Although he only played nine games with the Espanyol first team, and none of them in the First Division, Pedro Nieto belongs to that generation of Intertoto that was etched in the memory of Blue and White fans at the end of the 90s. The Capdevila, Tamudo, Morales or Sergio also had a central defender who “wasn’t the best technically”, but who did his bit to live great moments and be able to make a career in professional football in clubs like Recreational of Huelva or Badajoz later.
After reviewing his works and miracles, explaining the particularity of having a twin brother who is also a footballer (Joan Nieto), the now commentator on Goal reflected on Espanyol’s current situation. “It’s a club problem, what do we want to be. When I was in the first team and we played against Atlético, for example, we competed. I played against Villarreal in the Second Division. I can’t say anything to Chen, but it seems that we don’t want to grow As a club, if you had the same passion from within as those from the outside… You don’t have to win a title to feel like a champion.. You have to be a strong club, and that is reflected on the pitch. It makes me angry to see teams up there that before you looked them in the face and now you don’t.”
Nieto talks about that time when José Antonio Camacho achieved promotion and settled Espanyol in the First Division. Even qualify for the UEFA Cup. The passing of the former coach of Real Madrid and the National Team through the parakeet club left a mark on everyone. “Camacho told us that knocking on the door was not enough, that it had to be knocked down”Nieto reasons, perhaps explaining why he couldn’t settle down. “When he was going to have an opportunity, something happened,” he says. Over time, a series of knee injuries also took him away little by little from the pitch.
But before that he lived great moments in that “family” that was Espanyol, on and off the pitch. Young boys having fun. “I remember that Paco Flores was on guard duty at nightclubs,” he says. With his brother they have starred in delirious moments, like when Camacho confused them in training. In one of them, he expelled Pedro Nieto and then when he saw Joan he gave her a fight, believing that it was Pedro himself. Or like when Joan went to watch the sessions in the stands of the Sarrià field when he was no longer at the club and Mauricio Pochettino told Camacho what was Pedro doing in the stands if he had to train.
Funny moments from a player who also faced tough competition: “Pochettino, Herrera, Nando, Jaime… He was the only one of the quarry,” recalls Nieto, who highlighted Capdevila’s “incredible personality” and that he is left with a “thorn stuck”: not having been able to debut in the First Division.