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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Maximum tension on Tenerife: the collective performance is looking for its place in the First Division

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Maximum excitement on the largest island of the Canary Islands. Tenerife (population 947,900) is nervous and tense as they look forward to what is perhaps the team’s most important game of the 21st century. CD Tenerife meet Girona in the packed Heliodoro Rodríguez López this Sunday (20:00 local time) in the final showdown of the season, which will decide which of the two sides will win the long-awaited last place in the First Division. “You see, nothing else is talked about here, neither on the street nor on WhatsApp,” says Miguel Sánchez. “On Sunday we will suffer.” The first leg in Montilivi left everything open despite the superiority of the peninsula team: 0-0.

Suffering and sacrificing is exactly what Tete has been doing throughout the season. “We’re not an all-star team,” says the blue-and-white captain, Madrid-born Aitor Sanz (38), who is already the seventh player with more than 300 games played since 2013. that have been played in the jersey in its almost hundred-year history. “We rely on the collective effort, on trying every action to the maximum, on improving day by day in training. We are a team dedicated to community.”

It is this group that managed to get the team around Catalan Luis Miguel Ramis to settle for most of the season in promotion league positions. And the one that, in the previous lap, made him overtake his eternal rival, Las Palmas Sports Union.

06/16/22 DVD 1111. Aitor Sanz, CD Tenerife Player Photo: Miguel Velasco AlmendralMiguel Velasco Almendral

Tenerife have been struggling for second division since those glory days of the 1990s, when they snatched up leagues and played in the semi-finals of the extinct UEFA under the leadership of Valdano Real Madrid. In its 96-year history, the blue and white team has played 13 seasons at the top. His last participation in the category dates back to 2010. And then the descent into the hell of Second B. Ascension isn’t just a matter of reputation. According to quick calculations by the President of the unit, Miguel Concepción, joining the First Division is associated with a cash injection of almost 50 million euros from the start.

Girona's midfielder Iván Martín (right) plays a ball against Alexandre Corredera of Tenerife during the first leg of LaLiga Santander's promotion final to be played on June 11 at Girona's Montilivi stadium.
Girona’s midfielder Iván Martín (right) plays a ball against Alexandre Corredera of Tenerife during the first leg of LaLiga Santander’s promotion final to be played on June 11 at Girona’s Montilivi stadium.David Borrat (EFE)

And the business around the team, beyond the cafeteria clouds that populate the area surrounding the stadium in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. “Of course, the tourist impact would be very positive,” says the President of the Hotel and Non-Hotel Association of Santa Cruz Tenerife. “It would be a boost for Tenerife’s hotel industry. It’s a shame we can’t really have two representatives in the First Division.” CD Tenerife and UD Las Palmas only shared a year at the top in the 2001/02 season.

“Having an elite team is not only subordinate to the city, but also to the island and even the Canary Islands,” Abbas Moujir, president of the Federation of Urban Areas of Tenerife (Fauca), recently told this newspaper. “It would be a very important leap for the club. And for the island: I’ve been around for so long that you get what this game means, the importance of promotion. To experience something like that with the club of my life is something unforgettable.”

The fans remember the disastrous year 2017, when the team failed in the league against Getafe. Of course also in that of Aitor Sanz, who admits that in June he experienced the saddest day of his career. “Today the team is more competitive, more mature and more convinced of its success than it was then,” says Aitor Sanz. “Then we had more talented and younger players but we found ourselves in the situation and didn’t quite believe it.” And he uses a guide: “This is football and it can happen, but the attitude and the will of the team is there.” That and the fact that Girona has not managed to overcome any of the five previous opportunities for the time being, at who were in a similar situation.

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Source elpais.com

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