For a long time,who would say it now, the norm in Spanish football – and others too – was to gogradually opening and closing borders to foreign players. According to bad tongues, asthe most powerful clubsThey could or could not make bell signings. According to the good ones,to give opportunities to national players, who saw their truncated progression because the most important positions of responsibility were reserved for foreign stars, call Marcel Domingo, Kocsis, Kopa or Wilkes. Of course, of course,the selection resented, according to that way of seeing things (the other was that they contributed to raising the average level and, therefore, to the progression of their Spanish companions). A medium term was sometimes to resort to the file ofnationalize some of them, such as Kubala or Di Stefano.
And it was precisely the Spanish national team and the nationalizations that caused the longest and most significant closing of Spanish football borders.The gray performance of the Spanish team in the 62 World Cup with the 'UN team',named for its several nationalized (Puskas, Santamaría, Eulogio Martínez …), he charged the blame on the foreigners. Things like the problems of technical management, the fact that world champion and runner-up were in the same group as Spain, the veteran's team or that Spanish players, without foreign competition, could well be accommodated in those same privileged positions, They were dismissed. And that thepopulismIt had not yet been invented. Compare with the fact that inother sports were signed foreigners to raise the level of nationalsIt is doubtful that it would have crossed his mind to some football rector of the time.
Irala (center) with Eulogio Martínez (right). His sincerity uncovered the 'case' (MARCA Archive)
Thus, from season 64-65 there were no more foreigners in the Spanish League than those who had a valid contract, until they were extinguishing it. And in principle the thing seemed to work.With semicierre he won, at home, the Eurocup of 64. And we qualified for the 66th World Cup.Real Madrid won the European Cup that year with eleven Spaniards. But then in England the role was as poor as in Chile, the qualification to the 70th and 74th World Cup was failed. Through the interleaved Eurocups it was passed without penalty or glory. And in addition,the triumphs of the Spanish clubs in Europe were spreading until disappearing.After the Real Madrid European Cup in 1966, nothing more was won until the 1979 Cup Winners Cup by the hand of F.C. Barcelona. That of Hans Krankl and Allan Simonsen.
But as they said in Jurassic Park, life is making its way. For some clubs that exist for the sake of competitiveness, subtracting some means is simply to challenge their ingenuity. Since he was only going to be allowed to play Spanish, the answer found was simple:Spaniards would be searched wherever it was. In fact, the foresight story had created an inexhaustible quarry of Spanish people, or likely to be, because millions and millions of Spaniards had emigrated there fleeing the black Spanish famines:Latin America, Latin America, Latin America or South America,Whatever you want to call it.
Forward of the Spanish team. 70s: Gárate, Asensi and the 'native' Valdez (MARCA Archive)
And if the need makes virtue, the fact that in Spain Spaniards were needed and in addition to good football quality,in America – with the Spanish collaboration – they applied to provide them. Although many of them from'native'– that's what they were called – they only had the papers. Some papers that could be easily bought byOne thousand dollars.The paradigm was that player who claimed that his parents were born inCelta de Vigo, or the one who denied that their ancestors were from Navarre, but from Pamplona(this one, identified: Aguirre Suárez) but the truth is that the case is so convoluted and tragicomic that it is incredible that it has not been taken to the cinema.
Because there were all colors. To get started,Paraguay was erected not only in the great football power of the continent, but in a place where the number of children or grandchildren of emigrants leaving elite soccer players was amazing. The reason, that was where the papers could be obtained more easily, because in factgood part of the Paraguayans of the time turned out to be Argentine. Then, several playersthey shared the same father,in the hope that no one would then confront the chips. The business seemed perfect for one reason: because nobody really wanted that border closure and nobody was too interested in the rule being respected.The only danger was that the balance would break, and it broke.
Roberto Martínez: Real Madrid, Espanyol and international (MARCA Archive)
The fault was ofan excess of sincerity of Severiano Irala, Paraguayan,that he confessed in what was going to be his presentation with Barcelona (1969) that had been international, which incapacitated him to be 'native', since he was not selectable for Spain. The boy returned to Paraguay and returned accompanied by Eulogio Martínez, who served as an intermediary. And he also changed his speech: he did go to the national team, but he had not made his debut, because he was injured. In a game played in Quito against Ecuador, that happened. Butyes he had also played against Argentina, and even scored. Total, what a mess to the song and the boy dispatched toMalagaWaiting to resolve the 'case'.
On September 14 of that year theReal Madrid and Barcelona play in Chamartín, draw 3-3. The young culé Bustillo is involved in a play with Real Madrid De Felipe and practically leaves his career shattered. Ythe native Fleitas scores two goals against Barcelona. Scandal of several fronts. And of course, as Loquillo would write years later, "if we are all thieves the crime can only be caught with your hand on the cake", and that cake was all at the end of the street so that when a drop filled the glass , everything overflowed. They start shippingdifferent research commissions to Latin America, to discover what everyone knew. Barcelona sends for example the then young lawyerMiguel Roca and Junyent, who would later make a career as a politician and lawyer defender of royalty. HeAthletic and Real, the only ones without natives, to a private detective …
And Troy burns. The invented surnames, hidden internationalities, Paraguayans who were actually Argentines are discovered …and that all clubs, except Athletic and Real, to a greater or lesser extent had participated in it: Real Madrid, with Fleitas, Roberto Martínez and Anzarda; Barcelona, with Cos and the frustrated Irala … EvenValdez (Valencia) and Roberto Martínez (Real Madrid) had been international with Spain.
Board of Directors of the RFEF to analyze the Athletic and Real Sociedad report. President José Luis Pérez Payá (MARCA Archive)
Santiago BernabeuHe eluded the issue with his slyness: "Well, if Roberto Martínez is no longer Spanish, let him be kicked out of Spain. This has happened to him as ours," he said. The DND, chaired successively byJuan Antonio Samaranch and Juan GichHe censured the Spanish Football Federation, but washed his hands: the problem was his and, at most, UEFA and FIFA.
And it was arranged in a diplomatic way: with a "nothing has happened here", since everyone was involved and having ruled, as mandated by law, improper alignments,would have to cancel the championships. The current legislation was used: how Latin American nationals could apply for Spanish nationality with two years of legal residence,those who fulfilled it were nationalized.For the others, football was ahead of one thing that was much demanded in those years: amnesty. And then, logic:from the 1973-74 season the presence of two foreigners fethe per team was admitted, and in addition to the natives, Germans, Dutch people could already arrive … Some files had been backed down since 1969, true, but they were the least.
And for, perhaps, the most tricky, the illegal internationalities of Valdez and Roberto Martínez,An agreement was reached with FIFA:Hairs to the sea, since the thing also did not leave its own control methods in a very good place. And once again, Spanish football saved its inner peace and it was clear, even if it is a glimmer, the real existence of a Hispanic that encompasses all …
. (tagsToTranslate) Vintage Sport (t) First Division (t) Second Division (t) International Soccer (t) Spanish Soccer Team (t) Argentine League