Squad news


08 Jul 2016
The club announced on Thursday that Manuel Pablo is retiring. The former captain of Deportivo will now be an official, more specifically he will be the link between the players, the coaches and the club.

Deportivo announced on Thursday that marksman Manuel Pablo is retiring as a player; instead the Canarian man becomes an official at the club (he still has three more years in his contract). The club informed that he will now be the link between the coaches, the club and the players without specifying more details.

In this way the 40-year-old man is ending a prolific career that lasted 22 years, crowned with a liga, one Copa Del Rey and two Spanish Supercopas. The Canarian player was only 22-years old when he joined Deportivo in the summer of 1998. He was signed together with Argentinean striker ‘Turu’ Flores but more or less was considered a ‘bonus’ in this package deal. Deportivo already had Spanish international player Armando at the right back spot where also 20-year old Lionel Scaloni could play. But Manuel Pablo would have his opportunities in the season 1998/1999, the first of Javier Irureta at the club.

Manolo made his debut in the Primera División on 15 November, 1998 in the 2-2 draw at home against Alavés. With the passage of the time he became a fixed starter and was even considered as the best right-back in Spain. For this reason, the offers started to arrive. During the summer of 2001 a rumour emerged about AC Milan being interested in signing Manuel Pablo and midfielder Emerson for about €40 million. Stronger was the interest of Real Madrid, side that was ready to pay €55 million according to ex-president Lendoiro.

But the season 2001/02 started in a very dramatic way for Manuel Pablo. It was 30 September, 2001: Deportivo were 0-1 down against Celta de Vigo at the Riazor when both Manuel Pablo and Giovanella went for the ball. It was a harsh, but fair, dual which unfortunately ended which shocking images. Manuel Pablo stared in disbelief to his crushed leg which indicated the end of a promising career. Quickly it rained telegrams, carts, e-mails, phone-calls and visits to the player who received support from all over the world. Goals and wins of Deportivo in the weeks after were dedicated to the player. Molina even entered the pitch against FC Barcelona wearing the number 2 shirt of the defender. Several weeks later Manuel Pablo called the support ‘incredible’.

His career was never the same after the injury and, despite continuing enjoying of minutes, the player never shown the same level, neither a Deportivo that started to lower its aspirations in the competitions. In the end, Manuel Pablo retires been an historic part of Deportivo, been the second player with more liga games with the Galicians (383), only behind Fran (550).

The liga career of Manuel Pablo at Depor



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