Profiles - Fabricio

Squad Number 15/16:   13
Date of Birth: 31 December 1987
Birthplace: Vecindario, Canary Islands (Spain)
Nationality: Spanish (International with the U-20 team in 2007)
Contract: 2013 - 2016
Transfer: Zero-cost (Real Betis, 2013)
Career: Deportivo (2013-now), Real Betis (2011-2013), Recreativo (2010-2011), Real Valladolid (2009-2010), Deportivo (2007-2009), Deportivo B (2006-2008), Deportivo Juvenil A (2005-2006)
Buy-out Clause: ?
Height: 185 cm
Weight: 77 kg
Position: Goalkeeper

FABRICIO is a goalkeeper that has finally succeeded in Spanish football after a long struggle. His mistakes at Depor and Real Betis hurt his career. Deportivo had cherished this Canarian goalie carefully when he, barely aged 20, was launched into the Galician first team on January 13, 2008. The public fight between Aouate and Munúa during the campaign 2008/09 pushed them out of the first team and it left Lotina with no much choice than to pick the goalkeeper from Fabril. But although Deportivo’s coach made clear that Fabricio was going to remain the starting goalkeeper of that season, the pressure on Fabril’s goalie proved to be too much. He left the club in the following summer after a harsh dispute with the club. Four years later he returned and found a Depor that were lying at Segunda. And from there he raised until becoming the best player of the season 2014/15.

Canarians and Galicians have mixed up well at Deportivo since Manuel Pablo arrived at the club in 1998. Ten years later the full back was still at the club and was joined by Valerón, Aythami, Momo and Rubén, which made Fabricio being the sixth squad player of Deportivo coming from the Canary Islands. It was 2005 when 17-year old Fabricio, together with Aridane, Óscar Sánchez and Luis Ángel, arrived from Canarian club UD Vecindario to Deportivo as part of the collaboration deal existing between both clubs. He immediately appeared at the official picture of Deportivo’s first team, although that was by pure coincidence. Molina couldn’t be present because of a personal issue and coach Caparrós asked Fabricio to replace him. Fabricio was the goalkeeper of Juvenil A squad during the season 2005/2006. One year later he was promoted to Deportivo B, despite having been out for half a season with a broken leg. In that same summer of 2006 he also was given his first opportunities with the first squad. With Molina and Dani Mallo going out, and Caparrós not really counting on Munúa, the Andalusian coach was looking for back-ups for new signing Aouate. Fabricio spent the full summer at the first team and Caparrós took him to the training stage at Isla Canela. He played several friendly matches and was Deportivo’s starting goalkeeper against Sporting CP.

There was competition though of Ian Mackay, who had played a successful season with Deportivo B (he was the most effective goalkeeper in their league and with Deportivo B narrowly missing promotion to Segunda B) and he also was taken by Caparrós. The coach made clear that one of them was going to be Deportivo’s second goalkeeper that season, but later changed his mind and gave Munúa that spot. Fabricio and Mackay returned to Deportivo B, though Fabricio considered it as a very valuable experience, “I’m really happy with this. It was a great opportunity to grow as a player but also as a person. You get used to be among professional players and that’s important. But this is just a small step in my career, because I consider myself a player of Deportivo B and nothing more. I appreciate the confidence of Caparrós, especially after the injury I suffered.” Mackay, who had made such an impression against AC Milan at the 2005 Teresa Herrera tournament, ended loaned out to Ceuta and Fabricio became the starting goalkeeper of Fabril. After a few months there weren’t many doubts in Deportivo’s youth system that “Fabricio was the future goalkeeper of Deportivo”. Tall, and quiet, Fabricio proved to be cool and secure, and especially to have a good aerial game.

Fabricio, who’s idol always had been Peter Schmeichel, had quit football at an early stage after a fight at Vecindario and the club really had to convince him to give up his new career: basketball. Fabricio was rebelling, and his team mate Aridane said that “he was fixed on becoming a great goalkeeper. When he was watching football, only the goalkeepers had his attention. He never tried another position on the pitch.” In January 2007 he was a step closer to his target as he was at Deportivo’s bench for the match against Real Madrid at the Riazor (2-0), the reason was that Munúa was injured. Fabricio called it “something spectacular to watch the stadium full of people. I can’t really summarize it in a few words. It was just incredible. And when during the match Caparrós told me to warm up, I didn’t really know what to do. My heart was going like crazy.” Eventually, he didn’t enter that match to replace Aouate, but he remained on the bench for several more matches. Fabricio also made his debut at Spain U-20 team in a friendly against the Czech Republic. In the meantime he achieved promotion with Deportivo B (other players at the team were Chapi, Juanan, Adrián López ´Piscu’ and Álex Bergantiños) to Segunda B after the team had spent seven years at Tercera División.

When Lotina took over at Deportivo, he was less enthusiastic to take a handful of youngsters with the first team and Fabricio and Aridane were the only ones picked up. Meanwhile, Ian Mackay was sold to UD Vecindario. His contract was going to run out in June 2008 and Depor already had signed Manu as a replacement, but basically were counting on Fabricio. Lotina revealed that he preferred to have two goalkeepers at the first team, which were Aouate and Munúa, with Fabricio and Manu occupying the spots at Deportivo B. During the first part of the season 2007/2008 he was the starting goalkeeper of Fabril. After 19 matches at Segunda B he only had leaked 7 goals although he kept both feet on the ground, Things are going well this year. Rivals cannot get closer and create fewer opportunities to score, because of the great work of our defenders. I don’t think I am the best of my team.” He said. One of the opponents that season was Mackay’s Vecindario and Deportivo B won that match 2-0. Juan Rivero, the assistant of Fabril’s coach Tito Ramallo, described Fabricio as ”a secure goalkeeper. And he transmits this to his colleagues. He’s always focused and you won’t see him doing fancy jumps just for the sake of it. But when he jumps, you’re assured he’ll catch the ball.” Then events evolved faster. An injury and recent bad performances of Aouate made Fabricio to warm Deportivo’s bench again with Manu taking the spot at Deportivo B. Then Deportivo’s goalkeepers Aouate and Munúa had their famous big fight, a scandalous event that ended with the Israeli man with a black eye. Both players were temporarily suspended by the club. Lotina immediately announced that Fabricio would be the starting goalkeeper at Villarreal CF (matchday 19) and that his idea was to keep him there until the end of the season. But at the same time he didn’t call that too much of a surprise. “I’ve talked about it with the president and everything has been accelerated for six months [hinting at Fabricio’s final move to the first team] I trust upon what Tito Ramallo [former coach of Deportivo B] and José Sambade [former goalkeepers’ coach] say and they always have been claiming that Fabricio is ready.”

The match at Villarreal CF (4-3 loss) wasn’t the best one possible. The Valencian team finished second that season and played the best football of Spain. Deportivo, in the meantime, we’re deep into the relegation zone but gave a heroic performance at El Madrigal. The Galicians took the lead twice, but after the second time it was Fabricio (who was encouraged before the game by ex-goalkeeper Molina) who tried to save an effort of Senna, which seemed to be going wide. The goalkeeper let go off the ball and Nihat was there to score the equalizer. In the fifteen minutes after that unfortunate play the match was decided in Villarreal’s favour, much to the frustration of all surrounding Deportivo. Fabricio immediately admitted his mistake. “It was a crucial mistake and I sunk the team. I ask for apologies for the damage I inflicted, because we played a good game. I thought that their effort was on target and that’s why I tried to save it, but it was in vain. I still have to learn a lot and hope to improve my game during the next match.” Lotina was critical too and didn’t defend the goalkeeper in public, although Fabricio was kept in the team for the next five matches.

For the visit to UD Almeria, the team suffered a painful and late defeat (1-0), but Fabricio was not to be blamed for the goal. In the all-or-nothing match against in-form Valladolid (3-1 win), he didn’t have too much work to do, but didn’t look good when Valladolid scored near the end. Meanwhile, the ban of Aouate and Munúa was lifted. Fabricio looked insecure during the 0-1 win at Real Betis, and one of his mistakes miraculously didn’t end up in Betis’ equalizer. This time Lotina did defend him, ”I haven't said anything to him about it, but if a 19-year-old boy doesn't have the right to fail... It's also a virtue to fail and to not conceive the goal. Some keepers allow a goal each time they fail, and he has failed at this opportunity and it wasn't a goal. But who doesn't commit an error at the age of 19? He’s a great goalkeeper and he's going to be a Primera goalkeeper for a lot of years.” Getafe’s goal at the Riazor (1-1) was not his fault, but another painful and late defeat at Recreativo (3-2) was the end of Fabricio’s spell at the first team. Not that he was to be blamed for any of their goals, but the team was back into deep relegation troubles and Fabricio’s inexperience certainly didn’t help. Aouate returned to take the goalkeeping position and played all available minutes until the end of the season, which led to Deportivo eventually achieving Intertoto football. But the Israeli goalkeeper praised Fabricio for this performances, “He’s a goalkeeper with solid conditions. He has everything to become a great goalkeeper.”

Early in March the match at Real Madrid Castilla was the return of Fabricio to Deportivo B and in some opportunities he was at the bench of the first team, but his performances weren’t the same as before. One month later he was rested for both teams and Manu took over the goalkeeping spot at Deportivo B, while Aouate defended the one of the first team. Lotina explained that “Fabricio is an animal and he has been playing with different injuries during the past weeks. That’s why he isn’t 100% ready. He has been training with both teams and it could be important to rest him for a while. Hopefully we will see the return of the Fabricio we all know.” Manu finished the season with Deportivo B in which the team reached the play-off finals, the team failed to achieve promotion to Segunda A. At the time the situation of Fabricio seemed to reach a difficult point, because he was still negotiating a new contract with Depor. But Lotina held his word, also because of circumstances. Now, with the season 2008/09 starting, Aouate was axed from the first team. His fight was never solved properly and his presence at the squad wasn’t welcome, so he was transferred to RCD Mallorca. The club was also trying to get rid of Munúa, that’s why Manu and Fabricio were the goalkeepers taken by Lotina for the mini-tour in Denmark. They were joined by youth defenders Juanan and David Rochela. A few days later, experienced Bilbao goalkeeper Aranzubia was signed. But it was Fabricio who defended Deportivo’s goal against Israeli team Bnei Sakhnin in the Intertoto Cup. And although the Galicians won both matches and were very superior at the Riazor, they needed Fabricio for some crucial saves. It led Lotina to say that “Fabricio is calmer now, and I think he’s better than last year having much more confidence. He’s definitely competitive.”