Nolito: a breath of fresh air for La Roja
I like Nolito as a player and have the sensation that I’m not the only one. He’s a talent that has been developing gradually over time and who’s exploded at the age of 29 which is a rather unique situation. I remember the words of the great Boskov: “A good player is visible from an early age” and that is generally the case. The bulk of great players’ breakthrough in their early twenties but as always there are exceptions and Nolito is a perfect example of this. I remember watching him play in a cup game for Écija against Real Madrid causing problems for the team from the capital some years ago. He even had a spell at Barça ‘B’ but failed to settle there with the Catalan side now interested in securing his services again.
His consistency and quality have seen an opening for him in the Spanish national team with the squad undergoing a process of renovation with many players now regarded as untouchables within the first team. These players are selected on merit of course but it’s great for the national team to have new talents breaking through and Nolito is a perfect case in point with his attractive and efficient style of play. Since David Villa’s retirement from the international game Spain have lacked a natural goal scorer and that has been a major absence from the side in recent years. Nolito sharpens the forward line and links up well with Morata and adds an attractive dimension to La Roja’s game.
There are few players around at present with such an ability to beat defenders and when a striker out wide beats his man it’s the first step in breaking down the defensive wall of four. Nolito plays with great enthusiasm (something reflected in his infectious Andalusian persona) and he has an excellent shot He may not be the youngest player in the group but has a youthful exuberance and bubbly personality that is somewhat infectious. His breakthrough to the first team is a blessing for a side that desperately needed an injection of fresh blood.
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