Previous names: Dial Square, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich Arsenal

Monday, May 26, 2008

Vela and Santos like Fabregas and Messi: World stars in the making

By 1970’s Gooner

They are all Spanish speaking and they all started their football odyssey to stardom together in close friendship.

Cesc Fabregas used to play for his local junior side before he was spotted by the Barcelona scouts and whisked away to the junior sides of the big club.

That is where he met a young shy boy from Argentina called Lionel Messi who was trying to find his feet in a foreign country.

They were both in strange surroundings but had a common aim: To make it big in their chosen career in football.

They struck a close friendship which was interrupted when a London club under the tutelage of a Frenchman came beckoning for one of them.

Cesc Fabregas made it into the first team for Arsenal at the age of 16. So did Lilonel Messi for Barcelona.

They both have just now reached 21 but are hailed as the brightest stars to have emerged in the world of football in the last decade.

Messi really catapulted himself to world stardom when he scored that goal against Getafe.

It was so so similar to the goal that another world famous Argentinean, Diego Maradona, scored in the 1986 World Cup against England.

He ran about the same distance (62 metres), beat the same number of players (six, including the goalkeeper), scored from a very similar position, and ran towards the corner flag just as Maradona did in Mexico 21 years before.

You can watch the video of both goals simultaneously in the Video Bar on the right of this page.

Fabregas really came of age when the great Patrick Vieira departed for pastures new. He has since bossed that midfield area with character, high technique and above all vision.

He has already played in one Champions League Final but the goal he scored this year, at the San Siro, which in effect knocked the holders of the trophy, AC Milan, out of the competition put him on the world stage.

He picked the ball up deep into midfield, went passed Gattuso with ease and struck a low 30 yard shot which sizzled passed the goalkeeper’s outstretched hand kissing the post into the net.

Both are expected to play a huge part next season in their respective clubs’ efforts to achieve dominance in their domestic and European leagues.

Dos Santos and Vela to follow?

In a similar kind of vein two young and aspiring Mexican footballers, both 19, are seeking to rise to similar stardom. And ironically enough, just like Fabregas and Messi, one of them belongs to Arsenal and the other to Barcelona.

Giovanni Dos Santos is a young Mexican kid who won the World 2005 U-17 World Cup managing to assist half of the goals of the Mexican team during the tournament.

This, combined with his overall contribution, resulted in the award for the Adidas Silver Ball as the second best player of the tournament, finishing behind the Brazilian Anderson.

There he struck a close friendship with another member of that team, Carlos Vela.

Carlos himself had become a pivotal figure during the match against Brazil, by defeating the South American team 3-0 during the tournament's final.

At the conclusion of the 2005 World Cup in Peru, Vela was named the top scorer of the tournament with 5 goals and claimed the Adidas Golden Boot.

They both then went to Spain. Dos Santos to his club Barcelona and Vela having impressed and signed for Arsene Wenger (in a £2.5m deal) on loan to Celta Vigo.

He was to begin what turned out a two year stint in Spain so as to obtain a Spanish passport.

They both finally made it into their respective first teams of Barcelona and Osasuna (Vela had moved on to Osasuna at the beginning of this season).

At the beginning of the 2007 season, Giovani received dual nationality and was included in the official first team squad.

He made his competitive and league debut in September during a 3-1 home win against Athletic Bilbao, coming on for Thierry Henry.

He made his Champions League debut in the same month during a 3-0 home win against Lyon. He came on as a substitute for Xavi in the 79th minute.

And in May of this year, Giovani scored a hat trick against Real Murcia, with a final score of 3-5, in Barcelona’s and outgoing Rijkaard’s last game of the season.

Carlos Vela himself started or participated in almost all of Osasuna’s relegation threatened season. He made 33 appearances scoring three goals and giving four assists.

Their international careers have followed a similar path too.

Hugo Sánchez, the ex-manager of the Mexican national team, called on both of them for the first time for exhibition games against Panama and Brazil in early September of this year.

Dos Santos made his debut against Panama on September 9, 2007.

Vela made his full international debut in a September 2007 friendly against Brazil and scored his first senior international goal in a friendly game against Guatemala in October.

In February of this year Vela started a friendly against USA (2-2) and was replaced by…. Giovani Dos Santos.

They are both currently with their national team preparing for two friendly games against Argentina in San Diego California (4th June) and against Peru four days later in Chigago.

Mexico will then face Belize in a double encounter on June 15th (in Houston) and on June 21st (in Monterrey, Mexico).

After this series of international games ends they both will probably face the sternest test of their careers.

Santos will return to Barcelona ready to fight for the right to become a first team regular in one of Europe’s strongest teams.

A team however which will be in transition following the departure of their Dutch coach Frank Rijkard.

Vela having obtained a UK work permit will for the first time go to the team that hold his registration.

He will, like Santos, fight for the right to gain a first team place in a team that will be trying once again to win its domestic championship.

He will also be trying to prove right the coach that believed in him. At the start of this season Arsene Wenger said of Vela:

"He's top class. I like his intelligence and his pace. He scores goals but he can also create them. "He's a special talent and I believe 100 per cent that he will make it at the highest level."

From what I have seen of both Santos and Vela in the Spanish league this season they both will.

Vela is ready for the Premier League Walcott not yet

Carlos Vela faces a tough summer before joining Arsenal


Anonymous said...

Dos Santos and Vela couldn't hold Fabregas and Messi's jocks.

Dos Santos has looked like a pile of crud until that hattrick on the last day.

Vela similarly hasn't done a great deal apart from nutmeg Sergio Ramos. His big claim to fame.

Both are decent players but I very much doubt they will be world stars.

Anonymous said...

what abt gio to arsenal? id love to c that. i think he fits wengers mold too considering he is young. wonder what the price tag would be like. would hatee to c him playing for chelsea or manure.

Anonymous said...

1970 gooner

You probably watched enough of Dos Santos, but have you watched enough of Vela? If he is a really special talent surely his assist and goal scoring record should be better? 3 goals + 4 assists as a starting 11 seems to be pathetic.

Lets pray Rosicky will finally play than 30 full games for us next season. We need him desperately.

Anonymous said...

great article mate...keep up the good work.

It's too bad I can't say the same about most of the commenters on this blog...

Anonymous said...

Messi's goal even had the same number of touches with either foot as well... ;)

Vela was playing in a team fighting for relegation, and was not in his natural position as a striker for most of the season. he'll play there for us, but obviously in a sparing manner to start with.

Gio in my opinion is overrated this season and his truly outstanding performance was on the last day as stated, but he hadn't done much previously and even then his hat-trick was almost overshadowed by a Murcia comeback!. Although he has been playing for a side intent on kicking itself at every opportunity and a club with little class in how it presents itself, with the sacking of Rikjaard silly and his replacement a unproven manager, but a past legend.

Both players will come good in the future, but naturally pateince is the key.

Anonymous said...

playing for a club threatened with relegation and contributing goals and assists proves that vela is a special talent. even osasuna coach let the team play their last game without vela just to see whether they can survive without him. speaks a lot about the boy huh?

Anonymous said...

What many don't know - unless you watch real Madrid TV - is that Real made a 17millionEuros bid for Vela turned down by Arsenal in February.

Vela will be one of the top5 platers in World Football after the next World Cup,

Austin Sports Performance Trainer said...

One difference between Messi and Maradona: Messi has class

Anonymous said...

Havd you actually watched him Patman? Apart from a few youtubev vidoes.

I think not.


Learning the trade? Fabregas at the same age and Messi were ripping it up in the champs league.

Anonymous said...

Great job, 1970's, finding topics for a football brain in the times of soccer deprivation. Frankly speaking, I've never seen Vela play in a game, but, judging by Utube and what I've heard, the kid's a real deal. Hopefuly, he can replace Reyes on the left, or, if it's not too much too ask, Pires. Who will fill Hleb's spot, provided he'll leave, is much more crucial. The mentioning of Rosicky was spot on, we will need the guy. In my opinion, when he's fit, he's more productive than Hleb. What's your vision for the renewed Arsenal team, 1970's?

Anonymous said...

What many of us do know is that Real didn't make a 17m euros bid for Vela.

Think that may have made it to news outlets somewhere if it was true.

Wrighty7 said...

Great article 1970's.

Wouldn't it be great if the two friends were reunited at Arsenal?!

Must say I'm REALLY looking forward to seeing Vela in an Arsenal shirt next season.

He is a special talent and has all the makings of a star.

You continue to provide the best articles around 1970's. Keep it up mate.

King_Kolo said...

I don't see how people can really talk bad about Vela until they see him in a Arsenal shirt. How many times have we seen players that were okay and then come to Arsenal and turn into world class. Vela is actually a really good players, clearly people haven't seen him play that much because if you did you would know he was the main reason the team stayed up. Check out some of his performance for Mexico. He is so good he just need that extra something and Wenger will get it out of him.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Kesh, Boris and Wrighty for your kind words!

I think we will have to wait a little bit longer until we see what signings Wenger makes before we can form an opinion as to the fortunes of this squad.

Especially the signings in central defence and midfield. If Wenger buys well then we should go one better this coming season!

Anonymous said...

great article that.
it will interesting to see what a difference being in a team towards the top of the league rather than a relegation team makes to Vela. He may well thrive on it. I think if you put someone like Henry in a team like Derby, he would not perform. its like putting a ferrari engine in a Lada. OK it might still go a bit quicker but to see it at its best it needs to be in a Ferrari. Vela might just shine at a club like Arsenal.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Gazzap and I agree with you. Velas's performances were outstanding for a team threatened with relegation. Imagine what he could do for an Arsenal side that ususally dominates games and is littered with top quality players.

Anonymous said...

Lol now Gio is at Spurs!!!
Vela wasn't THE reason Osasuna stayed up but he played a starring role. He is better than Gio and as a Spurs fan, that is hard for me to say.
Good article too.