Michel Salgado Gibraltar United FC factfile
FootyOn have produced a Michel Salgado Gibraltar United FC factfile, after the club surprisingly hit the news when the retired legend became a partner of the British oversees territory club.
Spain and Gibraltar being mentioned in the same sentence has become a sore subject for centuries, most recently of late due to Brexit controversies, but Real Madrid and La Roja hero Salgado has completely ignored all the commotion and shone a positive light on the situation.
Along with Gibraltarian Asset Management firm Turicum, the retired right back has been tasked with helping the ambitious club out, which could further improve development on the peninsula region.
On the deal, ex-Blackburn Rovers player Salgado said: “This is the start of something great.”
“Gibraltar United is a great adventure, I’m keen to start learning.”
So, without further ado, read on for our Michel Salgado Gibraltar United FC factfile…
As its name suggests, the club was founded by Gibraltarian servicemen in 1943 during World War II.
Although there were no civilian inhabitants in Gibraltar at the time – as they were all evacuated to places such as London, Morocco, Madeira and Jamaica for their own safety with the Rock being used as a key fortress – the club was formed in order to play UK-based teams on the territory.
No official football took place due to the war, though, until the 1946/47 season, which Gibraltar United won.
The club eventually joined up with Lions FC to become Lions Gibraltar FC in 2011. But, with Gibraltar becoming UEFA members in 2013, they reformed on their own the following year to take part in the second-tier.
As mentioned above, Gibraltar United first won the territory’s top-flight title back in 1947, lifting the Rock Cup the same season, and went on to claim the league crown five years in a row.
They gained the Gibraltar Premier Division a further five times in the 1950s and 60s, but had a dry spell until finally winning for the 11th and last time to date in 2002.
Gibraltar United were not totally without success during that time, however, as they were Rock Cup champions in successive seasons from 1999-2001.
The club are incidentally the last to claim the league besides Lincoln Red Imps, who are challenging for their 15th straight title this campaign.
Only four teams have more Gibraltar top-flight trophies than them, including record holders Lincoln.
After reforming in 2014, United, now managed by Spaniard Manolo Sanchez Nunez, won the Second Division that season by just a point to gain promotion.
They narrowly avoided going back down the following term, and currently sit in seventh out of 10 teams (the bottom club gets relegated, and ninth place takes part in a play-off).
If the club do stay up, Salgado will be pleased to know that the team already boast a number of talented and interesting players.
Though, unlike many of the top clubs in Gibraltar, they have a largely local homegrown squad. It remains to be seen if this will change next season.
Former Gibraltarian wonderkid Jason Pusey, who recently gained his maiden official cap against Bosnia and Herzegovina, started out his career at Spanish giants Atletico Madrid – incidentally at the same time Salgado was still playing across the city for Real.
While the centre back, now 28, went into the wilderness after leaving Atleti, he’s now putting in top performances for his club.
Pusey is not the only Gibraltar United star to have been on the books of a top Spanish side. Attacker Anthony Hernandez, 22, started out at now Segunda Division outfit Cadiz.
Hernandez also had trials with Middlesbrough as a youngster, and has already gained multiple caps for Gibraltar.
His younger brother Andrew, also at Gibraltar United and previously on Cadiz’s books, hit the headlines in 2015 after scoring this bizarre goal for the Under-16s national team:
Their one ‘foreign’ player is Barcelona-born defender Aymen Mouelhi, who also qualifies for nearby Morocco. He’s been playing on the Rock since Gibraltar gained UEFA recognition and qualifies to play for them being married to a local.
Versatile Dublin-born international Jamie Bosio has been in most Gibraltar squads, but was an unused substitute both times against the land of his birth – the Republic of Ireland – during the European qualifiers.
Bosio has played in England too, spending time in Peterborough United‘s academy, and on loan at non-league outfits Ashford United and Canterbury City.
Other notable mentions go to captain and capped striker Robert Montovio, promising defender Erin Barnett, former Newport County youth player Jesse Victory and former international keeper Jordan Perez’s brother Ashley.
Meanwhile, Gibraltar national team squad call-up Brad Power, the club’s vice-captain, is yet to have earned a cap, but the 24-year-old is certainly a useful acquisition for his side in many ways, earning an osteopath qualification in Leeds!
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