It is 35 years since the start of the ‘Clemente era’ at Espanyol

“We do not know if the Spanish from Gracious It will be different from the one we knew, but things started differently, we can assure that ”, it was possible in the edition of Mundo Deportivo of July 15, 1986. On page 20 it was explained how the blue and white squad had undergone the relevant medical examinations a day before to get going after the holidays. Few could imagine everything that would happen in the next two years, with the Parakeet team equaling its best historical ranking in a league and reaching a European final for the first time to touch glory with its fingers even if it eventually escaped the most. improbable. I had ripped the ‘It was Javier Clemente’.

It should be noted, however, that the Basque coach from the outset was ambitious and optimistic. “If we want to fight for the title, the mentalization must be absolute. Of course it is difficult, but we have to convince ourselves that we can be up there ”, said a smiling Gracious that July 14. No sooner said than done. After being 11th the previous season by the hand of Azkargorta, the Spanish ended that 1986/87 season, already with Gracious, as 3rd of The league only surpassed by Real Madrid (champion) and Barça (runner-up).

Clemente was 3rd in LaLiga in his first year and reached the UEFA Cup final in the second.

This feat earned him to dispute the UEFA Cup of the following season, and what happened is history. The Spanish was eliminating one after another the Borussia Moenchengladbach, then all a hard bone to gnaw, to Milan by Arrigo Sacchi, with Maldini, Baresi, Gullit, Van basten and company in their ranks, by Inter de Milan from Trapattoni, to Vitkovice and to Witches Belgian, much more powerful then than now. One after another the aforementioned teams were kneeling and thus the Spanish from Gracious in the club’s first European final. They waited in two games (then it was played in a round trip format) against the Bayer Leverkusen. In the first, 3-0 in Sarriá. Magic night. In the second, 3-0 against in Leverkusen and a dramatic loss in a penalty shootout more fateful than ever. Black night. Of parakeet pride, but of inevitable unease at the lost opportunity.

Everything discussed happened in the 1987/88 season, yes, but the Spanish from Gracious It started on July 14 of the previous year. This Wednesday marks 35 years and all the parrots, whether they lived the aforementioned or not, of course they are very aware of everything that happened under the command of the Basque coach.