Ivan de la Peña: he “little Buddha” It was a misunderstood genius

Iván de la Peña: el “Pequeño Buda” fue un genio incomprendido

Last update 23 February, 2014 by Alberto Llopis

Ivan de la Peña was a different player, a player of those who had something special, a player gifted with the ability of the great geniuses of football. With one last spectacular pass and a vision of game, able to see a space and put a ball where others saw only goal grass, he “little Buddha” as it was called in its beginnings in football for his shaved head, It was one of those talents that pointed to World crack and remained in good players just. Today we remember the great player Colgados cantabro.

Although De la Peña spent virtually his entire career at Barcelona he enlisted in the ranks of Barça and Espanyol, He born in Santander's 6 May 1976. Formed in La Masia, the factory of talent culé, He excelled in all lower categories of Barcelona where it seemed on his way to being one of the best ever. In 1995, con 19 years, and he was the best player of second division in the ranks of Barça B. This made Johan Cruyff notice him and give him the alternative in the season 1995-96, his last season as coach, in a team in decline and that it was a mere shadow of the Dream Team that the Dutch had built since the early 90's.

Ivan de la Pena saw gaps where others saw grass.

He was part of a generation of talents that curiously did not succeed. They called her the “Fifth Mini” wanting to emulate the famous fifth Vulture but did not reach anywhere near the extent of this. Because of its unique look, with shaven head always very young, “Lo Plates”, peeling in Catalan, He played in all lower categories of Spain and co-generation Raul.

Yes, the young man who greets De la Peña is a smiling Mou. And at Barca.

In fact, its entry into the world of football was about the same time, only separated by a gap year which suggested to many that Spain would be world champion long before 2010. They played together the U 20 of 1995 and Euro Sub 21 of 1996, not winning either tournaments. They followed different paths. Raul made his debut in 1996 in the national team and he went to three World (1998, 2002 y 2006) while Ivan De la Peña slow 9 years to come, debuting at 29 years in 2005.

Raul and De la Peña were called to a world champion Spain. It was an illusion.

This could get an idea of ​​what was his career. How could it be that a player does not reach its characteristics more?. In the season 1996-97, his duet with Ronaldo, the original, Brazilian that many gave him the wrong name to differentiate fat Ronaldo Cristiano, was one of the most spectacular have ever seen on a field. Ivan impossible to put it in the hole and the power stroke Ronaldo did the rest. It was just spectacular. Van Gaal's arrival marked his departure from FC Barcelona club 2600 million pesetas old in 1997 and the start of a trip aimlessly.

Ronaldo and De la Peña spectacular together.

Firmó por 4 years at Lazio where only played two and left yielded twice. One Olympique Marseille where he did not stand out and the other at the same post Figo Barça 2001 where it was no longer even a shadow of what had pointed. At that moment, with twentysomething, it seemed that the project “crack mundial” it was over. It was his arrival at Espanyol, the other team in Barcelona who would revitalize. Curiously, despite being formed in the farmhouse, He played more years in the first team at the club Espanyol.

Ivan and Xavi, how much talent together.

Nothing more and nothing less than it was among 2002 y 2011. Contra todo pronóstico, internationality reached when nobody counted on him, a decade after its explosion as a player and when the world had forgotten Iván De la Peña. It was sadly disappeared Luis Aragones who returned to see his magic and made international. Juice 5 matches with Spain, few to him pointing after being the best of the lower of Spain during the 90 but it seemed like it would never get. Finally, He was removed in 2011 leaving many memorable passes but with the feeling that I could have done more, much more. “Lo Plates”, it was neither the only nor the last out of series for X reasons he stood halfway. Have any player point to the new De La Peña know?, surely yes.

So they fired Ivan de la Peña 2011. Being a myth left Espanyol.

Alberto Llopis

Hanged for football fully. Attempt to gather letters and tell stories in Colgadosporelfutbol.com. Specialist retro football Current. Football Coach Level II. You can follow me on @AlbertiniLlopis @colgadosfutbol


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