Paco Baena: “Luis Aragonés was very serious and always wanted perfection”

Paco Baena, former footballer for Cádiz and Atlético de Madrid, speaks for AS in the preview of Sunday's match between cadistas and rojiblancos. The forward remembers his time at Atleti, a club he arrived at in April 1975 to end the 1974-75 season with the Madrid team and complete the 1975-76. An intercontinental and a Generalissimo Cup remained in his record. Baena tells us about his experience at Atlético, his debut in the First Division and the first conversation with Luis Aragonés in his first season as coach. He also analyzes Cádiz, a club for which he is still the top scorer in history with 82 goals. His forecast for tomorrow, 1-1.

Cadiz Shield / Flag

How do you remember your time at Atlético de Madrid?

Athletic Shield / Flag

“That time was formidable. I was at Cádiz before and my dream was to play for a big team like Atleti. Also, I was from Atleti because when I was little I played for a team that wore the Atlético de Madrid shirts and it gave me a great feeling to sign there ”.

It was his first outing from Cádiz.

“It was hard for me to leave Cádiz, but as they say, 'for my improvement, I would leave my house,' and that's how it was. I had to leave my city for the welfare of the family. Cádiz was in the Second Division at that time and when he signed with Atleti, three or four days later, we won the Intercontinental. For me it was very big. That I did not play, but I did collect my premium and they gave me my trophy and everything ”.

Great memories of the rojiblanca stage.

“The memories of Atlético are all formidable. In general I have good memories of all the teams I have played for, but the Atleti fans treated me very well. I really liked listening to the Andalusian and it was just me, so they invited me to many clubs because they liked my talk ”.

First debut with Atleti.

“It was three days after I got there. It was a televised game with Valencia and when we were winning 5-2 I was on the bench and Luis Aragonés told me to warm up and go out for 15 or 20 minutes. The truth is that it didn't work out for me because I didn't play in my position, but I made my debut, which was what I wanted ”.

He participated to get the Generalissimo Cup for the 1975-76 season.

“A goal of mine made Atlético de Madrid continue playing the Cup. It was a goal against Sporting de Gijón, but I was unlucky and I couldn't play in the final. I watched the game in the seats at the Bernabéu ”.

His goals at Atlético were few, but they always helped him score points and pass rounds.

“Yes, what happens is that the players who were at Atleti at that time were the best. Almost all were international with their selections. The worst of that time was me. I played several games, about 30 and I was happy, but I was caught in a time when I wanted to play every Sunday and I told the club to transfer or loan me and Alavés was interested, who paid 15 million pesetas for the transfer. All the teammates told me not to go, but what I wanted was to play every Sunday ”.

How was the Luis Aragonés coach?

“When he arrived at Atlético he had few games, but he was already a coach, I didn't know him as a player. It was very very very serious. I always wanted everything perfectly. He would make us run upstairs and downstairs and don't see the one they gave us. I was not used to training so hard at Cádiz and it was difficult for me to adapt, but I knew how to do it and I held out well ”.

Was it difficult for him to take command of the dressing room in which he played?

“It was very complicated, because he went from starting player to coach. I remember when I got there he told me that he had to wait a while because the team had already done it and he couldn't count on me at that moment. However, four days after he told me that, we played a training match on Thursday and I scored four goals for the starting team that he (Luis Aragonés) planned to score on Sunday. Seeing that I scored all four goals, he took me to the Valencia match (his debut in the First Division) ”.

Announcement with the Spanish National Team being a Second-ranked player with Cádiz.

“It was the first time in history that four footballers who played in the Second Division were called up for the National Team. Spending four days in the Real Madrid sports city, training with the Spanish National Team for a match that was going to be played against Scotland was spectacular. I knew that I was not going to attend the game because they took us in case we ever needed another footballer to count on. But the experience was formidable ”.

How do you forecast Cádiz – Atlético de Madrid on Sunday?

“My heart tells me that Cádiz will win, but my head also tells me that it will be a very difficult game for both teams. If Cádiz poses the game with defensive solidity, Atleti will have a hard time marking us. In the first game we had the misfortune that we were not well in defense with the four goals, but the team is very strong now and it will be difficult for Atleti to score goals ”.

Match forecast.

“1-1. As long as the defense works well and in attack we take two or three counterattacks and do damage, I think we can get some point. This is not our league anyway, so let's not worry too much if we lose. “

How do you see Cádiz so far this season?

“Nobody expected Cádiz to play the games they are doing or to win the points we have won. The best thing is that we have finished the first round and there has not yet been a team superior to Cádiz playing football. That that they say that Cádiz does not play anything is not true. Cádiz plays with their weapons and with Álvaro Cervera's system, which we all know, and it is difficult for opposing teams to make their way through our defensive system. Playing like this we are making a lot of merits and although we are going to suffer, because many teams are going to suffer for not releasing, Cádiz will remain in the First Division this year ”.