José Luis Mendilibar. A simple guy, kind of ‘Old School Style’ in football, who always wears a tracksuit. A coach with cristal clear ideas who does not need to show off in order to accomplish his job without even wearing a suit.
A guy with no social media who avoids to get himself into media messes, as he strictly focuses on his role as a coach, and bypasses excuses, fights and any kinds of circus. A real sir, who has built his path from the clay to the elite, and written one of the most beautiful and unexpected romantic stories in Spanish football.
Mendilibar, who has been in the football industry forever, was hired in order to save a punished Sevilla by a very poor sporting management last summer. A very fragile and lack of self-criticism squad by its main face, manager Monchi, and immersed in an extremely urgent situation that neither the club nor the fans were used to.
Either the extension of an already burned time from Lopetegui, nor the hiring of Sampaoli, who did not work out. Neither of them, despite having more experience in the top elite, were able to change the course of a Sevilla that were meant to battle to avoid relegation. How lucky they were that Mendilibar came by their side.
In LaLiga, he put the team far away from relegation and saved them instantly in just 3-4 games, which is what they signed him for. Goal accomplished.
José Luis Mendilibar stayed calm, focused on football and gave the biggest lesson of his career to complete the rescue of a sunk Sevilla that will be in the Champions League next year thanks to him. And of course, he will be in charge of the team next season.
No, Mendilibar has not been rescued from the Basque countryside. Mendilibar has been the rescuer. Mendilibar is (was) not less than anyone else for not having coached at a European level so far, because he has made the most out of the first opportunity he has been given
José Luis Mendilibar is not less qualified to make big things in big teams for wearing a tracksuit and not having an overrated nickname such as ‘The Special One’.
Mendilibar, ladies and gentleman, has proven that, sooner or later, opportunities come to those who work hard and wait. Congrats, Mendi.
Main image: @SevillaFC.