Iniesta throws 420,000-euro lifeline to indebted Albacete

World Cup and Barcelona star becomes largest shareholder in his local club, which is mired in debt

A. CIRIZA Madrid 6 DIC 2011 - 21:13 CET

As much as he has attracted attention on the pitch, become a gold mine for sponsors, won a string of titles and scored Spain's winning goal in 2010 World Cup final, Andrés Iniesta has not forgotten his roots. The Barcelona star, who grew up in the small town of Fuentealbilla, Albacete province, has just injected 420,000 euros into cash-strapped Albacete Balompíe, the provincial capital club he joined at the age of eight.

Back then, Iniesta the kid would watch the team play against the best in Primera División, but now Albacete languishes in Segunda B, mired in a deep financial crisis that has forced the player to come to the rescue - only this time with his check book rather than his soccer boots.

The money, which turns Iniesta into the club's largest shareholder, is a lifeline for the team: "Another display of his and his family's commitment to this area," explains relieved club president Rafael Candel. Albacete Balompíe owes 13 million euros and after dropping down to Segunda B last season filed for bankruptcy in April. It later carried out a three-stage program to expand its capital, finalized last Friday, after which Iniesta acquired 7,000 of the 20,000 shares up for grabs. In all, 15,077 were snapped up. "More than what we expected," Candel admitted Monday. "It's such an honor to have a member like him. On top of that he signed all the shares personally and not in the name of a business. It shows his love for the club once again."

Iniesta's intervention does not just cover the immediate needs of the club - paying the players' wages, and so on - but will also serve as a lure to more investors and season-ticket holders.

"I was an Albacete supporter," Iniesta has said. "Many stories have been told, but that is the reality; my father was an Athletic fan, and I liked Albacete and Barça, my second team. At the weekends, as I had a pass to play in the juniors, I went to see the Primera División matches. [...] The year they went up [2003] was a great year for me."

Otras noticias

Andrés Iniesta. / DAVID RAMOS (GETTY)

Últimas noticias

Ver todo el día

Puig derogará una ley para reabrir la televisión valenciana

El Gobierno regional paga un millón de euros al mes por el ente. “Somos la única comunidad que no tiene televisión autonómica Esa es la anomalía”

Mourinho, a la esposa de Benítez: “Cuide la dieta de su marido”

Joan Faus Landover (Maryland)

El técnico del Chelsea responde a las declaraciones de que el entrenador del Real Madrid arregla sus "entuertos"

La derecha mexicana busca nuevo líder tras el varapalo electoral

Los aspirantes a presidir el PAN debatirán el jueves sobre sus propuestas

EL PAÍS RECOMIENDA

Expertos alertan del peligro de los ‘robots asesinos’

Hawking y Wozniak, entre otros, advierten de que estas armas "son ideales para desestabilizar naciones"

Cómo retrasar el envejecimiento

Un grupo de investigadores logra reprogramar células de pacientes con una extraña forma de vejez acelerada

Lo más visto en...

» Top 50


Webs de PRISA

cerrar ventana