“When you lose they don’t look you in the face; when you win you are God”

first_imgHave you ever been denied permission to leave?No, the answer is practically automatic and always positive. I know they give me the go-ahead because it comes in green. I don’t understand much more.He resigned a few weeks ago and is in a foreign country with no income. How do you carry it?I came to a termination agreement and they gave me all my due this season. The club was already having some delays and anticipated that later on it would be difficult to collect. I explained to them that I wanted to return to Spain with my family and they did not put any problem. I thought I could travel … Now I’m in a rented flat. The landlord is giving me a small discount.What was it like to go to Greece after so long in Second B?Hard. I spent nine seasons in Segunda B. I lived through great moments, like when I scored the goal that gave the league to Mirandés and we played against Mallorca for the ‘play-off’ promotion to Segunda. But lately he was already having a hard time finding equipment. With the Conquense I signed the last day of the market, then I went down with the Teruel … Mentally it was not right. I realized that my career was starting to get complicated. Then I signed up for AFE. They said to me: ‘What are you doing here?’ But there it was, without equipment. Through a friend, Pablo Gállego, I made contacts in Greece and the opportunity arose to go to Tríkala, which was in Tercera. The conditions surprised me for good and I left. It’s been messed up a bit by the coronavirus, but the season has been going pretty well for me.Greece is also a lottery … Did you find out about the club you were going to?In Greece you have to have a little luck and hit the place you are going to. I saw that Tríkala was a club that historically had been in Second. That I was in Third was pulling me back, but the third category is also professional. Ximo Navarro and Javier Balboa were here recently. They spoke well of the club and I was encouraged to live a new experience. Things went well for me again. I enjoyed soccer again and remembered what it is to feel important and valued. And that’s what we soccer players care about. When you are happy, money takes a back seat. I value the experience very positively. It has also helped me to learn English and improve in many other aspects of life. “In Spain I was already finding difficulties finding equipment” Diego Pelaez Coruxo, Compostela, Cultural, Ferrol, Marbella, Sabadell, Mirandés, Conquense, Teruel … After almost a decade in Segunda División B, Diego Pelaez (Santiago de Compostela, 1989) saw his options to continue playing soccer in Spain run out: “I realized that my career was starting to get complicated.” Disillusioned, he opted for foreign football and Greece, oddly enough, ended up rearranging his life: “I went to Tríkala and there I returned to enjoy soccer. I remembered what it is to feel important and valued”. Until COVID-19 appeared. He resigned weeks ago, but has not yet been able to return to Spain.How is everything going in Greece?Everything is much calmer here. There are fewer cases than in Spain and in Tríkala, where I live, there is no infected person. I tried to return home with a stopover in London, but the flights were canceled. I have other tickets for May 2, this time I am in Paris. The embassy has told me that you should have no problems, so I hope to return to Spain soon.Live alone?He lived with a Serbian partner, but he resigned before me and was able to drive to Serbia. Since then I am alone because most of my colleagues are Greek, but not from Tríkala. They have gone to their cities. The situation is frustrating. When you have a job it does not matter to be alone because you are doing what you like. Now I have no one to talk to during the day. It gets heavy, but I hope there won’t be much left to go home.How does time kill? What are they allowed to do in Greece?Here we can go for a walk and a little run. If you want to play sports, go to the pharmacy or to the supermarket you have to send a text message and they answer you with permission to leave. You have a limited time, although, to be honest, I don’t know what it says because it’s in Greek. It’s in case the police stop you. I also have to carry my passport with me. Diego Peláez, during a Tríkala match in the Greek Third Division.Trikala “They want you to take the ball, go seven and score a goal for the squad. That only Messi does” The season had to grind to a halt, but left the team one point away from mathematical promotion to Second.As it is. Before rescinding, the club told me that it was very difficult for them to play again. So I forced to fix the paperwork as soon as possible. But lately it comes to me that the same three games are missing in a week: Saturday, Wednesday and Sunday. It is not official. My presence is also not transcendental. Only one point is missing. It’s done.Do you value going back to Greece when everything returns to normal?Yes. I have done well and it is very likely that I will return to Greece. It is still early, because there is talk that they are going to reform the categories again and we will have to see how everything is. There are also two groups in Second. I want to wait and see if I have any opportunity to play even in First Division. I’ll try. What I do rule out is returning to Spain to play in Segunda B.Nor does he rule out returning to Tríkala?No, because already in December they offered me to renew and they have always told me that they would be delighted if I returned. We will talk when everything is decided. Now it’s silly because everything is in the air. They are one point away from promotion, but they still don’t know which category they will play next season.There will be other Greek teams behind his signing …In the January market, I already had a second proposal, but I have rushed other times in my career and, as things were going well, I felt important and the coach trusted me a lot, I decided to continue in Tríkala. Nor is there much difference between the Greek Second and Third Divisions. Not even between the Third and the low-profile First. In Spain, between a Second B and a First the difference is abysmal. Not here. The level, in some cases, is practically the same. Diego Pelaez So did you expect a lower level?I expected a lower level, but I have found spectacular players. I have a partner, Georgios Niklitsiotis, who played Champions with Ernesto Valverde at Olympiacos. The Third Division here is professional and there is only one group with 14 teams like Veria or Egaleo, with spectacular budgets. That raises the level. In Spain, for example, in the same category there are 80 teams …What is it like to play in Greece? The Greeks are extreme …Totally. They are very passionate people, for good and for bad. On top of that, the foreigner always has a higher contract and the demand is very high. They expect you to catch the ball, go seven and score a goal for the squad. We know that Messi does that and little else. And less here, that the field is dry. They seldom water, and this makes everything more difficult. In general they are very passionate. Defeat is a catastrophe, it seems that the world is going to end and they don’t even look at your face, and in victory you are God. They call you ‘peiktara’, which is how to say great player here. You have to know how to carry them and learn to deal with all that. I remember a game that I missed a penalty in 1990. That week was difficult. Then you play well and forget everything. We have been leaders all year and they have to be happy.How would you see that in Spain, as in Greece, there was also a single group in the third category?I think it would be positive if a more competent league were formed with fewer teams. League One and 3. German League are spectacular. In Spain we are light years away from that. It would give more value to the third category of Spanish football, although for many players it would be death. Those who do not have a place would go on to play in the fourth category, and if Segunda B is already a well … Tell any foreign sports director that the Fourth Division of Spain has good players. I remember doing great seasons, being on the verge of promotion and believing that I could get to play in the Second Division, but I couldn’t. You think: ‘What do I have to do to get half an hour and show that I can play in Second Division?’ It is a lottery.last_img