A joke in Liverpool and a legend in Celta.. Life from the perspective of Iago Aspas

It’s noon on May 16, 2004, and it’s nice in El Riazor, Deportivo La Coruña. Moments and begins the Galicia derby between A Coruña and Celta Vigo. The last years were the A Coruña years; They won the league title in 2000, and since then they have been finishing the season higher than Celta every time.

Last season, 2002-2003, Celta Vigo narrowed the difference to occupy fourth place directly behind La Coruna, and after qualifying for the Champions League, everyone began to feel that a new era in the conflict between the two clubs was about to begin (1) (2).

What actually happened was that Celta was relegated to the second division this season, and the new era ended before it began. The Galicia derby was in the penultimate week of this season, and Celta had practically secured the relegation, but the derby remains a derby, especially when it is the last match for the team’s star and best playmaker in its history, Alexander Mostovoy, the sharp-tempered and skilled Russian, who spent most of his career making Goals and scores for Celesticos (3).

The match ended with Deportivo 3-0 in the worst possible farewell to Mostovoy, and at home, in a small village called Moania in Vigo, which is mainly based on fishing, the nine-year-old Iago was watching his favorite star leave his favorite club, who, in turn, was leaving the lights of La Liga after a season He participated in the Champions League (4).

miserable corner

It was a violent and defining moment for Iago Aspas; Mostovoy has always been praised, but we don’t know how much Iago’s youngster was influenced by the Russian in his playing style. In fact, searching for such a detail on the Internet is very difficult. The simplest information about Asspace is not available, and every time we search we bump into the word “Corner”; In reference to the bad corner he took for Liverpool against Chelsea in his only season there 2013-2014. Yes, it’s the match I guessed.

This moment is what the internet knows best about Iago Aspas, and no matter how many goals he scored or assisted afterwards, no matter how he excelled and saved his team in difficult moments, all of England’s 56 million people will remember his season with Liverpool with the genius description written by Callum Rice-Coates, Editor. These Football Times, “A Season You Want To Forget That You Never Forget” (5).

The Galicia derby was exactly ten years before the Chelsea match, in a season that witnessed victories over Milan and Ajax in Europe, and losses from Malaga, Racing and Murcia locally. A season in which La Coruña scored 8 goals without a response against Celta between the two legs of the first leg in the league, and witnessed the departure of Mostovoi and relegation to the second division for the first time in 15 years. It must have been a season that Iago wanted to forget too, so much that he never did.

Like any epic fall from top to bottom, the shock was too much for many of the team’s fans. We don’t know exactly how Aspas reacted, but we do know that this did not change his desire to join the Figo football school. When the team was qualifying for the Champions League, Aspas was forging his birth certificate to join the ball school, his trick was exposed and the attempt failed, but he returned to the ball after the team’s relegation in the summer of 2004, when he was officially 9 years old, and then his story began with Azure (6).

The heart..the whole heart

Iago Aspas in Liverpool

Like Mostovoy, Aspas was also hot-tempered and temperamental. The common myth about the prevalence of this trait among coastal city dwellers is true to a degree, they are often really flammable. Of course, this was before globalization and the Internet and the dissolution of many geographical and social differences between people.

Aspas’ coaches at the academy used to describe him a Spanish term that we’re not sure of his linguistic accuracy: “Es todo corazon”, or “He’s all heart”, meaning that he is a man driven by his feelings, giving his fullest all the time; Because he knows no other way to play football than that, the way he used to play on the beach with his brother when he was a stubborn little boy who did not like to lose, even if he sometimes loses his temper (6).

Ced Lo, a correspondent for The Guardian and ESPN in Spain, says that Aspas went out on loan to the local team “Rapido de Pozas” as a teenager, and when he faced Celta and his former teammates, he was playing the same way, perhaps even more nervous than The necessary, to the extent that he was expelled, and left the stadium to enter into a verbal altercation with the families of his former colleagues who came to watch the match, and who will become his teammates again after the end of the loan, before he later apologized to everyone, stressing that he did not want to leave in the first place (6).

I don’t want to be anywhere else. This was the phrase he always repeated, and quickly became a group of fans carrying his picture and banners in his name in all matches, and after years of wandering in the Spanish second division, Celta was back in the League again, and Aspas was at the top of the team’s scorers and goal makers list, after he did the thing Same as in the previous season (7).

This season, 2012-13, Aspas was sent off again, this time against Deportivo La Coruna in the Galicia derby. After the rivals advanced with a single goal, Iago’s expulsion in the 28th minute marked the official end of the match. Hugo Mayo, his injured colleague who was watching the match from the stands, tells that everyone was angry with Aspas because of the expulsion, but his fans were chanting his name in the stands, feeling that he was sent off because he is one of them, and like them, he can’t control himself sometimes. Eight expulsions in his career were a small price to pay to get someone to represent them on the field, not the guy who loses his temper because he’s careless, or because he doesn’t care, but the opposite, because he cares too much.

Here is Vigo

VIGO, SPAIN - DECEMBER 05: Iago Aspas of RC Celta de Vigo and Hugo Guillamón of Valencia CF in action during the La Liga Santander match between RC Celta de Vigo and Valencia CF at Abanca-BalaÌdos on December 5, 2021 in Vigo, Spain.  (Photo by Octavio Passos / Getty Images)

September 23, 2015, Aspas stands on the electronic advertising banners in the face of the fans, spreading his arms to the side and pointing with his index fingers as usual when celebrating after he scored his second goal against Barcelona, ​​​​in a match that ended in crushing the triple champions by four for one goal.

At that moment, Aspas scored in the European and Spanish champions the same number of goals he scored in his last two seasons outside of Vigo, with Liverpool and Sevilla. The Sky commentator commented on the goal, saying: “Yes Liverpool fans, it’s the same player!”

It was then that Mostovoy declared that his comeback was the best possible deal, and since then, there has not been a single Spanish player better than Aspas in La Liga. “Sid Law” goes further, as he believes that, with the exception of Lionel Messi, no player in La Liga has had more influence on his team’s results in this period.

What many do not realize is that the absence of a single star from an average or weak team often has a greater impact than the example of a team such as Barcelona or Real Madrid. This season, for example, Aspas – who is 34 years old – participated in 55% of Celta Vigo’s goals in La Liga, scoring 10 goals and making 2 assists in only 18 matches. Last season, the percentage was 49%, and 46% in the previous season, 2019-2020, when Celta avoided relegation by a miracle, and 49% in 2018-2019, his best digital seasons ever with 20 goals and 6 assists, and then he also led Celta to escape from the division The second at the last moments (8).

Aspas has been a common denominator in all the moments of saving the team from relegation in recent years. Even before he left, In the 2012-2013 seasonIt was the goal he set up for Nacho Insa – with a superb dribbling and a clever move on the left – that kept Celta in La Liga at the time. In the previous season, Aspas scored 23 goals in 35 matches to lead Celta back to the First Division.

In fact, Aspas’ first-ever first-team game saw the toughest possible save of his career. In 2009, Celta’s debts had exceeded 80 million euros, and he was about to be relegated to the third degree and officially declared bankruptcy. In his first appearance in the Celta Vigo shirt, Aspas participated as a substitute and scored two goals against Alaves in Balaidos Stadium, One of them was in the 95th minute, To survive Celta from the lost by another miracle. Finding a moment of victory – or rather avoidance – whose hero Aspas has not been in Celta’s recent history is so difficult.

society and people

BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 16: Santi Mina of Celta Vigo celebrates after scoring their team's first goal with Iago Aspas and Nolito during the La Liga Santander match between FC Barcelona and RC Celta at Camp Nou on May 16, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain. Sporting stadiums around Spain remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

November 3, 2019, Pepe Bordalas, Celta Vigo coach, says before the Getafe match that Aspas does not play for a big team because he does not want to, not because he cannot, exposing himself to the ridicule of the 56 million people who live in England and cannot forget the season they want to forget (7).

A few months before this statement, Aspas was rejecting a fictional offer from the Chinese League, according to which he would receive 7 million euros annually, and instead preferred to stay with Celta with 20% of the salary for a very simple reason from his point of view: “I feel love here … my family’s house I am close and I can see my children regularly… These things are irreplaceable, and their absence wastes years of your life”(9).

It is hard to find 56 million people anywhere on the planet who would believe this statement. It is the world, society and people who decide the criteria for success, and they are the ones who believe that success is worth giving up on everything, and they are the ones who will tell you that Aspas was a fool when he rejected the offer of China, or when he gave up in Liverpool, or when he failed to harmonize in Seville, and all this may be Really true from the point of view of success.

In Aspas’ view, life was much simpler, success is not everything, because it will still be the success of others, according to their ever-changing standards, and in many cases, such success may conflict with happiness. For Aspas, staying with Celta and saving them from relegation was more fun, more exciting and more fulfilling than anything else.

All Aspas wanted since his childhood was to celebrate in front of the Celesticos fans in Balaidos after every goal, and in another time, this would have been more important than success in Liverpool, and more important than 15 games in England that 56 million people want to erase from their memory, simply because there are 300 A Figo they will remember forever.



  1. derby days; Galicia..Spanish football like you’ve never seen it before – COPA 90
  2. Celta Vigo vs Deportivo La Coruna; Galicia derby…when opponents’ fans sing together – The Guardian
  3. Aleksandr Mostovoy’s participation with Celta Vigo in the 2003-2004 season – Transfermarkt
  4. Iago Aspas…The Story of Vigo’s Redeemer – El Arte Del Futbol
  5. The Birthday of Iago Aspas – These Football Times
  6. Celta Vigo beat Barcelona thanks to Iago Aspas..home-made champion – ESPN
  7. Iago Aspas was the best La Liga player and actor this season – ESPN
  8. Iago Aspas stats – Transfermarkt
  9. Aspas rejects offer of €7m per season to help Celta Vigo avoid relegation – Give Me Sport

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