When he was still an elite footballer, it was already sensed that he had a coach in his guts. Leadership. Passion for the game. Professionalism Method. Generalship. Character. This weekend his Castilla begins to dispute the final phase of promotion to Second. Raúl González Blanco (Madrid, 43 years old) consumes stages on the bench and almost none of those who surround him and live with him, outside and within the Valdebebas Sports City, doubt that he will make a career in the technical zone. "There's a coach in there, and one of the good guys."
Raúl conquers Madrid's first youth Champions LeagueFrom the galactic photo of Rome to the frozen anguish of Moscow
Gone was the premiere at Cadet B. He made the leap to Juvenile B in that same season (2018-19) due to the dismissal of Álvaro Benito. He found himself in that summer parenthesis with a Youth Champions (Youth League) that the club entrusted to him and won the title with a team that was not his . It was his first great work. He was, then, recently appointed coach of Castilla and in the subsidiary he has served these two seasons.
To enter the world of Raúl, coach there is nothing better than to go to his sources. To those who do not hesitate to confess that he has the meridian ideas within an indisputable pragmatism. Their teams will always be more German than Brazilian and the requirement is beyond negotiation. The best will always play … or the best. He invests all his energy in his profession. Passionate. Very obsessive. In love with his job
does not proclaim any specific style of play. Mix positional play well with fast transitions. All those players who understand the game, are talented and know the right moment to sink their teeth into the game are worth it. How was he as a player. Tactical systems do not matter. He handles almost all of them as their alignments point out and jumps from one to another in the face of the demands of the game. By alternating, alternates even the goalkeepers. A headline at each meeting.
There are those who say that he has Mourinho traits – he did not get to work with him – in terms of work organization, discipline and wardrobe order. Raúl shows teenagers from 16 to 20 years old the nails of professional football. Its main objective is to turn them into footballers. The best, the minority, will play in the first team; the rest, possibly, will end up playing in First if they assimilate a quarter and a half of everything they are learning.
If he loses he screams and gets angry. And if he has to go without dinner, he stays. Distractions on and off the field drive him crazy. Also inappropriate behaviors. As recently in Navalcarnero. His team celebrated the triumph in an inordinate way. He put order. “You are celebrating a 0-1 penalty against a team that played with nine! To think that maybe some of you will be at the Navalcarnero next year… ”.
The members of his most demanding environment believe that he should be less transparent in his exhibitions. That I should learn to hide. That his face is not the reflection of the soul and learn from the good poker player.
The boss. Manolo Diaz."I see him ready to train in First and the first team."
Current coach of Hercules (Madrid, 1968), Manolo Díaz was in charge of training at the Real Madrid quarry when Raúl began his career as a coach at Cadet B and has followed him ever since. “As he was as a player, so he is as a coach. The requirement is non-negotiable. In games and in training sessions. With the players and with his coaching staff. It does not lead to relaxation. The first comes and the last goes. You want your teams to compete above all else. He has not changed from Cadet to Castilla. You always have to win. Control any area of influence of the team. From clothes to food, through hotels, schedules, balls, long road trips … He cares about maintaining the values of training: punctuality, the way of dressing, knowing how to be, no make ugly gestures to the stands or the opposing team. It is an emblem of the values of the house. One of his great virtues is that he knows all the players below. ”
Raúl celebrates victory in the Youth League with Dotor, last August in Nyon. JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT / EFE
From the technical-tactical aspect, Manolo highlights his versatility. “Live 24 hours for football. He watches a lot of Second B matches, which is now his category. The alternation of the two goalkeepers is his contribution. It is not a registered trademark of the house. As soon as Fuidias plays as Luis López. He has the same confidence in one as in the other. He raises each game based on what interests the team the most that day. Lately he is with the three centrals. With the rival does not obsess too much. He wants information, obviously, but he is much more concerned and concerned about his team, that he is in the best conditions to compete. ”
He has no doubts about his future on the bench . “He is going to earn a living as a coach. In addition to the elite locker room knowledge he has, he is passionate about his profession. I see him prepared to train in the First and also the first team. He is very young, he would have to change something because Real Madrid is not the same, with all that it entails, as Castilla, but when asked if he is ready, my answer is yes. ”
The disciple. Miguel Baeza.”It squeezes you to the fullest. It stings. He wants to make you better. "
The now Celta player, Miguel Baeza (Córdoba, 21 years old) opens his eyes wide when asked to recall his adventures in Castilla with Raúl as coach. “His motto is clear: fight to the end, give everything on the field. His favorite words are 'we are Real Madrid '. With that I told you everything. Responsibility, play well and, above all, win. The first day I saw myself in front of him I was freaking out, no, the following. My father and I are very from Madrid and my idol was Raúl. My mother, as a child, would ask me and I would go out on Raúl González Blanco and I would not get Miguel Baeza Martínez, which is my father's name. The first days he put us in a cane and I said 'my goodness how is this, the year that awaits me'. He did not stop transmitting his values and those of the club, the shield that we wore on our chest… ”.
One of the situations that most caught his attention was when Raúl caught him alone and gave him a talk. “He told me anecdotes. I was gaining confidence and since I am very inquisitive, I asked him about everyone. For Redondo, who I liked a lot, for Ronaldinho, for Messi … He commented on his battles in the national team or in the Champions League . I was freaking out to be by his side. When he joined us to train, he was better than all of us together. He dribbled at us, fought, beat us, scored a few goals… ”.
'The future is called Raúl', by JORGE VALDANORonaldo:“ Raúl is an example as a player and as a person ”
Memories come pouring out. “In a little game, I was alone in front of the goalkeeper and I wanted to beat him like he did, with that spoon and I failed. He came from behind and told me if he thought it was very easy to do it. And I said yes, that watching it seemed easy, but doing it was not so easy. He squeezes you to the fullest, he takes out your full potential, but what he wants is to become a better player. It stings. I was not the undisputed starter and could make excuses. Just when I played less was when I got more cane. I don't like these trainers who put me in a hurry. I know it's good for me, but I take it like he's hitting me. But I knew he wasn't going for me. He scolds you and sticks out because he knows the potential that you carry inside and he wants to get it out of you. Another day, the one in front of me gives a shitty pass and doesn't say anything to him. I go and make a better pass than the other one and he started saying things to me. 'My mother, Miguelito, how are you today …' And I said, hell why are you saying it to me and not to the other! He wanted to stick his finger in me to get better and I am very grateful to him. It was Raúl. “I was stunned. He saw that I am playing less now at Celta and he told me that he was at my disposal for whatever I wanted … It could happen to me because I am no longer at Madrid and yet he worries. That is a detail that I will never forget. Thank you. Damn, how do I tell my father that Raúl calls me to ask me and encourage me! ”
The helper. Diego Nogales."He wants a high rhythm in his teams, to progress, to be deep."
The now Adarve coach, Diego Nogales (Madrid, 39 years old) was Raúl's right hand in his first experience at Cadet B. He lived side by side through his first steps, the most complicated. “From day one, I was struck by his work ethic. Believe in the way you work, in the highest standards. His intention is to create ambitious, winning players. He tries to convey his values, which are the values of the club. Soccerically he wants his teams to be dominant, dynamic. He likes them to be fast paced, progressing, and deep. He likes to defend forward. Now it is different from when we were in Cadet B. He has more experience and it shows. His Castilla has a great tactical wealth and every day he uses the system requested by the party. He is not obsessed with tactics. Always try to make the player think. It gives them confidence to solve for themselves. This season I think everyone has played, including the youths who have risen. ”
However, he is well aware of what Raúl does not allow. “The lack of effort, the lack of commitment, that the players do not take advantage of their talent bothers him. More than giving voices, which gives them, it is harangues. Now it is not the same as in Cadet B that they were 14-year-old kids. In Castilla they are already close to professionalism. From their times together, Diego has a well-guarded experience. “We came from playing the Vall de Uxó tournament. I think Villarreal eliminated us. We were returning by bus and he spent half the journey in silence. More than normal. Very serious. Suddenly he called the physical trainer and me and gave us some new work guidelines for the next day. He had been thinking about what he had to change and he released it to us right there. ”
The friend. Fernando Hierro."What he transmitted as a player, he transmits as a coach."
From the friendship nurtured as players, Fernando Hierro from Malaga (Vélez-Málaga, 53 years old) closely follows the career of coach Raúl. From his own condition as coach, Fernando ensures his success on the bench. “I see him as a very formative, very educating coach and the players who pass through his hands are sure to improve. This season it may not be the best Castilla in recent years, it has very young players and yet there are the results. In the Youth League he was champion with some players he had barely trained. He has a lot of character, a lot of personality, with very clear concepts. You know what you want and how to get it. It is open to everything. As soon as he plays with a forward, as with two. Another day with three in the middle. Now with three centers. ”
Fernando considers that Raúl assimilated his experience at the Aspire Academy in Qatar very well. “There he learned a lot. Above all, a training methodology, of organization. He was very involved with Roberto Olabe, who is now at La Real. He knew all the kids. He got into the talks of all the coaches. It was very participatory. It helped him a lot when he arrived at Madrid. ”
When asked if he sees him prepared for everything, he thinks for a few seconds. “I see him very well. Very restless, but at the same time calm. With patience. You know where it is. Know the house. Training has to spare. The concepts, too. If he was very professional as a player, now he will be more so. It is the extension of his career. What he transmitted as a player is what he transmits as a coach. I have the feeling that he is not in a hurry. The important thing is that you have a clear conscience. He does not fail at that. He sure has patience. ”
The dressing room. Joyce Moreno."He is a visionary, he anticipates what happens."
For the locker room, it is the coach. And the tuteo has become general because he wanted it that way. From the generalized demand, the players have the feeling that Raúl gives each one what he needs, what he has to do. They agree that he always goes straight ahead and tells them his truth. Joyce Moreno, former player of the white team, represents three Castilla footballers and knows first-hand the atmosphere in the locker room.
”What most strikes the players is that in many moments their coach seems like a witch or a visionary. Guess what will happen. It tells them where they are going to win the game and how, and then it happens. And it tells them where and why they can lose it. They are also surprised this season by how in the same game, making a one or two man move, the team changes its tactical system according to the needs of the moment. It is automatic. They are working hard and with a gesture they already know what they have to do. With the same footballers he is able to play differently. This year you watch the team play and you don't know what system it uses. Play with three centrals and backs, also a 4-1-4-1, or 4-2-3-1. It camouflages lines with the position of the players. It is part of their tactical wealth. ”
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Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7116