It has even changed his face. Nino has regained his smile after a few months in which he has had a very bad time seeing how his Elche sank in the classification and not being able to help from the field because the previous coach, Jorge Almirón, did not give him opportunities.
His professionalism, which has always been one of his hallmarks throughout his career, has always been beyond question. Every morning I went to training with enthusiasm and always leaving everything. But deep down he had the resignation of knowing that it was going to be almost impossible for the weekend to play with the Argentine coach on the bench.
He has assumed that secondary role to which he has been relegated and has spared no effort when he has had to play the Cup games in a team full of substitutes and homegrown players. The legend put the shield above all else and has never raised its voice, despite its residual role. He has barely played 189 minutes in nine league games. In the few occasions that he has taken to the field, with his 40 years, he has shown that he still has things to contribute to the green belt.
For this reason, last Tuesday, in the first training session with the new coach, Fran Escribá, Nino was seen in all his essence, enjoying the ball with a smile on his face. He knows that now another stage is beginning and, although he is aware that it will be very difficult for him to start, he hopes to be able to enjoy more minutes and help Elche to achieve permanence in the First Division.
He achieved his dream of ascending with the Elche team and would not like to retire, should he do so at the end of this season – he has not yet decided on anything – with a relegation.
In addition, the franjiverde striker has already fully recovered from the adductor injury that has prevented him from entering the squad in recent games against Villarreal and Celta.
Escribá knows that Nino has to be an important footballer both in the dressing room and on the field and his role can be fundamental, as has already happened in the last two promotions to Second and First, in which he scored decisive goals.
The forward is already training hard with the group. Something that the rest of the injured players cannot do yet, such as Fidel, Josan and Mojica.
The three continue with their recovery process together with the readapter Aitor Soler and their presence in Saturday’s clash against Eibar is very complicated.
The crevillentino is the one who has the best chance of arriving on time. His injury was to the front of his thigh and in today’s session he will try to prove himself.
With Fidel, the time of leave is lengthening more than expected. In yesterday’s training session, he was seen touching the ball, but he is still not up for great efforts, because it could cause a relapse. Something that would be a serious setback after more than a month off.
Mojica is in a similar situation. In any case, neither is totally ruled out and it will depend on the feelings they have, especially in today’s session.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.