Luis Alfonso Espino (San Jacinto, Uruguay; 1992) attends this medium by phone just after picking up his daughter from school. The left-handed winger has enjoyed Cádiz and with Cádiz since his arrival in Andalusia in January 2019. “I am more than adapted to this city. A perfect place to live ”, affirms a footballer who participated in the promotion of 2019 and was an important part of the season that the Andalusian club did to stay in First, equaling the best historical classification of the entity (12th place).
Cádiz host Barcelona (10pm, Movistar LaLiga) after achieving its first league triumph, against Celta (1-2). Espino scored 1-2. He has already two goals this year. He is the team’s top scorer with Álex Fernández and the only one who has played every minute in the five matchdays. With chronic asthma, the defender stands out for his imposing physique and the number of balls he recovers for Cádiz (12 according to LaLiga statistics and the second in this section before the start of this week-long day).
Espino, at 29, took a late leap into European football from one of Uruguay’s greats, Nacional. “The truth is that everything in my career was late. I always did things a little late. I made my debut at the age of 22 in the Uruguay Primera Division and I came to Cádiz at 27 ”, clarifies the left-handed side, who tries to explain the success of a team like the Andalusian, trained by Álvaro Cervera to face a year where he will try to consolidate in Primera. “Our main weapon is the competitive gene that we have. We are all in the same line with the coaching staff and with the club ”, underlines Espino, perfectly integrated into the philosophy of the game of his coach.
Cádiz won the other day in Vigo with 22% possession. With seven shots for 14 by Celta. “Our weapons are what they are. We are much better going against than having the ball. Our football develops without the ball and then steals it and goes out on the counterattack. In this Cádiz, we are all very clear about what we are and what the coach wants, ”says Espino, who acknowledges that his coach questions the footballer who does things he shouldn’t. “It is not about the coach forbidding us to do things with the ball. The point is that sometimes we do things for which we are not prepared and the rival punishes us. That makes Álvaro very angry. Cádiz, to win a game, must run more than the other team. And from there … What the coach does not want is to lose a ball where the rival can create danger for us. When in doubt, it is much better to hit a volley than risk a pass ”, he clarifies.
Araujo, an “animal”
Espino was a starter in the two games that Cádiz played last against Barcelona. The Andalusians won at home (2-1) and achieved a draw at the Camp Nou (1-1). “Last year we played two great games against Barcelona. Now everyone knows us a little more after the surprise effect we had the first year. I think it’s a great opportunity to get our first win at home. It is a good moment to be able to get something out of Barcelona, which is a team that is in a process of change, that feels the absence of great players. If last year we beat them with Messi, now we can repeat, “says Espino, shocked by the performance of his compatriot Araujo against Granada:” What can I say about Ronald? It is an animal, a physical marvel that I already met in Uruguay ”.
Espino is a soccer lover. In Uruguay he trained youth teams and, aware of his technical limitations, he has adapted to compete in a league that has impacted him due to the technical condition of his players.
“Here everyone has a good foot, everyone plays very well with the ball. The controls are all good, the passes are very good and it is very difficult to steal the ball. In Uruguay you play much less and there everything is fierce, very rustic. The tactical culture that I have seen in European football is huge. In South America everything is based on destroying the rival. I have to use my physical conditions to be competitive. Maybe the style that Cádiz has is ideal for me, ”says Espino.
“The Barcelona players all have a good foot. And a player that I really like is Depay. A terrible player, of enormous power ”, closes the Uruguayan side.
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