Sunday, September 26

Fernando Giner: “In every changing room there are two footballers who in 20 years will have difficulties”

Ferran Giner, in an image from 1999 and in another from 2019.

Ferran Giner, in an image from 1999 and in another from 2019.
Ferran Montenegro / Fernando Bustamante

Fernando Giner has it clear. Life after football can be anything but simple. Factors such as fame or the high level of income that a player receives during his short career do not guarantee the rest of his existence, but rather expose him to greater vertigo: the drastic change in organized habits (training sessions, games, concentrations and a high standard of living), to some unknown rules of the game. A traumatic transition to which the former Valencian international defender, as vice president of the Spanish Federation of Footballers Associations and the visible head of the Valencia CF Veterans, puts figures: “There are some 3,100 footballers who pass through Spanish professional football every decade, and we help some 300 colleagues who have not done well ”.

The percentage is higher than the fan might suspect. And it allows Giner to launch a forecast that penetrates the talks he has with active players: “In each current dressing room there are two footballers who in 20 years will have difficulties. The key is in anticipation, in making famous young people and millionaires aware of the importance of good tools: “It is important to prevent, even if it sounds strange to warn them in the middle of their careers,” says Giner, who has even held meetings with the members of the Spanish selection. “You tell them to their faces that two of them in twenty years are going to ask for help. They stay serious, thinking “I hope it’s not me.”

Giner raises another topic, that ex-footballers are in trouble due to the choice of bad investments, although there are public cases, such as that of ex-international defender Óscar Téllez: “98% of those who ask for help do not do so because they have been wasteful. Many other situations and circumstances are involved, no matter how much money you have won. From injuries to stalled races. In my case, I knew how to train, receive advice and I was lucky ”. The avenues of advice are varied. Giner convinced Jaume Doménech and José Luis Gayà to join the Board of the Valencia Footballers Association and see the importance of the project up close.

Aid to former colleagues in difficulties also varies: “We offer everything from legal advice to financial aid. Financial assistance is divided into two. The direct one is for those players who, due to being older, due to illness or disability, cannot have any job. Another is the indirect one, with some job. They help us in soccer schools, developing a job or being in job boards ”.

Women’s football represents forcefully, in Giner’s opinion, a mirror for men’s. The absence of high income in a semi-professional world means that perspective with the reality of the future is not lost, starting with an academic training in many cases superior. “In the end, you live in a bubble where you can’t see real life. The average life easily goes to 80 years, there is a lot of life to live, there are 60 years ahead that you will not live only on football income “.

Summarized record of Ferran Giner

Ferran Giner, Alboraia, 1964. Player for Valencia (for 11 seasons), Sporting de Gijón, Hercules and Levante UD. International 11 times with the Spanish team. He has been a sports councilor for Alboraia, vice president of Valencia and is president of the Valencia CF Footballers Association, which looks after the interests of the club’s veterans, and vice president of the Spanish Federation of Footballers Associations.

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