The great-uncle of the PSC secretary was a successful Athletic captain and came to lead the national team
He also won an Olympic gold in Basque pelota in Paris-1924, although it was an exhibition sport
13 days before the start of the Olympic Games, Miquel Iceta This Saturday has become the boss of Spanish sports. The Catalan politician jumps from the Ministry of Territorial Policy and Public Function, which he accessed last January, to catch the Culture and Sports portfolio. And although it is not easy to associate the image of the first secretary of the PSC with the world of sport, the truth is that he can boast of ancestors with sporting glory behind them.
Luis Iceta Zubiaur (Bilbao, 1890), great-uncle of the new minister of Culture and Sports, was Athletic Club de Bilbao player in the 1910s. With the red and white jacket he conquered five Cup titles, and in three of those successes (against Irún and against Barcelona’s RC Español and FC España, now defunct) he wore the bracelet of captain.
Triumvirate with Alcántara and Quesada
Not only that, but Luis (the minister’s grandfather’s brother) became Spanish coach in 1951. Did it in solo three friendly matches (victory in Madrid against Switzerland and defeats against Sweden in Stockholm and in Brussels against Belgium) and forming a triumvirate with Paulino Alcántara and Félix Quesada, a formula that today is strange but that was repeated on several occasions in the first decades of the Spanish team’s existence. Ramallets, Segarra, Molowny, César, Biosca, Basora, Zarra and Piru Gainza are some of the names that made up that selection, which later became directed by another myth: Ricardo Zamora.
Already in January, in his inauguration in the Ministry of Territorial Policy, Miquel Iceta alluded to his ancestor. “They tell me not to joke, but Icetas have already given a national soccer coach and now a minister”, he pointed then. He could still have bragged more, since his great-uncle won the gold medal at the 1924 Paris Olympics in the modality of ball hand of Basque ball. It is true that it was an exhibition sport and only Spanish and French participated, but together with Ledesma and Gastesi, Iceta also won that final.
Fidel Iceta Zubiaur, brother of Luis and the grandfather of the Catalan politician, was also one of the promoters of football in Cuenca, where he had settled from Bilbao to work in the Echevarrieta wood factory. Fidel brought to the city of La Mancha a taste for the new sport of soccer, much more rooted in the north, and he was one of the founders of the Cultural Sports Conquense.
A ministry that burns
A lineage that may be able to help Miquel Iceta in a ministry that has devoured its tenants in recent years. Since the dismissal in 2018 of maximum Huerta after alone seven days in office, through the ministry they have passed Jose Guirao (17 months) and Jose Manuel Rodriguez Uribes (six months) before the arrival of Iceta.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.