The season of Borja Iglesias (28 years old, Santiago de Compostela) went from less to more and he became a decisive piece in Betis' European candidacy since it took off in December. Eight goals in less than a thousand minutes to glimpse at least a glimpse of the best version of the Galician forward.
Betis is sixth. Is Europe an obligation?
At the club level it is the objective that has to be set, at the squad level as well. But each season is a world.
Everything changed since January.
But already in December we were competing at a very high level, although in January we started to earn more. When you get into a good dynamic, everything is easier, especially because you fight for things.
* Data updated as of March 27, 2021
The squad is almost the same as last year. But with Manuel Pellegrini …
I think we all took a step forward, the coach laid the foundations he considered to fight for these positions.
But did something change?
Many situations come together, the reality of the squad is that you have to fight for these positions and be at this level. We want to take that step forward, we know who we represent.
To what extent did the psychological influence your lack of goal?
They all helped me when I had the worst, on a psychological level they also helped me. Sometimes you want to enjoy on the field and do not play. You pretend to be in successful situations that are not present at the time. Now I am happy.
That appearance against Real Sociedad in the Cup. How decisive was that double to achieve this level now?
When you live a moment like that, you are breaking a barrier that is forming on a mental level. It was not easy. When you do that, the impact is very big. You take a weight off. So it was. And then you take the opportunity to work more.
I don't know if your teammates were happier than you.
Yes, I was very grateful. When they are as happy as or more than you are about your successes, it is something that makes you very happy. My colleagues were always there.
Eight goals in less than a thousand minutes. Would you have signed it before starting?
I do not think so. I would have liked to play more.
But the statistics tell that seven of those eight goals came from the bench.
It's funny, especially since he had never scored a goal as a substitute since he was a professional before this season. I am happy, I think that also made me break a situation in which I did not feel comfortable. I'm getting closer to my best version every day. You get richer, you get better in all areas.
The competition is now much greater.
We are all very plugged in. Knowing the difficulty of contesting a position, situations that are not comfortable are always generated. It is our profession, everyone is plugged in, it is fundamental. Juanmi is an example … everything that happened is complicated, but he never stopped working and thought that the best was yet to come. He is a fantastic footballer.
Fekir appeared against Levante with a brilliant play. Surprising?
It is not surprising because we see it every day. He does that almost every day, constantly. Although in the field then he is very watched by the rival. But make the difference.
How important is Canales in this reborn project?
In a dressing room there are one, two, three captains … But there are also leaders. And Canales is. You don't need to speak. He is a leader through his game and his hunger to grow. It gives us a lot. He is an enormous talent, with a capacity to overflow, to assist, to score …
He is another leader, he is the captain, we have immense admiration for him. He plays less now, but then he comes in and is differential and wins games in fifteen minutes. Future? He will have to decide it, hopefully it will be like that and continue, the next and the next. The forces have them.
How much do you need the fans in the stands?
You miss it a lot, in difficult times you know that people are going to demand you and they are more difficult times. But the reality is that with our stadium full, it is an asset in our favor. In the first 20 minutes we were far superior to the rival and it was largely because of them. We are looking forward to their return, it is the essence of football. This is all weird.