Persona April, 28th 2010 by

Christian Leroy returns to the Marbella pitch, but not as well as expected

Marbella football fans have been waiting for a rescue from the team’s deplorable state, and many have thought that salvation would carry one name: Christian Leroy. Coach Alfredo Santaelena may have been answering those expectations when he introduced some surprise changes in the line-up for Marbella’s most recent game against Jaen on Sunday, bringing Leroy, a striker, onto the field along with goalkeeper Ariza.

Christian Leroy

It was Leroy’s second time this season on the pitch with Marbella, but only his first in San Pedro, where he played the complete game against Jaen. But if Leroy was to bring that rescue, what happened Sunday was far less than expected.

If fans were disappointed, Leroy himself may not have felt much better. After almost eight months out with a serious knee injury, Leroy on Sunday again felt the sorrows of playing a football game. It was not the best time to choose his reappearance with such a troubled team, one that has stood out for their professionalism, quality and camaraderie in the locker room, but whose circumstances have led to their descent into the Third Division.

His knee was not the problem. He clearly wanted to be the striker that he was before the injury, as well, but his long downtime has prevented him from keeping up with his team mates. Leroy, ever the sportsman, acknowledged all these difficulties, speaking to the press after the game. ‘I very much wanted to play. The situation was not the most appropriate because the team was down, but I felt really good playing football again’, he said.

His charisma has never gone unnoticed, and those who have followed him have found him to be a progressive player, always seeking the highest quality of football. Last summer Leroy renewed his contract for three years, but now he is not obligated to continue with Marbella, since the team has fallen so far, and he is free to sign for any club after the end of league competition in two days.

One of his concerns, like the rest of the team, is to collect his salary. Christian has one month of accumulated unpaid salary from last season, so he is owed four months in total.

And so Leroy has a decision to make: To stay in Marbella, selflessly aiding his team mates to rebuild a devastated club, or to seek a stronger career path, possibly toward football stardom. FC Marbella’s best star may be about to pass beyond the city’s gaze forever. 

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