It’s not by chance. let it be precisely Imanol Sheriff the one who emulates Alberto Ormaetxea, myth of the Real Sociedad bench, cannot be a coincidence. That the two most important coaches in the history of a club with the idiosyncrasy of San Sebastian cannot be. Because both have in common that they have been able to understand what the Real, what you need to succeed, and how to get the most out of two great templates, each made in different times and contexts. Be that as it may, and although the Oriotarra is not entirely amused by the comparison, Imanol follows in the footsteps set by Ormaetxea. And that is reflected in the results. Imanol follows in the footsteps of the legendary Eibar coach, leading Real Sociedad to travel around Europe for three consecutive seasons. The challenge will be to achieve the fourth in a row in the European edition in which the txuri-urdin club can reach 100 games playing for the old continent. Really, it is a parallelism that reflects the dimension of what this Real de Imanol is achieving.
Alberto Ormaetxea took Real to play in Europe four times in a row, between 1979 and 1983playing the UEFA Cup twice and the European Cup twice. Imanol has before him the challenge of achieving equal that record. But for now enjoy something that no one had achieved since the 80s with Ormaetxea. In fact, the Eibar He is the coach with the most European classifications in the history of Real. Imanol is already the second with three, ahead of another myth from the benches of Real, John Benjamin Toschack, which he did twice. The Oriotarra blushes when compared to Ormaetxea and Real in the 1980s. “Yes, he was great and made history. I am making my way and I am light years away from Alberto Ormaetxea. What I am lucky for is to have been with this gang at this time, which is the one that helps me all the time. And for that, what I have to do is congratulate all of them,” says Imanol, blushing at the comparison.
Imanol is right when he talks about making his way. But merit should not be taken away, because the relevance of the success achieved is tremendous. In four years in the first realist, He has won a Copa del Rey and three European qualifications, with an impressive loss ratio, because they have only lost 50 games for the first team. Alberto Ormaetxea was a man of the house, someone who knew Real Real and what the players could give him. Of Imanol practically the same can be said. A self-made coach, who returned to Real after leaving football as an active player to start from the bottom and grow. And he doesn’t stop doing it, not knowing where his roof will be. for now, He has a contract until 2023, but at this rate of success, no one would be surprised if he expanded it. Actually, it would be logical.
With Imanol la Real will play for the 18th time in European competition. It can be said that it is getting older in Europe. The realistic team has played four times in the European Cup, 12 in the EUFA and once in the European Cup Winners’ Cup. This next season, if things go the way they are in recent campaigns in Europe, he will be able to reach 100 games in Europe, because he has played 92, and six games are played in the group stage, plus the two in the round of 16. With that, the Real will be centenary in Europe. A journey across the continent that began in 1974, having since achieved 36 wins, having drawn 24 games and lost another 32. It is the history of the Real in Europe. A journey that will continue with Imanol next season.