Former ATK midfielder Borja Fernandez marks return to Spanish top flight with Real Valladolid
Written by: Atrayo Bhattacharya
The 37-year-old won the ISL title with Kolkata outfit ATK in its debut season.
The new La Liga season started with a stalemate between Girona and Real Valladolid. While the match ended in a goalless draw there was one added fascination for Indian football fans to watch the match. That was definitely 37-year old Spanish midfielder Borja Fernandez making the starting XI for Valladolid.
The Real Madrid academy graduate enjoyed a very successful stint in India with ATK as he won the much coveted Indian Super League title in the year of its inception.
At 37, Fernandez is still going strong as he played for the whole 90 minutes against Girona and will play a very crucial role in Sergio Gonzalez Soriano's side, who are desperate to cement their place in Spain's elite league. Valladolid who came 5th in the Segunda Division claimed their spot of qualification via the playoffs and became the third side besides Rayo Vallecano and Huesa to get over the line.
Although, in his late thirties, the Spanish midfielder played a very crucial role in Valladolid's qualification as he made 40 appearances for the Pucellanos in the Segunda Division last season. His experience will come in handy for head coach Sergio Soriano, if they want to stay in the top flight at the end of the season.
The Spanish midfielder is a Real Madrid academy graduate and has plied his trade even for the Los Blancos senior team. Borja has always been a crucial player for the Pucellanos and has the experience of playing for numerous Spanish clubs, starting from Eibar, Deportivo La Coruna, Getafe and Almeria. His stints in India for ATK have also been praiseworthy as he is kind of player who gives his heart for the badge.
Even at 37, Borja was pretty sound with his duties at the club as the newly promoted side Real Valladolid put up a strong show against Girona FC in the La Liga opener for this season. Having plied his trade for an ISL club and now returning to play in the Spanish elite division, makes this moment special for any Indian football fan.
Borja who joined ATK in the inaugural season of the ISL won the league under the tutelage of head coach Antonio Lopez Habas. He then again won the league in 2016, of the park this time under Jose Molina. The talisman had a daunting presence in the middle in both the seasons and he is continuing to do so for the newly-promoted Real Valladolid.
Published: Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:19 AM IST