“I wanted to take the penalty, but when I saw that Zelu and Calderón were with the ball, I left it to them, I didn’t even say it,” he says with a mischievous smile in a sample of his personality
Faced with the plague of casualties there are the young promises take a step forward. There are three academy players who have already debuted with Badajoz in these first five days. Santiago Muller, Álex López, Edu Sánchez and Fernando Moreno are regulars in first team training and are already regulars in the calls. Fernando Moreno made his debut on a list to travel to Valdebebas and at first he fulfilled his dream of debuting with the black and white shirt. “For me it’s like a dream that has come true,” he admits.
Fernando Moreno jumped onto the pitch at Alfredo di Stéfano in the 76th minute as a substitute for Javi Ros. “It was a very special day that I will never forget. At the Alfredo di Stéfano, against Real Madrid Castilla, with spectacular players who have made their debut in the First Division and, no less, with coach Raúl González, with what he represents in the history of Spanish football. It was a pride and a pleasure for me and my family », he says, still emotional and hardly believing it yet, although with his feet on the ground. “You have to keep working so that they give me more opportunities like that,” he maintains.
This kid from Huelva, a midfielder who plays for the black and white subsidiary and who kicked the ball for the first time in his neighborhood of Nuevo Molino, is a real discovery for the Badajoz fans. At the age of 9, Recreativo de Huelva took notice of his football and when he turned 18 he joined the Badajoz youth team in the Honor Division. “We had a good year and Guzmán gave me the opportunity to start the preseason with the first team,” recalls Fernando Moreno, who has one subject left to finish second in Baccalaureate at the Zurbarán and wants to study Sports Science, although he is clear about his future. “My dream is to be a footballer and I am going to fight as hard as possible for it, but I want to continue studying at the same time.”
About his debut with Badajoz he had a bittersweet taste. «A little upset by the result, but happy individually because the coach gave me a very good opportunity to debut at 19 years old in the First RFEF and very grateful for those minutes and the confidence».
The midfielder from Huelva points out that he received the news about his call by WhatsApp. He was given it by the team delegate, Alfredo Gómez Landero, and he admits that it was difficult for him to fall asleep that night as he had a tickle in his stomach. “He was able to sleep, but he was a bit nervous and anxious to be able to debut in this category,” he says.
But the joys did not stay on that first trip with Badajoz because in the second half he went out to warm up in the Real Madrid sports city and jump onto the pitch. On the bus he was already fantasizing about the possibility of debuting. «I expected it because we were few players and Javi Ros had some discomfort. In the end he came out well, I was able to provoke the penalty and I had a good feeling». And it is that Fernando Moreno was one of the great protagonists of a game that did not go well for Badajoz. The youth squad caused the penalty that served to make up the result in a match in which the Badajoz deserved something more. «I see that Theo Zidane fell asleep a bit with the ball and it was the opportunity to steal the ball from him, as soon as I felt the contact and I was a little smarter and I threw myself to the ground. Once I fell I already knew it was a penalty, I saw it quite clearly. This is how he remembers the play. Fernando Moreno has a natural talent and a personality that defines him as a player. He proves his courage and daring to want to shoot the penalty despite his status in the rankings as a debutant and youngest of the group. «I got up and was going to try to throw it, but Zelu and Calderón were with the ball and I left it to them because they have more gallons. I really wanted to throw it away and seeing that they were arguing about throwing it away, I didn’t even say it.” A security that gives him being the specialist in launching them in Badajoz B. “The previous week I scored the penalty goal with the reserve team against San Jorge in the first league game,” he says. In that sense, he doesn’t cringe before the elders or on a stage like Valdebebas. “You have to have personality and show yourself on the pitch. When shooting a penalty you have to have courage. There were a lot of people watching you and it was a good opportunity to show that I have stripes and that I can shoot penalties », he remarks.
Fernando Moreno is aware of his role in the first team and assumes that reinforcements arrive in the winter market. «It is normal that they want to reinforce themselves with more veteran people because we are very young. We work to make it clear to the coach that if he counts on us we will be one hundred percent and let him know that we are going to take advantage of the minutes and compete with all the enthusiasm in the world ».
In the locker room he finds the support and advice of the captains Borja or Zelu and others like Adilson, Burlamaqui or Chendri. «They are very aware of me, they give me advice and I am delighted to learn from them, for me it is a luxury».
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.