José Luis Violeta Lajusticia, living myth of Real Zaragoza, This Thursday celebrates 80 years marked by a legend that he forged over 14 flawless seasons at the Aragonese club (1963-77).
Born on February 25, 1941 in Zaragoza Calle de José Zorrilla, one step away from the Canal Imperial de Aragón and the disappeared field of Torrero, Violeta was the link between two extraordinary generations of Real Zaragoza footballers, the 'Magníficos' (Yarza, Reija, Santamaría, País, Endériz, Duca, Canario, Santos, Marcelino, Villa, Lapetra …) and the' Zaraguayos' (Planas, Arrúa, Diarte, García Castany, Ocampos, Manolo González…). Right-handed midfielder of 1.75 height, who ended up evolving to the position of free defense, he won the 1964 and 1966 Generalissimo Cups, the 1964 Fairs Cup and the 1965 Carranza Trophy – then of world prestige – and was runner-up in the League in the 1974-75 season and third in the 1964-65 and 1973 -74, as well as Cup runner-up in 1965 and 1976. In total, he played 473 official matches with the Real Zaragoza shirt, the one with the most in history tied with Xavi Aguado, distributed as follows: 327 in the First Division, 38 in the Second Division, 63 in the Cup, 26 in the Fairs Cup, 12 in the Recopa and 7 in the UEFA Cup.
His nickname, 'the Lion of Torrero', was perfect to define a very complete footballer: powerful, strong, resistant and fast, had some marvelous physical faculties, with only 33 pulsations at rest, which allowed him to recover quickly from efforts. Tireless, with an impressive delivery and a singular winning character, he had a good aerial game and a remarkable ball hit, which allowed him to score 20 goals.
At Real Zaragoza met three presidents (Waldo Marco, Alfonso Usón and José Ángel Zalba) – “I have good memories of the three” – and even 13 coaches (Ramallets, Luis Belló, Roque Olsen, Hon, Daucik, Lerín, Rial, Martín, García Traid, Rosendo Hernández, Iriondo, Carriega and Müller). “I was lucky enough to play with everyone, to be a starter, but if I have to choose a coach, I was left with Antonio Ramallets. He was the one who gave me the opportunity. I had just played a year on loan at Calvo Sotelo in Puertollano, in Third Division, and he dared to make me debut in a team of wonderful players. That is something that is never forgotten. That day I saw the dream of every Aragonese child fulfilled. That was like a fairy tale, because I had the immense luck to play with the 'Magníficos' and with the 'Zaraguayos' alongside formidable teammates.You have to understand what the 'Magníficos' were. Lapetra, Marcelino, Villa, Reija, Santos… Real football monsters. I was the youngest and when they retired I was one of the few who stayed in the transition to the 'Zaraguayos'. And it was not easy. Zaragoza went down to the Second Division in 1971 and He wanted to sign me to Real Madrid, but I decided to stay and I don't regret it“Violeta sentence, who is recovering with great courage at her home from a recent inguinal hernia operation.
José Luis Violeta's official debut at Real Zaragoza took place on Sunday, September 8, 1963 at the Kaftanzoglio stadium in Thessaloniki, against the Greek Iraklis in the Fairs Cup., with a 0-3 victory. And a week later, its premiere in the First Division arrived, in Pasarón in front of Pontevedra, with a tie to one goal. But if there is a party that elevated Violeta that was the final of the 1965 Carranza Trophy against the best Benfica in history, the backbone of the Portuguese team that reached third place in el England World Cup 1966. On a memorable August night, Violeta nullified the great Eusebius —'Balón de Oro 'in 1965— and collaborated decisively in the victory of Real Zaragoza by 3-2, in another remembered exhibition of the' Magníficos', who, previously, had overwhelmed in the semifinals the Flamengo Brazilian. This is how Violeta remembers that day: “In the beginning I always had to score the best of the opposing team and that night I was able to annul a superclass like Eusebio, the leader of a fabulous Benfica, with other great players like Coluna, José Augusto, Torres or Simoes, all international. Carranza was then as important as an official title and that victory was celebrated in Zaragoza. “
And adds: “I also had to score Del Sol, another phenomenon of the time, but the best, although I never scored, was Di Stéfano. Pelé, Cruyff, Maradona or Messi they have been technically gifted, but no one has been as complete as Di Stéfano. It was a wonder. He played everywhere on the field and he did it splendidly. Di Stéfano changed football in Spain and in Europe, with its walls and its supports. It was always offered and ended with the individual conductions of the ball. It was the best of all time. “
But if Violeta felt a special predilection for someone, it was for her teammate at Real Zaragoza Carlos Lapetra: “He was like my protector, an extraordinary, close and loving person, who gave me the best advice in my early days. I always had a good relationship with all my colleagues, although with those at home you always have more affinity. Find, Javier Planas, Royo … “.
Violeta was also an absolute international in 14 games, with Villalonga, Balmanya and Kubala as national coaches. He made his debut with the national team on June 23, 1966 in a friendly in front of Uruguay in Riazor (1-1) and said goodbye in 1973 in a Netherlands-Spain (3-2). “I was – he points out – in the preselection for the World Cup in England, but in football I had nothing left to accomplish. I wore the national shirt in 14 games, and that without playing for Real Madrid or Barcelona. It was never easy to be international. playing for Zaragoza and I did it. I'm satisfied. “
Violeta succeeded Reija in the captaincy of Zaragoza in 1969 and wore the bracelet until her retirement on June 30, 1977, when she was 36 years old. “Real Zaragoza has given me everything. I am what I am for football and Real Zaragoza. And I hope to see him soon in the First Division”, highlights the 'León de Torrero', who Today he will blow out the candles with his wife Adela, their children María José and José Luis and their five grandchildren.
Congratulations, José Luis!