MADRID (Reuters) – It has been a decade since Spanish midfielder Sergio Canalez left his hometown club Racing Santander to join Real Madrid.
Then, the 19-year-old wonder child, Canalez arranged La Liga with his performance in Cantabria, which shocked some pundits for the 2010 World Cup.
The call never came, Spain became world champions for the first time and the Canals spell in Madrid was not happy as they struggled for game time under Real’s new coach Jose Mourinho.
After a season on the periphery, he signed a two-year loan deal for Valencia in hopes of securing a place at Euro 2012.
It was at Mestalla where Canales would initially thrive but his first three cruciate ligament injuries blurred his career and changed his style of play.
But he never lost heart and made his best form at Real Betis who is now flying high under Manuel Pellegrini – the coach who took Canalles to Madrid but never managed.
“During the recovery there were moments where things didn’t go well, but I never gave up,” Canalez told Marca. “All I did was look for another solution. I never lost my smile.
“There were difficult moments when I thought I would never go back to my level. It feels better than turning it around and giving me a lot of strength and power before the injury. “
He joined Real Sociedad in 2014 but injuries left him stranded in San Sebastian. He also lost his honeymoon in 2016 while recovering from an injury.
When he was released on a free transfer in 2018, many in the game doubted his time was at its peak.
However, Bates took one objection and has been given shining performances from Canales for the past two years, which has seen him largely injury-free.
The long-awaited Spain midfielder, who made his long-awaited start in March 2019 last week, was again included in the friendly squad against Portugal on October 7.
On Saturday, Betis temporarily topped La Liga as they celebrated with a 2-0 win and stellar performances at Valencia.
If Canales is likely to be injured and continues to play well, he should eventually play for Spain in a major tournament and show the world what he can do.
Reported by Joseph Casinelli; Edited by Ken Ferris
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