foreigners | The summer that changed everything

foreigners The summer that changed everything

The proliferation of ‘false natives’ between the clubs ended up precipitating the lifting of the ban on signing foreign players. Now, 50 years later, the Spanish teams are an orchard of infinite nationalities. A multicultural football, but by then lifting the veto was not easy. The call by Spain in the 1962 World Cup of four international players with other teams: Puskas, Santamaría, Di Stéfano and Eulogio Martínez, caused the FIFA’s anger and the start of border closures. Then the cases of natives (foreigners with Spanish relatives and who had never been international) multiplied in Spain.

Barcelona set up a commission of lawyers to investigate the origin of the natives of the league

Until Barcelona went into a rage, as Alfredo Relaño recounts in one of his many articles: ‘Rock Junyent, the scourge of false natives’. Barcelona, ​​angry at denying the registration of Severiano Irala, Juan Carlos Heredia, Fernández Cos set up a commission of lawyers, including a young Miguel Roca y Junyent, to investigate the origin of the natives of the league. Conclusion: a devastating report. Of 39 natives, only one was a full-fledged native. The report falls into the hands of the Federation and after several meetings with the National Delegation of Physical Education and Sports, headed by Juan Gich, the approval is given the return of Spanish footballers to Spanish football. At first only for the league, then the leap was made to the Cup.

The clubs receive the news with revelry. Less Real Sociedad: “A regrettable decision.” And Athletic: “The decision harms Spanish football.” The technical secretariats fume. And the Spanish newspapers cannot cope with publishing the players that each team wants. “Cruyff, Cubillas or Caszelli, to Madrid”; “Kovacs, to Atlético”. Santiago Bernabéu, according to the Diario AS of the time, was very in favor of the measure: “Everything ordered by high-ranking organizations seems fine to me, very fine.”

The Spanish teams begin the hunt for foreign players: Cruyff and Sotil sign for Barça; Atlético does the same with Ayala and Cacho Heredia; Real Madrid closes at netzer and more. The following year, Real Madrid would sign breitner and Barcelona would join Neeskens with Cruyff. An import of foreign talent that increases every year and lasts until today. And that has allowed the best players on the planet to play in Spanish teams.