The legend of 'The Three Amigos' of Wigan: “They gave us the opportunity to go to the Moon”

The year 1995 was a revolution with a Spanish accent for Wigan Athletic. His first three non-British footballers arrived in North West England, Roberto Martínez, Jesús Seba and Isidro Díaz, whom they baptized as The Three Amigos. AS Futbolería (AS TV) He gathered the trio to remember a stage in their careers that everyone has recorded on fire.

After seeing the most iconic photograph of the group, Roberto Martínez, today Belgium coach, he was the first to look in his trunk for his memories: “There we are, in 1995, with the Wigan shirt and the most famous domestic trophy, the FA Cup. That day was the first with three Spaniards in the competition. It so happened that I scored, the first Spaniard to do it in the FA Cup. And the thing about the Mexican hats was by mistake of the press chief, that they were thought to be Spanish and that it was a good idea. There are eight hours by plane between Spain and Mexico … (laughs). From there, for the movie The Three Amigos they gave us a lot of love. They are memories you remember forever. “

With the incorporation to the talk of Seba and Isidro, to the surprise of Martínez, Balaguer's kept looking back: “The beautiful thing is that it was 1995 and they gave us the opportunity to go to the moon. We did not know Wigan nor did we know much about what the Premier was, let alone the lower divisions. We were very curious, a great friendship, and we went into the unknown. If the three of us hadn't gone, I think we wouldn't have lasted that long. ” Seba: “The three of us went key, it helped us a lot. We went first to meet Wigan, It was a Third Division of England and, although it was professional, having already debuted at Real Zaragoza it was a bit of a shock. They invited us to go and, once there, we saw it clearly. Seeing all three together, in my case was key to taking the step. “

In Isidro, current coach of Castro FC, A similar tone of longing and affection is perceived: “It was a stage that you cannot forget because you go with two friends to an unknown country, to a city that we have never even heard before, and we went on an adventure. I had one of the best footballing years of my career and those two years together were very intense. We made many friends because we saw that there were many Spaniards living there. You always carry it. “About this” unknown country “provides a detail Roberto Martínez: “The differences with Spain were very, very big. Suffice to say, you couldn't find an espresso anywhere, it was all coffee infusions. From there, each day was a battle. As soon as we arrived we did a press conference in English, when we did not speak a word in English. “

Two years that seemed like twenty

Football also had to be adapted, and a lot. “We couldn't find a bigger contrast: three players who grew up in Real Zaragoza, where everything was possession football, try to understand the space, defend the ball, and we came to an environment where the first thing was for the ball to pass, to get to the area as soon as possible, to contest and win space on the field … It was the influence of rugby, a percentage football. Isidro and Jesús, who lived in gang, one on one, had few situations like this “, Martínez explains, happy about the virtual reunion: “I love being able to see Isidro and Seba, who is head of scouting for the Belgian Football Federation. The stories we have are special. “

The closeness of the fans, present at all times, marked Martínez: “Being the first foreigners in the club's history, They gave us a lot of courage for having decided to go to Wigan being Spanish. The story of The Three Amigos gave them hope, which is what the owner wanted to create, David Whelan, a former Blackburn player who while on the military team always played with foreigners and always said that when he had a team he would mix the European class with British passion. Jesus and Isidro are always remembered, when I came as a coach in 2009 there was also patience for that illusion which represents a lot in Wigan ”.

Seba ends with goodbye: “In principle I was going to be the good one, the expensive one, who had debuted with Spain U21, and I was the one who came back first.” The reason, a call from Real Zaragoza, to which all three wish to be promoted to First. “What I lived in 2 years there was like 20 years in any other city,” says Seba himself. And 20 years, you know, it's nothing, and less for such a friendship.