"Is Suvimendi ready to join a big club like Barca?" "For me, Real Sociedad is a big club." Because of this confident answer, Real Sociedad manager Imanol Alguacil caused a heated discussion. In his fifth year in charge of Real Sociedad, he led the team to secure third place in the half-time, clinging to the two giants of Barca and Real Madrid. In his mind, the meaning of Real Sociedad is indeed very different from other clubs.
Royal Sociedad, imprinted in the blood
Imanore has dedicated almost his entire football career to Real Sociedad. He was born in 1971 in Orio, a town in Spain's Basque Country, which is mostly inhabited by fishing and had no more than 6,000 inhabitants as of 2016. At the same time, the local rowing team is famous and has won many honors. However, Imanol chose football, he is hungry for success and will never be easily satisfied. This temperament, "very Basque".
(Imanor's hometown of Orio)
In the 80s, Imanore emerged from Real Sociedad's Academy and made his La Liga debut in 1990 as a right-back. A year later, Imanore became a regular in the team and played at the Anoeta Stadium until 1998. Suffering from injuries, Imanore gradually lost his position and began to change the court. During his 8 years with Real Sociedad, Imanol made more than 100 appearances.
From Villarreal to Jaén, to Cartagena and Burgos, Imanore is far from the mainstream. In 2003, after a season with Burgos, Imanore said goodbye to his playing career at the age of 32. For the next eight years, Imanol's resume was blank in public information until 2011, when he joined Real Sociedad again to coach in the club's youth team.
At this time, Imanore was more like an apprentice in the coaching dugout. In 2013, he became an assistant coach for Real Sociedad B and turned positive a year later to become B team manager. At the time, he was originally included in the first-team coaching staff by former Manchester United manager David Moyes, who coached Real Sociedad, but was named B-team manager less than a month later, where he spent nearly four years. On another stage away from the spotlight, Imanore quietly dedicated to the beloved Royal Sociedad.
The turnaround came in March 2018, when Imanol was promoted to Real Sociedad first-team manager following former manager Osevio left class. In his first four games, he led the team to a record of three wins and one draw, and more importantly, the team scored nine goals but kept four clean sheets in a row, the first time since Real Sociedad entered the 21st century that he has not conceded a goal in four consecutive games. After leading the team to complete relegation, Imanore returned to the B team to coach.
However, Garitano, who took over from Imanore's whip, had a terrible grade, and he was hurriedly left after suffering three consecutive defeats. Imanore took office again, and the seal has not been handed over since. On 3 April 2021, Real Sociedad beat Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to lift the Spanish Copa del Rey, the first time the team has won the title since 1987. After the match, Imanore changed into the Real Sociedad shirt, raised the team's scarf and sang in a hoarse voice. He has passed the year of destiny, his hair is gray, but the passion of this moment seems to be back to 18 years old.
He has a straight personality and speaks well
After the recent clash with Barca, Imanol's comments caused heated discussion, not only calling Real Sociedad "the big club in his heart", but also bluntly saying that his own player Bryce Mendes should be sent off. Frank language expression has attracted a lot of fans for Imanore, and such a very personal way of speaking is also his style all along.
In the 2018-19 season, Imanol led the team to a 2-0 victory over Real Madrid at the Bernabeu, a victory that gave him great confidence. Imanol complimented his opponent at the press conference before travelling to Barca, but then said: "We have managed to win at the Bernabeu before, so let's see if we can beat Barca tomorrow!" "Before this game, Real Sociedad had lost 12 consecutive games against Barca, and the outspoken Imanol could not break this record, and a 1-2 defeat further increased the number of consecutive defeats.
However, Imanore's "wild words" do have confidence. In September 2019, Real Sociedad beat Atletico 2-0 at home and Imanore was thrilled after the game. He praised Monreal, Odegaard and other outstanding performers, adding: "To put it unrealistically, I thought we could finish the game 6-0. ”
Two weeks after winning against Atletico, Real Sociedad beat Alaves. This time, Imanore played literary and artistic at the press conference: "When I looked at Donostia from Mount Ikhdo, I suddenly realized how small I am as an individual, and how great the royal society is as a symbol of Donostia. ”
"September wasn't cold, but I felt a chill to the bone, a visceral awe and devotion, how lucky I was to sit in the Real Sociedad dugout. I know today's game was a big test, but we had no choice but to rise to the challenge. This speech moved many netizens, people called Imanol a poet, and joked that "the head coach is just a side job".
Super bitter master, Barcelona
Today, Imanore has been in charge of Real Sociedad for many years, and he has developed excellent fighting qualities for the team, and his coaching standards are recognized by the club. However, Imanore also has a weakness, and that is Barcelona. Against Barca, he has struggled to win.
Imanol first played Barca in May 2018, when they lost by one goal at Camp Nou. In the 2019-20 season, Real Sociedad drew 2-2 at home to Barca, the only time Imanore has picked up points from Barca in the league. In January 2021, Real Sociedad lost to Barca on penalties in the Spanish Super Cup, but they lost 6-1 the next time the two sides met. Real Sociedad lost 4-1 at home to Barcelona in their first league meeting of the season, and once again they were eliminated by the same opponent in the Copa del Rey a few days ago.
At present, Imanol has led Real Sociedad to Barca 10 times, with a record of 2 draws and 8 defeats (penalties are recorded as draws). Despite leading the team to victories over Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Manchester United and other strong opponents, Barca has always been an insurmountable hurdle for him. Fortunately, Real Sociedad is now on the move, the club has renewed Imanol's contract until 2025, he still has enough time to lead the team to better results, when will the coach who imprinted Real Sociedad in his DNA achieve the goal of beating Barca?
(Supine Push-ups/Yin Chongzeng)