Marcelino García Toral and Javi Fuego, two crucial names in the recent history of Sporting, participated in a round table on the role of the preseason in an elite team organized by Promise Soccer in Villaviciosa, also attended by physical trainer Ismael Fernández from Langreo and Óscar Pérez, former Real Oviedo footballer. «I played a derby, and I won it. 100% success”, the former player joked while Miguel Ángel Ramírez, the current Sporting coach, followed the discussion in the stalls hours before the match.
They all met at the Teatro Riera to talk about the importance of the preseason and the summer Camp sponsored by García Toral, which will be held from 16 July to 29 July in the Lealtad training grounds. Still, the derby also played a relevant role in the colloquium, presented by the journalist Rodrigo Errasti, as in the prolegomena of the event. “I wouldn’t say it’s the most important game, but possibly the most attractive for both teams,” said Marcelino, who predicts a game with few goals: “There will be one, two… Three at the most,” commented the coach. For his part, Javi Fuego considers that the qualifying situation of both teams means that they will face a “somewhat watered down” derby. Still, from the point of view of sportsmanship, he recalled that “in the last derbies, they prevented Sporting from finishing higher, so if we can slow them down a bit, that would be nice.”
Both protagonists agreed that there are no favourites for a game like this. Fuego recalled, “I have experienced everything in my flesh: getting ahead and not winning, being very even and deciding the game in small details…”. The one who was a Sporting player until two seasons ago is clear about his diagnosis of Oviedo’s good run in the most recent derbies: «I think Oviedo took more care of the details; they gave more importance to the derbies during the week. It’s not that we didn’t give that importance, but they came out more focused on what a derby means.”