Hernan Santana is about to start a new professional adventure. After leaving Spanish football in the midst of a pandemic to venture into Asian football at the hands of CityGroupthe canary changes destination again upon receiving an offer from the Chinese Sichuan Jiuniu that the former Barça coach trains Sergio Lobera.
Your experience in India
Santana explains how her life changed when wolves called him to enroll in the ambitious project of the City on the India. «The last year in Sporting Gijon I was looking for an outlet in Spain. My idea was not to move from Europe, but I did not find a beneficial option for me, neither at a sporting nor an economic level. It was just post-Covid and all the teams cut costs. The India option came out and everything fell into place. Sergio Lobera He called me and convinced me to go there (India). The first year went very well despite being in a pandemic. We were in a bubble. He only left the hotel to train. For you to understand, in two years in India I haven’t seen anything,» he relates.
«My idea was to continue at Mumbai City, but the organizational chart changed and what I had agreed with them was cut short»
Despite the difficulties, the mumbai city where he was a member, he was proclaimed league champion, but a change in the board of directors led to his departure to the North East Unitedalso from the India. «My idea was to continue in the mumbai city, but the organizational chart changed and what he had agreed with them was truncated. I had other offers in India and decided to switch.»
The power of the City Group
After comparing experiences in the Indiathe Canarian midfielder comments on the differences of having the backing of an institution like the CityGroupowner of Manchester City and many other teams around the world.
«It is noted that the City He was behind all the facilities, the hotel, the physios, the staff. It was all excellent. Then he signed for an Indian club and everything is more noticeable there. In that team, the physio did a bit of everything… even as a doctor,» he explains.
«You can see that City was behind all the facilities, the hotel, the physios, the staff… It was all excellent»
The CityGroup continues with its expansion project throughout the globe. His ‘portfolio’ includes teams in Australia (Merburne City), Uruguay (Motevideo City Torque), the United States (New York City), India (Mumbai City), France (Troyes) or the best known, Manchester City directed by Pep Guardiola.
Export the ‘Guardiola’ philosophy
For Hernán, this group seeks to export the ‘Guardiola’ model throughout the world. «They take experienced players and coaches to Asia. Sometimes football isn’t the main sport there and they don’t have the level they have in Europe. They seek to implement a ‘Guardiola’ philosophy and they do quite well. A game model of having the ball, wide-open central defenders… trying to win games but with philosophy and with a mentality of playing well and making people enjoy themselves», emphasizes the Canarian. «This model benefits me. Being in contact with the ball a lot and having a happy game is appreciated. In the end we are footballers to be in contact with the ball and if you go to a team that takes little into account, this is not enjoyed in the same way».
«You realize the influence that the City Group has and the control of all the markets they have»
Santana will live begins another stage with the City in China. «In the middle of February he called me Sergio Lobera and he proposed to repeat the experience in China. The project there is ambitious. The team is in second place and we have the objective of moving up». The Canarian detailed the professionalism of City. «You realize the influence that the CityGroup and control of all the markets they have, the scouting system they have… When wolves He called me for this China project, he wanted to know my opinion and if I was convinced to go, because as soon as he signed they offered him a list of 70 players from all over the world».
Problems traveling to China
hernan is encountering many problems to start this new adventure because of the Chinese restrictions as a result of the covid.
«We don’t know how long we will be like this. Everything is quite stagnant in terms of paperwork and others. They have sent me the final documents for entering the country and we will see if we can travel next week. They tell us that next week, but here we are still Since mid-February we have been trying to get into China and we are still here. The deadlines for the start of the competition were the end of April, the beginning of May, but everything has been delayed. You have to get to the country, quarantine…”, explains Santana, who still does not lose the desire to play. “I already have soccer overalls, to put on my boots and start playing,” he says excitedly.