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Burgos: The record-breaking Spanish minnows beginning to dream of La Liga

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Burgos: The record-breaking Spanish minnows beginning to dream of La Liga
Burgos are second in La Liga 2, having earned 18 points despite scoring only six goals in 10 games

There can be few occasions when the 36th minute of a football match has been celebrated as much as it was at El Plantio stadium.

“We were nervous while we waited for it,” Burgos sporting director and former Swansea striker Michu tells BBC Sport.

It was during an impressive 3-0 victory over league leaders Alaves on Saturday that Burgos goalkeeper Jose Antonio Caro, known as Churripi, surpassed ex-Barcelona keeper Claudio Bravo’s Spanish record of 755 minutes without conceding a goal at the start of a season.

“When we got the record all the stadium was applauding, we had the number on the screen and in the second half we were able to keep the record in our hands,” Michu says.

“It was a fantastic game and a fantastic night for us, and for the fans as well.”

While many classic sides may come to mind when considering the great European defences of recent times, the club with the continent’s meanest back line this season are far from a household name.

Spanish second division side Burgos have made a remarkable start to the campaign and sit two points off top spot after 10 games – having scored just six times and recorded six goalless draws.

“We are thinking about survival. We know we need 50 points,” says 36-year-old Michu, who has overseen Burgos since 2019.

“But in football and in life it is all about dreaming. Survival is the objective but of course we are dreaming like all the teams.”

The home fans applauded goalkeeper Churripi and his Spanish record was displayed on the big screen after 36 minutes against Alaves
The home fans applauded goalkeeper Churripi and his Spanish record was displayed on the big screen after 36 minutes against Alaves

On Wednesday, with 16.8% possession, the black and whites improved their record with a 1-0 win at Andorra, the rapidly rising club owned by Barcelona defender Gerard Pique.

Burgos have now gone 900 minutes without conceding this term.

That number extends to 1,107 minutes if you include the end of last season, which saw Burgos finish 11th in their first professional football campaign for 20 years.

While the team’s defensive capabilities shone through in the opening eight games, the convincing victory over an Alaves side that spent the past six years in La Liga showed Burgos can also pack a punch in attack.

Although safety is once again the top priority, the supporters could be forgiven for having inflated expectations following another .

“We are closer to La Liga than going down and in five years we can be in La Liga if we continue to do really good things,” Michu says.

“The club is doing good, the players are doing great stuff, so if we can continue this momentum for a lot of games, why not? We can do it.

“We are a small club and if you’re a player here the fans will be proud of you. Everybody is giving their all and we are creating an atmosphere – and you can see it on the pitch.”

Jose Antonio Caro has beaten Claudio Bravo's record run which had stood since 2014
Jose Antonio Caro has beaten Claudio Bravo’s record run which had stood since 2014

Michu, who helped Swansea win the League Cup in 2013, retired at 31 in 2017 because of a recurring ankle injury.

Given his first opportunity as sporting director at Langreo – then managed by his brother – the Spaniard also held the position at former club Oviedo before accepting an offer from Burgos four years ago, which he says he is “so grateful for”.

“I miss football a lot but I am lucky because working in football is difficult once you finish your career,” Michu says.

“When I started with pain in my ankle I began studying football. When you are a player, you do not know about all the things around the football.

“The owners gave me a lot of confidence and I have confidence in the players. It is a small club but it is a family club and, for me, it is the key of these results. We are a family here and the players give their all on the pitch, so we are really proud of them.”

It remains to be seen how an unprecedented start will unfold for Burgos, who have never reached the top level of Spanish football.

With their latest clean sheet against Andorra, Churripi equalled the 52-year-old second division record of 10 successive clean sheets during a season set by San Andres keeper Francisco Romero.

The next target he can aim for is the overall Spanish record of 13 games without conceding, which has been held by former Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Abel Resino since the 1990-91 season.

“We are doing really great. The atmosphere is really good, we are playing good football and at the last home game the stadium was sold out, so we are really, really happy,” Michu says.

“We are not thinking about the record now. We want to fight for three points.

“All the teams in this division are really difficult, but we are with confidence now.”

SOURCEbbc
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Amoah-Abankwa Emmanuel, (born January 21, Akim Oda, Ghana), Publisher, Promoter, Web Designer, Photographer, Cinematographer and Blogger best known for creating The Yen Motion, a popular Web site offering Showbiz and Music Updates.