Saturday, 20 July 2019

How good are Girona?

I really didn't know much about Girona FC apart form that they were a Spanish team, so when AFCB told us they would play them in Barcelona in the summer I thought I'd do some digging before the match to see what our lads were up against.

AFCB will take on Girona FC tonight at 7pm at
Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys in Barcelona at 7pm.
Girona FC is a Catalan club that now play in the second division in Spain having been relegated last season from La Liga, Spain's top league. They finished 18th just four points behind Celta Vego and Valladolid and managed nine wins and 10 draws form their 38 games which wasn't quite enough to keep them up. Still they did beat teams like Villarreal, Real Madrid and FC Sevilla so they can cause upsets and they had two seasons in La Liga before this relegation.

The team was founded in 1930 and since 1970 it has played at the Montilivi stadium which has a capacity of 13,450. I'd say it is a club of similar standing to AFCB, but interestingly they are owned by Man City's parent company the City Football Group.

They have been looking at the English leagues over the summer and have just bought Spanish midfield player Samu Saiz from Leeds United.  Other new signings include Marc Gual is a striker on loan from Sevilla FC and a Spanish U21 player and defender Pablo Maffeo who is on loan from VfB Stuttgart.

Alex Granell, 30, is the captain and a Spanish midfielder who has been at the club five years. He has said he longs to take Girona back to La Liga, but also says his future at the club is uncertain. Their top scorer is Cristhian Stuani, 32, who is a Uruguayan and scored 21 goals in 2017/18, fifth top scorer in La Liga and 19 goals in 2018/19. His strike partner is  Anthony Lozano, a Honduran who joined the club in 2018. Jofre Cherta, 18, is one of the club's young players who signed an extended contract this summer to keep him at the club to 2023. 

Last season Girona's manager was Eusebio SacristΓ‘n who arrived at the club in 2018. He has previously managed Real Socieada and Barcelona B.

The new coach is Juan Carlos UnzuΓ© who was previously at Celta Vigo. he won his first match at the club this summer against in a pre-season friendly against Al Arabi of Qatar winning 1-2.

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