In September he debuted with the sub21, eleven minutes against Albania that knew him to glory. A month ago he was left out of the call. "I was not sure they were going to call me this time," Brais Méndez doubted (Mos, Pontevedra, 1997). I was right. He will not play under the orders of Luis de la Fuente because he has been recruited by Luis Enrique. He knew when he finished training with Celta, in preparation for Sunday's game against Real Madrid. Then he shared a feeling that moved between happiness and disbelief. "They are big words. It is a dream and that it is fulfilled so quickly it is surprising "
Everything is precocious in Brais Méndez, who arrives at the national team after playing 28 matches in the First Division, only five of them complete. The last campaign still alternated first team and subsidiary, which did not hesitate to offer if a weekend was outside the call of Juan Carlos Unzué. And at the end of the season with Celta did not hesitate to go down two steps to help in the promotion of promotion to the Second Division. The team of work of Unzué is the one that now accompanies Luis Enrique, with whom also had already coincided in a couple of trainings when the coach headed to Celta five years ago and he was a youth.
That was an important time for the boy. When he left the cadet age it cost him to integrate into the new category until he internalized the value of work and suffering. Football had it, silk in the left, class, head up. He was never a narrow-horizon soccer player. And he always wanted to be a ten. Even now he says it when they ask him for the technical assistance, including Antonio Mohamed, for making him leave from the band inwards. "Where I'm more comfortable is in the playmaker, but I dock where they need me. And in the same selection ", ditch.
"It's the best news in a long time. I had a lot of calls and I did not know what happened. " On the other side of the phone speaks Belarmino Alonso "Milucho". Few know Méndez better than him, nobody similar to trace a personal and soccer evolution. Milucho is a man of soccer, coach of travel in the lower categories of Galician football. In 2003 he was also responsible for the football schools of the Vigo City Council and in the facilities next to the beach of Samil he organized tournaments. He was hit by a bottle-feeding team. "But of course, they were baby bottles, six-year-old children …", recalls with the disbelief of those who have seen stars that stopped lighting. It was the Santa Mariña and three of those guys came to Celta's first team: Yelko Pino is now in Atlético Baleares, Rubén Blanco and Brais Méndez are still with the cross of Santiago in the chest. "Brais was my right eye," Milucho confesses, that when in 2009 he started working for Villarreal as a talent scout, he had to say when he picked up the phone: "I called the club and explained that we had to close it, they came and it was done in just a few hours. " Then the Celta looked towards the quarry in profile, with a feeling closer to the obligation than to the conviction. Today in the list of the selection there are four players (Iago Aspas, Rodrigo, Jonny and Brais Méndez) who went through the nursery of A Madroa and nobody discusses its value.
Brais was on his way to his second year as a child, he was 13 years old and an ex-football father, known as Pupi, with an estimable trajectory in native football because he passed through the Celta quarry, Deportivo and played in Segunda B in that indescribable Cambados adventure with Sito Miñanco at the controls. But Villarreal hurt him: he could do it to her. "He spent two years in the residence with the generation of Raba, Chuca or Adrián Marín, but after the first year of cadet he asked to return and the club does not hold anyone against his will. I threw the family, friends, first girlfriends, social networks did the rest … "recalls Milucho, who explains that he returned to Vigo without his parents were very convinced that it was the right decision and not a teenager wind. "But he's lucky that he's surrounded by normal people. Pupi gave him advice to get on track, but he is letting him be Brais and he accepted and supported his decision. "
The boy returned almost like a man, more mature after an experience in which he learned when it was time to cry, when to be happy and the meaning of not having the comfort or laughter that you yearn for. "He has not lost focus," explains his discoverer, "you see him on the street with his neighborhood friends as a boy over 21 years old, not like a soccer player." Milucho has no doubt that once shaken the surprise of the call of Luis Enrique will lower the ball to the floor and deal. "He already made a leap in terms of confidence. He suffers if they put him in the band, as he has ever done, because he is not fast in one on one, but he has the capacity and quality to learn. He is a passer, he generates game and he has a lot of arrival, he finishes well because he always hit the ball phenomenally even if he did not show up in the shot. What he likes is to hit goals, to hook up in the midfielder without selfishness ", defines Milucho, who does not hide that the little gem he saw as a child and now walks near the meter and ninety in size will be scrutinized without mercy. "There will be players and fans from other teams who will wonder why he is there, but he will deal with that naturally." Brais confirms it, with Madrid in the peephole and nothing more to finish that match with an appointment marked in red: "I'm not going to deconcentrate. I play each game in the same way, it does not matter whoever it is. I know what there is and what is coming. "