What happened to Diego Capel?

On February 16, 1988, in Albox, a municipality in the province of Almería with around 11 thousand people today, Diego Ángel Capel Trinidad was born. His first kicks to a ball would be given with the team from his hometown, Olula. However, he would soon begin to attract the attention of the big clubs in Spain. So much that Barcelona managed to convince him and his family to take him to La Masía.

However, separating from his family was not easy at all. Something that led to leaving Barcelona and, therefore, his return to Almería. For many it would mean having missed one of the most important trains of their football career. But it is that, even so, Diego Capel would continue to grow close to his family by leaps and bounds. After a brief visit to CD Oriente, would make the jump to Sevilla, a team that paid about 20 thousand euros for him.

Thus, this economic effort would soon be profitable with the level of Diego Capel in the lower categories of Seville. At just 16 years old, he was already playing with Sevilla Atlético in Second Division B. Shortly after, Joaquín Caparrós made him debut as a professional in the First Division in a Sevilla-Atlético de Madrid on October 24, 2004. His growth in the Sevilla entity was unstoppable, at the same time that he was already called up with the U-17 and U-19 of Spain (he won a European Championship in 2006).

Irruption in the first team and debut with Spain

After continuing to add minutes with the “majors”, both in the League and even in the old UEFA Cup (he was part of the squad of the 1st in Eindhoven and the 2nd in Glasgow), in 2007 he would become a first team player for all intents and purposes. Coincidentally, with the departure of Juande Ramos, it was a fact that occurred with the appointment of Manolo Jiménez, coach of the subsidiary until then, who, in addition, achieved the promotion of Sevilla Atlético to the Second Division the previous year. In this way, Diego Capel, at 19, would enjoy more opportunities than ever.

Their figures speak for themselves (adding the League, Champions League and Copa del Rey): 42 games, four goals and five assists. Some records that endorsed Sevilla's commitment to Diego Capel, becoming one of the great sensations of Spain. Standing out for being a fast winger, elusive for any defense, in addition to having a golden left foot. That same course he closed it by adding his first two national titles with a Copa del Rey and a Spanish Super Cup. However, his biggest award came on August 20, 2008, when he made his debut for Spain coinciding with Vicente del Bosque's first match as coach.

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Diego Capel on his debut for Spain.

An impulse that placed him as a regular player in Manolo Jiménez's starting eleven. That accumulation of great performances in subsequent seasons, among which harvested another Copa del Rey, in which he himself scored the goal that opened the can after five minutes against Atlético de Madrid at the Camp Nou in 2010. In addition to another European, this time with the U21. This led many to already raise him to the Olympics of the great footballers. It is even mythical that cover in which Diego Capel is placed at the level of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

European tour

However, over the years, the arrival of new players, in addition to the consequent drop in performance, led to the departure of Diego Capel from Sevilla after seven seasons since he debuted with the first team. His destination was Sporting de Portugal, after payment of a transfer of 3.5 million euros. It was an experience that allowed him to regain his footballing level. Such was their impact on the Lisbon team, which reached the semifinals of the Europa League in their first year, where they were eliminated by Marcelo Bielsa's Athletic Club. (precisely, he was one of the scorers in the first leg at José Alvalade).

After four seasons with the ‘lions’, a Portuguese Cup won and a good handful of goals and assists (16 and 30, respectively), it was time to pack our bags again. It was in 2015 when he would go to Italian Genoa for 1.3 million euros. However, it was less durable than expected. Only a course with 21 games and residual minutes, almost not counting for Gian Piero Gasperini, current coach of the surprising Atalanta.

Return to Spain with subsequent destination Malta

Therefore, he again had to find another destination. This time it was Belgium, with Anderlecht. He also lasted only one season on the purple team., also with few matches under his belt, although with another title: the Belgian league. So, After his four-year European tour, he had to return to Spain. Of course, he spent a season without a team until I find football happiness again. It was when Extremadura, recently promoted to the Smartbank League at that time, surprised everyone by announcing the signing of Diego Capel.

He also did not enjoy maximum success on an individual level, with only 15 games in the Extremadura entity, although he did achieve the maximum of the group: permanence in the Second Division. So, he closed his stage in Extremadura only one year later after not renewing your contract. Again, Capel had to spend several months without a team until on January 29 of this year his signing for Birkirkara of Malta became official.. Without a doubt, a most exotic destination that allowed him to regain his football smile at 32 years of age. He even recognized in an interview with AS that he was received there as a true king.

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Diego Capel in his presentation as a new player for Birkirkara in Malta.

But bad luck got in his way. With only three games and one goal scored, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the entire world. That meant the pause of all leagues and sports in the world. Malta was not going to be an exception. At the end, the definitive cancellation of the Maltese league meant that his experience at Birkirkara ended earlier than expected and with hardly any enjoyment. For this reason, he ended his relationship with the Malta team and was released again.

During this last transfer market, according to several Romanian media, Diego Capel sounded like a possible signing of ‘Spanish’ Dinamo Bucharest. A team that belongs to a company run by two Spaniards, Pablo Cortacero (president) and Rufo Collado (sports director). In addition, the CEO is also Spanish (Álex Couto), along with a total of six more on the staff: Tomás Mejías, René Hinojosa, Isma López, Aleix García, Borja Valle and Juan Cámara. But it did not work.

Now, Diego Capel is without a team. It is not the first time that this situation has to be faced by someone who was international with Spain and whose record shows a couple of UEFA Cups, King's Cups or Spanish and European Super Cups. Because as he pointed out in his interview with AS, the death of his great friend Reyes changed his way of seeing life. “You have to take advantage of every moment. I appreciate being able to continue enjoying this profession, which is precious. I hope I can do it for many more years.” The opportunity will eventually come.