Sarthak’s story on Xerez v Xerez got me thinking (well, anything to escape thinking about the match we played on Saturday): time for another “WHERE ARE THEY NOW?”
For every player who ‘makes’ the big time, there are plenty who don’t. Some of these are the quintessential “B teamers”, some maybe have a taste of first team glory but can’t build on it, for whatever reason.
For the first, let’s look at Gerard Bordas. For those of you who don’t remember him, Villarreal obtained Gerard Bordas Bahamontes in 2008 from CF Gavà, then as now a Segunda B club (they’ve usually been in the Tercera). He was signed to the B team, and pretty much played for them with reasonable distinction, though in the summer of 2011 he was promoted to the first team, which none of us could figure out really (he was 30 years old at the time).
His career highlight #1 came when he got on the pitch for 14 minutes of a Champions League match, one of the six we lost in the group stage that year :( ..... and Bordas was returned to the B team in midyear, though he got called up from time to time to make up the numbers.
His career highlight #2 came in March 2012, with a golazo that was truly spectacular. Playing for Villarreal B against Real Murcia, he won the ball in midfield and sprinted 30 yards upfield with it before lobbing the Paprika Men’s keeper.
In January 2013 Villarreal cut ties with him, first loaning him to Girona and then letting him go on a free, but in the summer of 2015 they released him. Bordas headed home—literally. A Catalan boy, born in Manresa, he joined CE Manresa in the fall of 2015, who are currently playing in the top Catalan regional division (that’s one level below the Tercera), and are in the relegation places. I have been unable to determine whether he is still there. I hope so; he always appeared to be a nice enough guy, but without the talent to seriously challenge for the first team.
As an example of the second, let’s look at Marquitos (Marcos Garciá Barreno). This is going a bit further back, but the midfielder, who came up in the Villarreal youth system, looked like he was gonna be a big thing. In the 2006-07 season, aged only 19, he scored goals against both Real Madrid and Barcelona. How many Villarreal players have done that?
But for whatever reason, he was loaned out to Recreativo Huelva in 2007-08. Now the year before we had sent them a certain Santi Cazorla, so clearly we were hoping Marquitos would follow a similar path—have a good season at Huelva, we’d bring him back to Villarreal, and he’d work his way into a first-team position.
It didn’t work that way. Marquitos only played in half Recre’s matches, with one goal; Villarreal sent him to Zaragoza (in the Segunda then) on loan, then released him in 2009. He signed for Real Valladolid (then in the Primera) and scored against Real Madrid again, of all things. 6 goals in the Primera; 2 against Real Madrid, once against Barcelona.
He came back to Villarreal on loan in 2010-11; I guess we hoped he would recover his previous form, but after only two goals in the entire season and never really offering a lot, he was sent packing. Four Segunda years with four different clubs followed: Valladolid, Xerez, Ponferradina and Sabadell. In fall 2015 he moved abroad for the first time, to Poland. He spent half a season with two clubs there, then in summer 2016 moved to a Bulgarian side. They released him after only three appearances, and as of this month he’s back in Poland, signed by Miedź Legnica, a club in the third tier of the Polish league system. Villarreal, and those goals against Madrid and Barca, must seem a world away. He’s still only 29.