Forgotten players of football: Guti

Football's basic tactics during the earlier stages of the game were pretty simple and understandable. A team comprising one goalkeeper, four defenders, four midfielders, and two forwards which known as the 4-4-2 (four-four-two) formation. One can take any basic formation as well like 4-3-3 or 4-2-4 but the components remain the same always with the style of play changing from attacking to defensive to possession-based etc depending upon the opposition.

Some players stepped onto the football pitches and became greats, making a name for themselves and other fellow followers to learn from them once they were gone or the time they used to play. One such player was Jose Maria Gutierrez Hernandez more commonly known with the name Guti in short. A player dominantly playing in the midfield position but always termed as an advanced midfielder or playmaker.

To explain a little bit more about his position, an advanced midfielder is a kind of player who plays just behind the striker and has the killer eye or the vision to deliver a final pass that a striker can convert into a goal, here was Guti at his best. Modern-time greats in his position would be Kevin De Bruyne, Bruno Fernandez, Marco Reus, and many more but the one player that had a game style very similar to him was Mesut Ozil. 

Similar to him when compared to the preferred leg with which they used to play with, LEFT. The confidence to deliver the final ball in extreme attacking situations. A common team they used to dominate midfield at, Real Madrid, and many more. One would have loved to see both the players sporting the same jersey number too but it didn’t happen. But both had valuable contributions to Real Madrid that resulted in them winning a lot of accolades.

Guti’s playing career 

La Fabrica translated to as The Factory, is the name of the Real Madrid academy that produces a lot of generational talents. Guti too was a byproduct of this farm. He started his playing career in Real Madrid Castilla, the youth team where almost every first-team player plays for some time to be prepared to face the toughest in La Liga to enter the first team.

He made his debut at age 18 in the season 1995-1996 where he made a total of 9 appearances scoring one goal. This followed on to more seasons when Guti started finding his rhythm on the ground playing with familiar faces consistently. His breakthrough season came during the season 2000-2001 where he scored a whopping 14 goals in the league with 4 assists. That’s the season he played alongside many stars and a Galacticos in the making. Some major faces were Luis Figo, Roberto Carlos, Claudio Makelele, Savio, Raul, etc.

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He was the vice-captain of the side under the captaincy of Raul who had phenomenal players like Zinedine Zidane, Brazilian Ronaldo, and even David Beckham. The Real Madrid academy graduate became the captain when Raul left Real Madrid in the later stages of his career, and a new Real Madrid was formed with the likes of Marcelo, Sergio Ramos, Pepe, and Gonzalo Higuain joining to make a name for themselves.      

His last season for his youth club came in the season 2009 -2010 by which he had won 5 La Liga titles with the team along with 3 major UEFA Champions League honors. He made a total of 542 appearances for his hometown club before joining Turkish giants Besiktas aged 33. He made a total of 23 appearances for the club scoring 7 and assisting 7 before retiring the very next season aged 34.

Where is Guti now? 

After enjoying a career as a player, Jose Maria Guiterrez Hernandez returned to his home club in 2013 and was involved with the juvenile squads of Real Madrid to nurture the talents in the best way possible. He rose ranks from one youth to another to mage Castilla from where he hailed from. He stayed there for a very long time but left Real Madrid Castilla stating there is a lot of occupant in the team.

He went to Besiktas and was the assistant coach for one season and became the head coach of UD Almeria whom he too left after just one season. Sadly there hasn’t been the best time for Guti to return for a coaching role at the Real Madrid first team but it may be a wait in the future we can think of a possibility, with him on the touchline for official matches.

Cover Credits: Eurosport

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