Getafe (Spain) (AFP) – Allan Nyom took a yellow card, scored a goal and was substituted before half-time and in those 16 minutes it was possible to understand why Getafe sit third in La Liga.
Nyom celebrated his first goal for the club like it was the first of his life, racing one way and then the other, not quite sure where he was going until suddenly deciding where he had to end up.
He found the Getafe fans in the corner, who celebrated Nyom putting them two up against old rivals, Leganes, whom Nyom had left last summer, and firing them within touching distance of new ones, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid, in a remarkable challenge for the top four.
“This year I’m playing like a right winger and I want to score goals,” Nyom says, in an interview with AFP. “I even try to do tricks now. That’s this team, I’m loving it.”
Six minutes before, Nyom had been booked and 10 minutes later, in the 31st minute of the January 17 game at Leganes, he was taken off. On show all at once, Getafe’s mean streak, their unity and the ruthlessness of their coach, Jose Bordalas, to put team above all else.
“When people think of Getafe they think of hard work,” says Nyom. “We play together, work together, run together, that’s the most important thing.”
Bordalas took over in September 2016 with Getafe 21st in Segunda. Instead of going down, they went up and then instead of scrapping for survival, they finished eighth.
Last year, Bordalas took them to the brink of Champions League qualification, missing out to Valencia on the last day, and this season they are challenging again.
“There are still a lot of games left but we have a chance,” said Nyom. “I think this year it will be even harder because the teams around those positions are strong and getting stronger. But we will try.”
On Saturday, they play Barcelona, whose 11 starting players last weekend cost 340 million euros. Getafe’s cost 21 million, four of them free and one on loan. Barcelona’s salary cap this season is 671 million euros, comfortably 10 times more than Getafe’s 56 million.
But Bordalas has instilled belief. Jorge Molina, who scored twice against Valencia last weekend, is 37, older than the club itself.
Nyom, at 31, once of Watford and West Brom, is in the form of his life, dreaming of the Champions League and a starting spot at next year’s Africa Cup of Nations, when his country Cameroon will be hosts.