Mission accomplished,” José Bordalás said. It was six o’clock on Saturday 8 February and Getafe’s manager reckoned they had reached their target. “Not mathematically,” he conceded, sitting there at the Coliseum where another team had been thrown to the lions, “but virtually.” Outside, 13,070 supporters had spent the afternoon serenading him, singing “Bordalás, I love you” as Getafe beat Valencia, the club whose centre forward cost twice as much as their entire starting XI. And no wonder: two goals from Jorge Molina and one from Jaime Mata took them to 42 points, securing another season in primera for the team he took over in the relegation zone, second bottom ww88
Up from the second, into the first, staying there twice and safe again with 15 matches still to go, time for some other target then. They won’t say so, not publicly at least, but it’s not just the league Getafe aspire to be in next season; it’s the Champions League too. And while they have been here before – last year, they missed out on the final day, 22 minutes of which they spent in fourth – this time they’re even better placed than before. More importantly, it’s still absurd. Just doing what they did to Valencia is pretty silly.
Valencia-Getafe is a very modern rivalry and a startlingly bitter one too, built on recriminations, emerging swiftly and embraced deeply. There has been fighting talk and actual fighting. Last season’s Copa del Rey tie, won in the last minute by Valencia, turned into full-on battle where there genuinely was blood, sweat and tears, and when Getafe lost that last Champions League place it was to Valencia. Yet Bordalás insisted that didn’t make Saturday’s win taste better – although for the fans it probably did – and nor is that why Valencia manager Albert Celades referred to Getafe as “direct rivals”. Instead, it was because this was third against fifth, two points apart, making it a match of huge significance. “We’re competing for the same thing,” Celades said w88 mobile
They shouldn’t be. Valencia’s salary cap, set by the league (the total amount they are allowed to spend on their playing staff, transfers and wages included), is €170m. Getafe’s is €56m. Eleven teams have a bigger budget; Barcelona and Madrid’s annual revenue is 16 times theirs. The 14 men who played on Saturday cost €16.2m. Maxi López cost €30m. So did Rodrigo Moreno. Getafe’s most expensive player is Nemanja Maksimovic, who Valencia didn’t want. In the winter window they lost their first-choice centre-back to bottom-placed Espanyol, for goodness sake.
“I tell my players that they should believe, that they should set their own limits, not let anyone else do that for them; I try to get them to see that they have talent, that they can do it, tell them that players at big clubs are no better than them,” Bordalás said. But they’re supposed to be.
Getafe’s real, original rivalry is with Leganés, built on gravel pitches in regional football to the south of Madrid and somehow established in primera. Coming up to 38, officially the captain is older than the club he plays for: when Molina signed, at 34, seemingly on the way down, he thought he’d never reach the first division again. His strike partner, Mata, scoring goals as a student but never really seeing this as a career, didn’t think he would ever get there at all w88 casino
The other striker, Ángel, was 30 when he signed, unexpectedly getting the chance to go back. The year before Damián Suárez joined, he was relegated with Elche and in his first year at Getafe was relegated again. When Xabi Exteita signed this summer, it was from relegation with Huesca. Allan Nyom had just gone down with West Brom. And on it goes: 28 relegations the squad have endured between them.