EI Elche put Real Madrid on the ropes in the Cup. Very few expected that Francisco’s team, full of casualties, would be able to force an extension against the leader of the First Division and one of the most fit teams in Europe. Elche pulled courage and experience to stay at the gates of the quarterfinals. The veteran of the team from Elche is being key to being out of the relegation places and taking care of the greats, as he demonstrated against Madrid or Barça.
Elche has years in his dressing room. In fact, its squad is the oldest in LaLiga. Francisco’s team is the ‘grandfather’ of Primera, with an average age of 29 years and 345 days. In that sense, Elche has bet this season on experience to try to achieve its second consecutive stay. As an example, Elche’s squad is almost four years older than Real Sociedad’s, the youngest in the entire competition with a mean age of 25 years and 283 years. With Real Madrid, their rival tomorrow, there are also differences because the whites have an average of 28 years and 95 days.
Elche’s problem is its ability to recover given that several of its players are over thirty years old. Kiko Casilla (35 years old), Barragán (34), Gonzalo Verdú (33), Lucas Pérez (33), Pastore (32), Josan (32) or Fidel (32) increase the age of a squad that has mentalized to try win for the first time at the Bernabéu. Elche’s ‘grandparents’ challenge Madrid, although they will have to make an extra effort to overcome last Thursday’s fatigue. Players like Boyé (25 years old), Raúl Guti (25) or Tete Morente (25) add a point of youth to a squad with ‘gray hair’.
The longevity of the Elche squad crosses borders because it is also the second oldest in Europe, just behind that of Lazio (29 years and 356 days). The eleven franjiiverde, as expected, is also the oldest.