Getafe CF eliminates AFC Ajax - eyes Europa League title

Another win for Getafe CF today, but who are they, you may ask? An exciting team that no one seems to talk about, but probably should. Why?

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Well, the La Liga is on a downward slope, where Real Madrid C.F. and FC Barcelona, and I say that with a heavy heart as a football fan, are not the dominating forces in global football anymore. Club Atletico de Madrid is also not the powerhouse it had been in European football – every rise has a fall they say.

There is a positive though and that positive is Getafe CF, but why is the media silent?

Since taking over the managerial reigns at Getafe, José Bordalás Jiménez, has taken the club to new heights. Getafe recently eliminated last year’s UEFA Champions League semi-finalists AFC Ajax in the Europa League. It cements Getafe’s stance on the way forward and can now be referred to as the Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. of Spanish football.

So we come back to the same question, why is the media not saying anything? First of all, Spanish football has always been underrated, and since it’s not doing so well, it’s not getting as much coverage as it used to in the past. And without swaying too much off-topic, I will just add that every league has its own positives, and I don’t know who started the best league debate, where it came from and why it even exists in the first place.

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Anyway, Getafe is currently sitting 5th in the La Liga, separated by a one-point difference from 3rd place. Last year they finished 5th, and flourished as the 2nd best defence in Spain, after Atletico Madrid, led by the Togolese international central defender, Dakonam Ortega Djené.

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The centre back has been a revelation since his arrival in 2017. He doesn’t add much threat on the corners with only one league goal to date, in 70 league appearances, but has a phenomenal work rate in defence. And at 178 cm tall, he makes up for the physical prowess with his work horse-like performances, which is one of the traits Bordalas likes in his players.

But football is a team sport and Djene needed a good partner at the heart of defence, which he found in Leandro Cabrera. The two were unbreakable before Cabrera was snatched by Espanyol during the winter transfer window.

There have, however, been some shaky moments since. The 3-0 loss to Sevilla meant that Getafe had to sacrifice their 3rd place position, which they had held onto impressively by keeping the likes of Sevilla and Atletico Madrid at bay. Today’s win will boost Getafe’s morale, especially for Xabier Etxeita, who has to fill the huge void left with Cabrera’s departure.

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And the attack, which is spearheaded by Angel Rodridguez, Jaime Mata and Jorge Molina – the in-form trident, has already bagged 30 goals between them – that’s 68.18% of the team goals.

Rodriguez was heavily touted to make the Barcelona move but they picked up Martin Braithwaite instead. The full-backs, Damain Suarez and Marc Cucurella have also impressed so far, both of them are sitting at 4 assists and a goal each, and let’s not forget Matthias Oliviera with 3 assists to his name. Nemanja Maksimović also gets an honourable mention for keeping their midfield in check.

If you didn’t hear about Getafe CF before, you have now. Can Bordalas lead them to the Europa League glory?

Furqan is a marketing professional in the tech sector and an avid sports lover. He is a devout follower of cricket, football and tennis. You can follow him on Twitter.
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