Surprise leader of the Spanish championship ahead of the giants of Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, Girona FC, bought by Barcelona. in 2017 by the City Football Group, the Emirati parent company of Manchester City, is living a dream and is now allowing itself to do so. talk about Europe.
Promoted in 2022, the small Catalan club, author of a great start, is not giving up: thanks to a favorable calendar, it is even still installed at the top of La Liga, with 31 points in 12 days -10 victories and only one cruel defeat against Real (3-0).
A victory on Saturday at Rayo Vallecano, and Girona FC will be assured of taking the lead after a third of the championship. An incredible destiny when two years ago, at the same time, Girona was 19th in the second division and fighting to maintain its position. His competitors at the time? Leganés, Amorebieta and Alcorcon.
“What is happening is not normal,” admits Gironista sports director Quique Carcel. “It's a dream period, we're all hallucinating. Today, I think we've scored more goals than Manchester City (29 goals in La Liga compared to 28 in the Premier League, Editor's note), which may seem totally unreal . And we are aware of that.”
Interviewed in September by AFP, when Girona approached the reception of Real in the shoes of the leader with 19 points in 7 days, Carcel refused to get excited, believing that maintenance remained the sole objective. Now, despite the scathing setback against the Madrilenians, Girona is aiming higher.
– Objective Top 6 –
“After the defeat against Madrid (3-0), one might have thought that the team was going to fall, but we won three consecutive matches against difficult opponents, including two against away (against Cadiz 1-0 and Osasuna 4-2, Editor's note)”, underlines Quique Carcel.
Girona's Brazilian midfielder, Savio, after a goal scored against Almeria, in the Spanish championship, October 22, 2023 © AFP – Pau BARRENA
These players are the protagonists of this historic start to the season, with six goals and four assists for Dovbyk, three goals and four assists for Savio (19), untenable on his left side, and four goals for Herrera.
“Dovbyk has exceptional physical qualities. He is hungry and wants to be a scorer”, describes Quique Carcel. “I think he can do even better but he gives us what we were looking for with this ability to win duels up front, to take up space and be a player who weighs on defenses.”
< p>On the pitch, “the magic” works, according to him, because Michel now has “enough talents” to develop his game plan: “not to worry too much about the result, and to attack, attack to score goals “.
All rights of reproduction and representation reserved. © (2023) Agence France-Presse