“La Real gave off the smell of a big club”

Mohamed El Yaagoubi ‘Moha’ (Taoririrt, Morocco, 1977) spent only one year in Donostia (36 games / 1 goal). Enough time to fall in love with the club, the city and its people.

How is it going?

Okay, take it easy, but missing all the things we didn’t value before. Being able to go outside without restrictions, being able to greet and hug your family members. Now I live in a small town in Girona and waiting for everything to happen to look for a job.

What do you do now?

I had a football break, about 3 years old. At that time I was getting sports related degrees: sports management, coach qualification, I have level 3, a little bit of everything. Until December I trained Igualada, in first Catalan and we moved up to Third.

Was he confined in the town?

(Laughs) No, no. In December the adventure ended and I left before the town was completely closed. They have had a very bad time, I talk to friends on a daily basis and the situation has been very complicated.

The idea is to stay connected to football?

I have started doing my first steps. I am learning, I want to adapt and see if I am valid to be a coach or any other position. If so, I wouldn’t mind because I’m a soccer lover, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to be good at it.

You were only one season at Real, how do you remember it?

Since I arrived everything impressed me, I did not imagine that it moved so much feeling. He had been on many teams and experienced many things. You see that in Spain there may be large teams, the same as always, and the rest are light years away. But the truth, when I arrived I said that they have nothing to envy to Barcelona or Madrid. La Real has been, is and always will be a great team, because I lived it for a year. And that was in Bankruptcy Law, but the Real gave off that big club smell.

Go on.

It is made great by a hobby that, through thick and thin, is always with his team. It is a city club, a province club, they all go in the same direction. It is something of yours, which belongs to you, and that is very important. Saving the distances, it was similar to Osasuna. I came from being in Pamplona and in Donostia I was at home. You give your best for that reason. It is the year in which I learned the most, in all aspects. I had a meeting with some diabetic boys (he is) in Anoeta and that is only done by the club that loves its people. Not all clubs care about such things. And of course, they fill you up.

Did you feel important?

Yes, I played many games, I don’t know exactly how many.

36 of 42.

Notice! A while ago I called Juanma (Lillo was the coach) and told him that this is the year that I have enjoyed the most during my career. I told him that it was very bad for me not to be able to ascend: “Mister, I had to have played more.” He replied: “Moha, check the data” (laughs).

What was your relationship with him like?

Very good, he is a guy who gives off football on all four sides. I was very sad that the previous year the promotion in Mendizorrotza was not achieved, not being able to get up in my year and yes in the following campaign. As a professional, coach and as a person, he is one of the best I have come across. That he could not get something at Real and that they did not give him a second chance gave me pain.

What was missing to get the promotion?

Poof! If it was only one thing, we would have gone up. Being first of 22 teams is not easy and you have to give a lot of things. It was taken for granted that we had to ascend, or win Eibar, who had been in Segunda for many years, and then painted your face in Anoeta. Díaz de Cerio’s injury hurt us a lot, it couldn’t be.

They had good names.

Above all, it was a human outfit. The Agirretxe, Prieto, Aranburu … with such close people, you were the best player on the field. Xabi impressed me, when he was in Osasuna he was talked about as a great player and he didn’t seem so much to me. When I got to Zubieta I flipped, of course. It was a spectacle, players like them make a team giant. Xabi has set an example for the world of football, there are more important things than winning four Champions or millions of euros.

Do you maintain contact with any of them?

I was in Anoeta the day the field was opened, against Barcelona. I was with Juantxo (Trecet), with whom I keep talking because since he came looking for me at the airport, he surprised me. I was in the hotel with the players, Xabi was there, I think, but from that time there are none left. A lot of time has passed.

Moha remembers Donostia morriña: “It was not much of going to the mountains and taking walks and that in Donostia you can do it in beautiful landscapes. It is a city that has it all ”, he highlights. He started a family here: “I had a one-year-old girl, and there my wife became pregnant with the second. A pity that it is not San Sebastian and txuri urdin. It is a very calm city, but I emphasize its people, educated, respectful and affectionate to the maximum, “he remarks