Unforgettable years

On may 2023

Unforgettable years

Carlos Cuéllar reviewed his football career in an extensive interview with the prestigious media 'The Coaches' Voice'. Most of his testimony is focused on his years in Scotland and England. He was there from his signing for Rangers in 2007 until his departure from Norwich in 2015.

"My signing for Rangers was born in the UEFA Cup tie I played against them with Osasuna. Round of 16, March 2007. It so happened that, in the first leg at Ibrox Park, I played one of the best games of my life," recalls Carlos, who found in Nacho Novo a great support during his first steps in Scotland: "I knew some English, but not enough to manage normally."

The language was not the only big change that had to face Cuéllar: "I arrived at Rangers with 84 kilos and a year later weighed 92." It was an essential condition to manage in a competition where physical contact with very burly strikers was constant. That one season in Glasgow (2007/08) was unforgettable. "The atmosphere at the games in Scotland was - and is - incredible. Especially the classic Old Firm against Celtic. It's just amazing. I can't find any other way to describe it," he admits. "On an individual level, I was voted player of the season in Scotland. I played 56 games, which is crazy. I've never played that many."

Aston Villa, Sunderland, Norwich

In the summer of 2008 came the option of the Premier League, a championship that the Madrid-born player had followed since he was a child: "Every Sunday there was a game on television at four in the afternoon. And there I was. In front of the TV without missing a single Sunday." He stayed at Aston Villa until 2012 and met people with whom he has a special bond, such as coach Martin O'Neill and midfielder Stiliyan Petrov. The Bulgarian player suffered from leukaemia, a terrible circumstance that brought the group closer together: "We all wanted to make him proud of us."

Cuéllar, who picks Wayne Rooney as the best striker he has played against in the Premiership, left Aston Villa for Sunderland, again under Martin O'Neill. Paolo Di Canio and Gustavo Poyet also coached him in a spell that ended in 2014. In May 2015 he bid farewell to British football with a promotion at Wembley with Norwich, his last club in England.

A return to Spain (he played for UD Almería in 2015/16) was the prelude to his last overseas adventure to date. He spent three seasons in Israel, where he had the chance to win a title (the Cup with Bnei Yehuda in 2019).

Currently, Carlos Cuéllar trains at San Sebastián de los Reyes, a club in Madrid. There he is gaining experience for a future he is looking forward to and on which he slips a reflection: "I wouldn't mind repeating the same path I did as a player."


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