Abdón Prats and Antonio Raíllo, captains of Mallorca: “The basis of Second B remained, when we broke our faces for each other” | Soccer | Sports

Every time he steps onto the Son Moix pitch, Abdón Prats (Mallorca, 31 years old) looks at the stand where he stood when he was a fan. “Everything has changed a lot,” he warns. Next to him, Antonio Raíllo (Córdoba, 32 years old) nods. “Even the colors of the field are different. We always talk about it among ourselves, how everything has changed since we arrived!” Sitting on a sofa in the modern and comfortable Ciudad Deportiva, Prats and Raíllo, captains of Mallorca, talk about the path they have taken to tomorrow’s Copa del Rey final against Athletic. In his case, the path began in 2017, when the aspirational Mallorcan team had all its dreams of being an elite player in Second B erased.

Antonio Raillo. My situation was different from yours. I came from Espanyol. I had signed for a very strong project, which had the aspiration of going up to First Division, and I ended up in Second B. It was a terrible blow of reality. I thought: ‘A year ago I was in First Division.’ But I had a contract and I had to fulfill my responsibility. It was a bet from the club. For you, however, it was returning to your land.

Abdon Prats. Yes, I came to lift them up.

A.R. We hadn’t stayed that many either: four out of 25.

AP For me, as you know, as a Mallorcan and Mallorcanist, it was a hard moment. We were in the mud, when history said that it was a club that had been in Europe. I remember the day they introduced me. I was dressed in street clothes because I wasn’t going to train and I found 20 ultras shouting at you. I thought: ‘Where have I gotten myself?’ Do you remember?

A.R. Sure, it was a tense moment. After all, the fans didn’t think the team could go down. They thought it was a failure. And those of us who ate the brown one were the ones who stayed. But time puts everyone in their place. Now who thinks we were mercenaries?

AP You guys had a bad time. I freaked out a little.

A.R. But you knew where you were coming from. You already knew we had a great team.

AP Yes, we knew we were going to pull it off. When they signed Vicente Moreno (coach) and good players remained, they didn’t even need much convincing to come back. But I found a very different club. The Americans were already there. We even had to do a rondo with Steve Nash (former NBA player, club shareholder).

A.R. It has changed a lot. The stadium, the club inside, the Sports City… And we like to have been part of the growth. How many times have we talked about it? The day we leave, those who stay will enjoy how amazing you are. We’ve already eaten the shit (laughs).

AP Now, in addition, there is a group of new fans, especially young people, who are very hooked. And you can see it.

A.R. Are there even some who grow their mustaches for you?

AP Yes. And people who call children Abdon. Don’t forget that I scored the promotion goal to First Division.

A.R. That climb was the most beautiful. But I scored in the one from Second B to Second A, when we had more obligation. Now everything is stabilized, with the club in First Division. And on top of that we have the Cup final.

AP During the first rounds, many games made me extremely lazy. Rain. Two degrees. Mud. And I like mud, I come from mud. But then I thought: ‘This format can allow us to advance in qualifying rounds and go as far as possible.’ And look? We arrived on April 6th in Seville.

A.R. People may think that we had an easy draw, but we beat Girona, who had gone 25 games without losing, and Real, in a two-legged game, which was a Champions team. We are a rocky team, we compete well. And when we have something important at stake, it is very difficult to get involved. Has been shown.

AP We are extremely humble.

A.R. And supportive. That remained from when we went to Second B. At that time, the club was completely cleaned: kitmen, physios… Everything became more airtight.

AP But more familiar.

A.R. That’s the word: familiar. Everything closer, everything more face to face. And from there, grow from scratch. To this day, it remains that way: like a family. And everyone who has come has had to join that block, that family. He who has not added, has been left out.

AP He didn’t join the group. And this wasn’t just a thing between the two of us. It was everyone’s. But it was something natural, right? It was not planned.

A.R. Yes. Everything was generated in that Second B locker room… We trained on a Friday and then 15 players got together to have a beer.

AP They say one, as there are those who say four (laughs). It was a group thing. We knew that on Sunday we would deliver.

A.R. We were a group of friends who got together to play every Sunday. It was very nice. We got into a lot of trouble in training, but in the end we broke down for each other. That base remained.

AP That spirit is in the DNA of this team. Whoever went off the rails we gave him two touches. If he straightens well; if not, out.

A.R. If three leave, the other three who enter have to join that group idea. Whoever comes has to add, he does it by playing or he does it in the group. We kept that idea in Second B, in Second and in First.

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