A bright ‘future for Getafe’

DUBAI - A winger known for his speed, Manuel Del Moral speaks with an unhurried grace. That’s not his only attribute though. He talks of his team’s new identity at a time when they are facing a nerve-wracking battle to survive. Listening to him makes you wonder if he was some wartime surgeon.

By Rituraj Borkakoty

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Published: Sat 23 Apr 2011, 1:09 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 7:20 PM

“Yes, mathematically we are not safe yet,” Del Moral admitted while talking to us at the luminous Burj Al Arab where it was made official that Dubai’s Royal Emirates Group had bought Spain’s Getafe Football Club.

It’s the club Del Moral captains and he knows there is not much to worry about — even though his team is only four points above the relegation zone (Getafe are in the 13th position in the La Liga standings with 37 points).

“There are still six more games to play. Out of those six matches, we just need two victories to remain in the top flight. I think we should be able to deal with the situation,” says a man who oozes confidence.

The winger, who can also play as a forward, is relishing the chance of working with the new owners. “It’s a very important step for Getafe club. It’s exciting to enter a world of new opportunities.

“I have to say that it’s a very positive change. It will allow the club to continue their growth. I am the captain of the team. And I am delighted with it. This will enhance Getafe’s position in European football.” The 27-year-old Spaniard, who has scored 35 times for Getafe, has already set sights on Europe. “We really want to play in the Europa League. So when the new season starts, our aim will be to finish in the top six. We finished sixth last time. But yes, as you know, La Liga is very competitive. So it’s very difficult to predict the future. But at the same time, I think, the new association will help the club grow and become a highly competitive side.”

City, a great example

It’s not surprising that Manchester City’s progress under their Abu Dhabi owners has inspired Del Moral. The perennial underachievers of English football have been turned into a top club after millions were spent in new players.

“Yes, it’s a good example to follow. We hope that we will be able to look at ourselves in the same kind of mirror. It will be wonderful to have the same success as Man City and Abu Dhabi are having,” the Spaniard said.

Del Moral also revealed that he would be glad to have good players from this region in his team. “I will welcome them with open arms. If they have the talent, we will be really glad to have them in our team. It will also enhance our club’s profile.”

Del Moral also wanted to assure Getafe fans back home that his team would greatly benefit from their new association with the Royal Emirates Group.

“We need to send a message of confidence to our supporters. See we have seen in the past how clubs have grown after forming new partnerships. We are absolutely confident that our club also will benefit. That’s my message to our fans.”

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