina
who had arrived in Madrid from Hannover on a free transfer just one year earlier. The last hour of the game Real Madrid CF
turn down the tempo and we got back in the game when Edinson Cavani
scored in his debut after being brought on at halftime.
A few days later we traveled to Tripoli
to play AGS Asteras Tripolis
in the first leg of the Europa League
With little to no knowledge of AGS Asteras Tripolis
I was extremely satisfied getting away with a 3-0 win on the road after a hattrick by German/Brazilian striker Jajá
After getting home from the midweek game in Greece the team had to get back up for the first real game in our new stadium Estadio C.D. Constància
. A full house (19.752- all-seaters) was expected for the home opener against Real Betis SAD
We of course started with Edinson Cavani
on top in front of the huge home crowd and he didn't disappoint. It took him just eleven minutes to show that even at age thirtyfive he is still got what it takes. After a poorly cleared corner he sneaked into the empty room behind the Real Betis SAD
defends and could easily score his first and the teams first goal in the new Estadio C.D. Constància
In the second half he was also the man behind the second and decisive goal. He took the ball on a quick break and drew two defenders only to, in the last second before the lost the ball, cross it perfectly to an unmarked Edi Curri
how could almost walk the ball into the open ?net.
Just four days later C.D. Constància
stadium was close to full again when we played the first ever home European game. After the road win in the first leg i felt confident and we fielded a team with several young players in key positions. Raimond Zonneveld
was rested and 19-year old Manuel Elizalde
took his place in the center defence and on the central midfield 17-year old Romanian Marin Morar
got some valuable playing time. Up front Edinson Cavani
got rested and the two youngsters Jajá
and Faton Hoti
got to start.
The changes didn't affect the result as we easily ran up a 7-1 win with three goals by Faton Hoti
and two by Teodoro Bañares
coming in from the bench.
Some of the €1.3M we earned qualifying for the group stage was used to charter a private jet with destination Zurich the next day. Onboard the airplane together with me were three other well known faces. C.D. Constància
chairman Miguel Ángel Rubio
, veteran striker Edinson Cavani
and C.D. Constància
legend david Karg
. We would go and represent C.D. Constància
at the draw for the Europa League
group stage at the UEFA hd quarter.
Seeded in the 3rd level we needed a bit of luck if we were to have a realistic chance of qualifying for the knockout stage. We knew we would run in to a top team from the first level . A group with teams like Napoli
and AC Milan
would be a disaster.
When the draw was done we had avoided the big teams but still had a good chalange infront of us. It would be difficult to get anything in the two games against a Tottenham Hotspur team on the rise. The points we would need to qualify for the next round we would have to get in the games against the two Dinamo teams from Moscow and Bucharest.
On just two days of rest the team travelled to play a hot Sevilla FC
team that had just beaten Real Madrid. As expected it was Sevilla FC
dominating the game and even if we had managed to rest some of the key players in the previous game we still looked tired and didn't produce much.
Still we held Sevilla FC
away from any big chances and they hardly had any shots on goal. It was 0-0 at the half and it remained the same with just six minutes to go.
Thats when I decided to go to a more defensive formation and try to secure the one point, but before i had a chance to get the formation switched around and the players in the correct place, 35-year old Gary Medel
had scored for Sevilla FC
. We had once again given up a late goal and lost valuable points, a trend from last season I had hoped to avoid this year.
But instead of giving up the team went right on the attack and a beautiful deep pass from Almir Leonor
put Adolfo Giovannini
alone with the Sevilla FC
keeper and he made no mistakes and equalized.
Four minutes into extra time the game was decided. The Sevilla FC
defends failed to clear a corner and on the right spot was Raimond Zonneveld
who could easily put away the winner.
For most of the players it was now time for a well earned two weeks break before the season started up again with games against Espanyol
, Tottenham H
and FC Barcelona
But for some of the ?C.D. Constància
there was no break as they would go away to play for their national teams. Among the players representing their country there were now five playing in the senior squad.
was really moving up in the world.?