Every club and football in general has illustrious dates. In Cádiz there is a day that brings great memories and that has impacted the club´s recent history: April 18th 2006. Cádiz, which was in the 2nd B division by then, played 24 hours earlier the promotion Playoff, where they fell to Almería´s second team, which added up to a long losing streak. Fans were too irritated as they were afraid of not going up again for another year. They had stop believing after so many lies and setbacks. However, the situation was about to change.
The club fired coach Claudio Barragán in the morning of the 18th and announced a couple hours later the man that has brought an incredible personality to an entity that had management issues nd that were going through a category they did not belong to. He is Álvaro Cervera.
He was born in Equatorial Guinea and has ancestry from Cantabria, Cervera has excited the fans again at the ‘tacita de plata’. Because Cádiz never abandoned their team despite all the disappointments and obstacles, and so they did not lose either the happiness humor sense that they are known for. This way, both the fans and Cervera himself believe that owe too much to the other. Cervera has found his home. He enjoys of a great atmosphere that fits in perfectly with his philosophy and he makes Cádiz the place where he can work and give his best.
“I am happy here and I have the team that I want. I do not have the ambition to coach a better team or to play any final. I will try it to achieve it with Cádiz, which I know that is complicated, but leaving Cádiz is not in my mind”
Álvaro Cervera on the press conference ahead of the Osasuna vs Cádiz game (05/10/21)
Cádiz have found their religion and prophet under their motto “The Fight Is Not Negotiated”. Maybe they do not play the most accepted style on the field in this time of modern football where ball possession dominates and they bore those fans who just watch the big teams every weekend. By the way, this is a similar style to what Zidane has carried out in the important matches.
Football is a huge sport and the diversity of possible playing styles makes it beautiful. Anyone would give up on the ball and just run three more times to face and even beat teams like Real Madrid, Barcelona, Atlético and Sevilla.
ESPN posted a month ago a ‘Watchability Power Ranking’ for teams to watch in Europe based on statistics and other subjective criteria. Cádiz were on top as the less attractive team to watch (0,4). This is not a surprise at all, even less for those who have followed their entire season. If you just want to enjoy of a nice football for 90 minutes, you will not find that with Cervera´s squad.
Cádiz have a lot of lacks and know perfectly what they have and have not to do. Cervera himself has admitted that he would love to practice a more offensive football. However, reality beats the desire at the Ramón de Carranza Stadium and players, coaching staff and the fans believe that this is the right path. Anything else is irrelevant.
Now that they have secured a spot in LaLiga for next season four games before the end, Cádiz can be even prouder of believing in a philosophy that has provided to the club a historical growth in just five years. It has not been an easy task. As Cervera said on an interview to El País, “football of control and pass is very difficult”, so he has developed a playing approach that is not either on everyone´s scope.
Keep the focus for 90 minutes, coral defense, closing lines away from your box, tilt without losing the mark, scape the pressure, carry out transitions with just three touches and make the most out of the rival´s mistakes. Not even them have been able to stay on this high level for the entire season. It is complicated to find a group with such a high commitment and with this strong identity.
People thought they would go down right away after falling to Osasuna in the first fixture, but they have achieved their goal thanks to a lot of work and sacrifice: Carranza will see their team again in the first division and players will count on their crowd´s support. We must believe.
Translated by Guillermo Bermejo.