Wednesday, March 31, 2021
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Dani Olmo, the boy who chose the hard way in football


The author of the saving goal in Georgia is the footballer who accumulates the most minutes in the Bundesliga, where he threatens Bayern.

Dani Olmo, in the game against Georgia.KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEVAFP
  • Humus Dani Olmo saves the pride of Spain in ’92
  • Classification This is the group from Spain

Scoring a goal against Georgia with the Spanish national team shirt, so said, doesn’t seem like a big deal. But in this Spain of sudden -or not so much- distress, that shot from Dani Olmo in the discount, more instinctive than rational, more desperate than convinced, it reaches the rank of national news. Of national relief, rather, because the Catalan midfielder appeared when the accounts for Qatar 2022After just two rounds of the group stage, they began to show worrying results.

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And so, Dani Olmo goes from being that boy who left the Barcelona quarry to play in Croatia, what a madness to the man who gave Spain the victory and saved it from a new setback. Although it is unfair to focus on that goal, when Olmo has been claiming it for months with insistence and determination. The journalistic temptation is to include him among the surprising bets that Luis Enrique is making in recent times –Pedro Porro, Eric Garca, Bryan Gil, scar Rodrguez, Robert Snchez…-, but in front of them the Catalan treasures the conditions that always seemed necessary to wear the shirt of Spain: to be an important footballer in a great European club.

Let’s look at the data. Olmo has participated in each and every one of the matches of the RB Leipzig this season: 38. If we add those who have played for the national team -all except the draw against Germany in September-, the total sum is 47 games, 38 of them as a starter, 32 with his club and six with Spain. A figure that would be enormous in any season, but even more so in this one, in which the tightness and demands of the calendar are filling the nurses of the main clubs in Europe.


His ultra-active activity is so commendable that no Bundesliga footballer adds more matches played this season and in the other four major leagues – more matches have been played in all of them so far than in Germany – he has only been surpassed by 13 men, including international players. Rodrigo and Pedri, both 48, one more than him. Qualitatively, its contribution rises to five goals and 12 assists. In this last record, he is the eighth player in the Bundesliga.

He is, in short, a decisive footballer so that Leipzig is making the best league in its short history. It has reached this point in second place just four points behind. Bayern… to the one who receives this Saturday, in a capital match for the outcome of the competition, which still has eight days left.

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When Dani decided to leave Zagreb, he was looking to play in a great league for a team that could fight for the title and aspire to do important things in the Champions League. You have found what you were looking for, explains his father Miquel in conversation with EL MUNDO. Because we must not forget that Olmo was already present last year – he changed club in January 2020 – in Leipzig that reached the semifinals of the Champions League after eliminating Atltico in the final phase of Lisbon.

With a fixed place in the Eurocup except injury -debut in the last list of Robert Moreno and after Luis Enrique has always summoned him-, Olmo embodies the demonstration that there are many ways to reach the elite. At 16 he decided to bet on Dinamo Zagreb instead of continuing his progression at La Masia. An a priori decision difficult to understand, but one that has been positive. Each person has to find their way. A footballer has to be where they really want and value him and that is why Dani has been guided throughout his career. He has always prioritized this aspect before the sporting projects that are open to him to make his own decisions, emphasizes his father, a football coach for many years in semi-professional Catalan clubs.

When he was still nobody in Spain, he was already a star in Croatia, who tried to recruit him for their selection. Now, he is one of the best Leipzig players, city ​​where you live alone, although his father visits him when he can. Which, in times of a pandemic, is not much. He is aware that he has not done anything, that he has a lot of work to do and that he has to show with his performance that the coach can count on him, says Miquel. And Dani follows her father’s advice.

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