surinenglish

Four hundred and counting for Marbella's most trusted stalwart

Marbella's Javi Moreno in training.
Marbella's Javi Moreno in training. / Julio Rodríguez
  • According to 34-year-old Javi Moreno: "My dream is not to play for Real or Barça, but to take Marbella to Segunda"

Now at 34 years of age, Javi Moreno has, over the course of his 400 career matches, forged a reputation as 'Mr Reliable'. He is an old-school number 6: covers a lot of ground, dominant in the air and has great distribution. But after 15 years in the game (across every group of Segunda B), he has no intention of hanging up his boots any time soon.

Javi Moreno, who shouldn't be confused with the legendary former Alavés, Milan and Atlético forward, made his debut in Segunda B at the age of 19 for his native Mallorca's B team. But for a single season in Tercera with Villarreal B, he has played his whole career in the third tier, representing teams such as Fuenlabrada, Benidorm, Alzira, Huracán, Badalona, Guijuelo, Compostela and Amorebieta, all before arriving at Marbella last summer.

Although he missed six matches either side of the winter break because of injury, this campaign he has played 26 times and his performances have been of the level of a team fighting at the top of the table.

In the changing room his voice is one of the loudest, as you would expect from a veteran, however, he's also one of the fittest in the squad. According to head coach Fernando Estévez, “He will reach 500 games for sure: he looks after himself well and no one trains better than he does. He lives for football.”

The final furlong

With the season approaching its end, promotion to Segunda is a distinct possibility for the Costa side.

“I've spoken to [goalkeeper] Wilfred more than once about this and we agree that this team is going places. They know what they're doing,” said the man himself, Javi Moreno. “The coach has helped us a lot and the work that's been done here must be recognised. No one thought at the start of the season that we would do so well but all of the hard work is paying off.”

Having played for so many years, including at the Camp Nou in a Copa del Rey tie against Barcelona with Benidorm, Moreno knows what he wants from his career: “My dream is not to play for Real Madrid or Barcelona, it is to finally gain promotion to Segunda with Marbella.”

A coach in the making

Moreno is making the most of his time in Marbella and has started studying for his coaching badges at the coaching college in San Pedro.

Despite this, though, he doesn't think his time is up yet: “I think I have four more years left in me at a competitive level. I still go into training with the same energy and desire that I always had. It still bothers me when training hasn't gone as I had hoped.”