A vital breath for Merino

The absence of Mikel
Merino In the list of summoned that Luis Enrique offered to face the next commitments of the Spanish team, he was applauded by the entire Real environment, and especially by Imanol
Sheriff, His trainer. Although every professional coach seeks the happiness of his players so that they can perform at their best in their team and, in this case, Merino will accumulate some frustration for not having been cited for the penultimate list prior to the Eurocup, the context in which he arrives This stoppage of national teams, as a prelude to the Cup final on April 3 in La Cartuja, causes the news to have a marked positive bias in Real Sociedad.

Merino has not hidden the illusion he had to accompany Mikel
Oyarzabal to the national team but, once Luis Enrique’s call was known, he drew the immediate conclusion that he will be able to better prepare for the Cup final. “I will have more time to recover, catch air and let my legs get energy for the final Cup, which is very important. I will arrive in much better conditions to the final ”, was the reflection of the footballer who, speaking of Mikel Irino, it is not a secondary question.

And it is that to speak of the Navarrese midfielder is to speak of the lung with capital letters of the txuri urdin squad, of his heart. For obvious reasons, in different passages of the campaign they have been Oyarzabal, Isak, For your or Silva those who have accumulated the most accolades, but no footballer in the squad can compare to the midfielder of Iruñea in terms of reliability and regularity, to which it also contributes its entire class.

It is not doubtful Imanol to boast of the category of Merino. With words, because he has praised it in public how many times it has been necessary, and with deeds. The ‘8’ of the Real is, without a doubt, the franchise player of the Orio coach. Of the 106 games that have been played since the Alguacil took over the Royal in its second stage, starting on Kings Day 2019, the Navarrese has played a whopping 98 (92.5%), 94 of them as holder. That is to say, Imanol In the last 26 months he has barely dispensed with the fact that he has been in office, except for a penalty or some slight injury, of a footballer who is his extension on the field of play. 75 of those 98 games, in addition, he played them in full.

6,600 minutes in 77 games

On the way to his 25th birthday in June, Merino is going through the footballing splendor that has provided him with the unconditional continuity that Real and his current coach have provided him, which does not mean that his engine does not show the tremendous wear and tear to which his constant presence on the pitch. In Granada, last Sunday, he returned to complete 90 minutes of play, becoming the first Real player to exceed 3,000 minutes of play for the second consecutive season. Last season he was the most used footballer with 3,609 minutes in 42 official matches and in the current one he is on his way since he has participated in 35 of the 38 matches that Real has added, accumulating 3,002 minutes on the pitch. At the moment only Remiro surpasses him.


The overall performance of Merino It is almost always remarkable but ten days ago against Levante, without going any further, he made an outstanding performance, largely because he was fresher after having rested the previous Monday in Valdebebas when he was suspended. Being able to enjoy 12 days without a match starting next Monday to prepare for the Cup final will allow Real to aspire to have a Merino in its best version against Athletic.