Who was Manolo Canabal?

In recent days the name of Manolo Canabal (Forcadey, 45 years old) on social networks after circulating the image of a young man wearing his Madrid shirt in the Metro. And whoever names Canabal does not do so in vain. Because talking about him is doing it about one of the players with the most bizarre sports history in recent times. In the summer of 1997 Madrid, chaired by Lorenzo Sanz, paid 800 million pesetas (around 4,800,000 euros) for his signing, a star price. And that's where it all started.

Real Madrid Shield / Flag

He was going to turn 23 years old, he played for Mérida and it was an express request from Fabio Capello, then coach. “He will be one of the stars of First Game wherever he plays”said the coach, who insisted on his signing and was his great supporter. Canabal had not played a single minute of his life in Primera, but their numbers in Mérida and Pontevedra were outstanding. He painted crack and he Madrid was launched. He signed it and put a 8,000 million pesetas clause (almost 50 million euros).

But his landing in Madrid went from bad to worse. First, because as soon as he landed he found that Capello, who had been fully involved in his signing and committed to being his mentor, he was no longer the coach. The context had changed from light to dark. To top it off, it didn't fit into the dressing room, to the point that in an interview for The voice of Galicia He recognized that in the locker room they laughed at him because he was wearing a Golf.

He worked and tried to conform. Talent had: was a 'tank' forward, what today would be defined as a born auctioneer, area man. He was 1.95 meters tall and weighed just over 90 kilos. A physical animal that was not going to collapse at the first change. In the preseason he did not leave bad feelings, in fact Madrid won a Bernabéu Trophy thanks to his goal. Hierro attended to beat the Portuguese. But it would be a mirage.

Manolo Canabal headed a goal that was worth a Bernabéu Trophy.

The coach then was Jupp heynckes, who at a press conference asked for patience, but then did not give him a single chance. That winter of 1997 he left on loan to Valladolid, where he played 15 games and scored a goal. A year later it would go out, also as a loan, to the Alaves (30 games and 5 goals) and then, at Vallecano Ray (33 games and 11 goals). He did everything except play in white at the Santiago Bernabéu.

After so many trips he assumed that his place was not Madrid and left, definitely by way of transfer, to Malaga. Madrid took almost 500 million pesetas for its sale (approximately € 2.70 million), recovering a large part of the investment. He left without making his debut in an official match. On the Costa del Sol he reached 'stability' and won an Intertoto (2002), playing four consecutive seasons in which he played 95 games (only 28 were as a starter) and scored 11 goals (just three per season).

Coat of Arms / Flag Málaga

It would be the following year, in 2004, when he would return home, to Pontevedra, to hang up his boots. In March 2005 he announced his retirement from football suffering severe back pain., problems that prevented him from falling asleep and even “standing, sitting or lying down for five minutes.” Soccer had turned into hell and, although he had just turned 30, he couldn't take it anymore. It was the end of Manolo Canabal. He is currently away from the spotlight and from public life, trying to remake a new stage in his life. It remains for him that, at least, a young man wears his shirt in the Metro and that Capello wanted to be his great mentor. That no one takes it away.