Five keys to football that never stops | It’s LaLiga

Sergio Sánchez, pitchside presenter for LaLiga SmartBank on Movistar Plus+, rests a few weekends a year. He can not. Because football does not stop, the silver division does not stop due to the dispute of international matches. A competition that in this edition is matched like few times. “There is always someone upstairs who usually escapes at this point [jornada 33]but not this year. Direct promotions can be defined in the last two days”, warns an enthusiastic Sánchez who has been tanning for 18 years on the playing fields of this category. If he says there will be a tight ending and excitement…

Pay attention to him. Because he’s right. Between SD Eibar, who lead the table with 63 points, and CD Tenerife, fourth with 55, there is only eight difference. In three games everything can turn around. UD Almería (62) and Real Valladolid (58) are the other contenders for the two direct tickets to LaLiga Santander. But there is more. Once again, only eight points separate SD Ponferradina, sixth and at the moment the last team with access to the play offfrom UD Ibiza, tenth, who still allow themselves to dream of playing in the playoffs to be promoted. In the absence of ten games, mathematics and Sánchez dictate that anything can happen. These are some keys for you to enter the contest:

The most decisive star

Umar Sadiq, 25, forward for UD Almería and one of the most decisive players in LaLiga SmartBank.Quality Sports Images / Getty Images

Umar Sadiq, the Nigerian striker for UD Almería, is, without a doubt, one of the sensations of the tournament. At 25 years old, he has already played for Italian teams such as Spezia, AS Roma, Bologna, Torino, Scottish Rangers or Serbian Partizan. A globetrotter who could have found his place: Spanish football. He is the most valuable player in the silver category. According to Transfermarkt, his market value is around 18 million euros.

With 15 goals in 27 games, Sadiq is the fourth top scorer in LaLiga SmartBank, behind Christian Stuani (17), from Girona FC, Borja Bastón (17) from Real Oviedo, and Stoichkov (16), from SD Eibar. A figure that keeps his scoring average above the average target per game, as in last season. “It is one of the ones that makes the most differences in the competition. Almería felt his loss in January. He is very lanky, not so graceful, but exquisitely executed. He scores goals in any way and has a very powerful stride ”, Sánchez analyzes.

This Sunday, at 9 pm, Sadiq and UD Almería will host Girona FC (fifth, with 52 points) at the Municipal Stadium for the Mediterranean Games, in what will be one of the most exciting duels of the day. Clash of scorers with the veteran Uruguayan Stuani.

The Stoichkov from Cadiz who woke up in Ipurua

Everyone knows Juan Diego Molina, SD Eibar's top scorer this season, as Stoichkov.  His shirt, with 19 on the back, also bears that name.
Everyone knows Juan Diego Molina, SD Eibar’s top scorer this season, as Stoichkov. His shirt, with 19 on the back, also bears that name.Quality Sports Images / Getty Images

The Eibar stands support Juan Diego Molina Martínez (San Roque, Cádiz, 1993) with another name: Stoichkov. In the early 1990s, his culé father had a bar in Barcelona where the charismatic Bulgarian striker from the Blaugrana team would go for breakfast. It was then promised that he would call his future son that way: Stoichkov. The mother of the creature, however, did not allow such eccentricity: Juan Diego, prays in the register. But his father did not give up: he managed to get everyone to start calling him by that nickname, to the point that he himself chose to wear it on the shirt with his number. After passing through RCD Mallorca, AD Alcorcón and CE Sabadell, Stoichkov ended up at Ipurua where he has already scored 16 goals. He is the top scorer of his team, which is the leader and, at the moment, is getting one of the two direct promotions to LaLiga Santander.

“He reminds me of Jorge Molina when he established himself at Elche CF in 2009″, points out Sergio Sánchez. “He is 28 years old, a sign that in LaLiga SmartBank players can reinvent themselves or reach the top later. The age to make the leap to the elite takes a little longer and footballers retire later, ”he points out. “It was a success of the sports director of SD Eibar, César Palacios, who knows the category perfectly and has seen what he could give in it”, he adds. In March, the striker scored the fastest goal in the history of the category, when he opened the scoring in the derby against SD Amorebieta in the eighth second of the game. He is getting closer to fulfilling his dream of playing in LaLiga Santander.

This Saturday, together with his teammates, he will try to approach the goal of promotion with another three points when they host CD Lugo in Ipurua from 4:00 p.m.

Alberto Moleiro, the new Tenerife jewel of UD Las Palmas

Alberto Moleiro from Tenerife, playmaker for UD Las Palmas.
Alberto Moleiro from Tenerife, playmaker for UD Las Palmas.Quality Sports Images / Getty Images

Even without having established himself in coach García Pimienta’s starting eleven, Alberto Moleiro, a 19-year-old playmaker from Tenerife, is one of the great promises of UD Las Palmas and one of Jonathan Viera’s main partners in the Gran Canaria attack. His great performance in last day’s game against Real Valladolid at the José Zorrilla (0-1) confirms that he is ready to start taking off. “The Canarian quarry is incredible,” says Sánchez. “He’s an attacker, a striker, with good ball control, he’s from Tenerife… I won’t be the one to make the comparisons,” he says, alluding to the similarities with Pedri, superstar of FC Barcelona and the Spanish National Team, who also played in Las Palms.

Moleiro, the eighth youngest player to debut at the club at 17 years, 10 months and 14 days, has been called up for the U19s and will not be available for his coach this day in which his team hosts CD Leganés on Monday at 21 hours. UD Las Palmas is ninth in the standings, with 44 points, seven behind SD Ponferradina.

Baena, from Girona, “the best in the championship”

Álex Baena, from Girona FC, in a match against Real Oviedo in Montilivi, on March 6.
Álex Baena, from Girona FC, in a match against Real Oviedo in Montilivi, on March 6.Pedro Salado/Getty Images

LaLiga SmartBank will contribute 24 players to various teams during this day of international break. Twelve of them will represent Spain. They will travel with the sub-21 Turrientes, Lobete and Karrikaburu, from Real Sociedad; Riquelme and Carreira, from CD Mirandés; French, from Real Zaragoza; Baena, from Girona FC; Morro, from CF Fuenlabrada and Víctor Gómez, from Málaga CF. Alberto Moleiro (Las Palmas), Artero (Girona) and Ángel López (Zaragoza) are called up to the sub-19.

“Baena is my weakness, the best player in the championship, if you ask me,” warns Sergio Sánchez. “He has a goal, arrival, assists, overflows… He makes the difference in this division.” The 20-year-old from Roquetas de Mar (Almería) has scored five goals and six assists in 30 games with Girona, where he landed on loan at the beginning of the season from another prolific academy: Villarreal CF.

Rubén Castro, for Nino’s record

Rubén Castro, top scorer of FC Cartagena, celebrates a goal against Real Sporting.
Rubén Castro, top scorer of FC Cartagena, celebrates a goal against Real Sporting.Quality Sports Images / Getty Images

The recently retired myth, whose marks might seem unattainable, has a pursuer. A very tenacious one. Rubén Castro has scored 15 goals this season with FC Cartagena, and has already accumulated 180 in the silver category. That is to say: he is only 14 from Nino. Castro is the only player to have scored against 68 different LaLiga Santander and LaLiga SmartBank teams and the only one, along with Leo Messi, who has chained 13 seasons scoring at least 13 goals in each one in elite Spanish football. “It’s not just goals. Also attend! He is one of the players who believes in himself the most, ”says Sánchez. Castro, 40, is the second most incident footballer in attack with 15 goals and six assists, behind Sadiq, from Almería (15 and 10).

This Saturday, at 6:00 p.m., FC Cartagena will visit Real Sporting at El Molinón.