The transformation of Vicente Iborra

Vicente Iborra has become one of this season’s sensations. After not being very important in the first part of the competition, his coach Unai Emery has now decided that Sevilla FC’s midfielder is essential for the team’s performances.

He has turned him into a completely different version of himself, as he already did last year with Ivan Rakitić, who now plays for FC Barcelona. Emery made the Croatian grow as a footballer and this has risen him to the top of his skills, and he is now one of Barça’s leaders in the midfield.

Iborra started his football career for Levante UD. He made his debut in the 2007-2008 season, participating in 14 matches, but he then became indispensable in the midfield. He was the best defensive midfielder in the team. Defensive? Yes. Iborra has now a completely different rol for Sevilla.

At the beginning of the season, Unai Emery counted on him but couldn’t really fit the player into his squad because the defensive midfield was entirely occupied by Daniel Carriço or Stéphane M’Bia, so there wasn’t really a concrete place for Vicente. He played the first four fixtures but then lost importance and was almost forgotten by his coach until fixture 18. However, he has played all the games since then.

But what has made him so important? Emery has asked him to become a leader, a box-to-box player, not only a defensive midfielder. He has seen in him someone who can attack and offer many things to his side when he reaches the rival’s box. He is pure balance and, as a result, his team is too. After all, the Basque coach has the talent of training players in order to achieve things from them not even they knew they could do. He transforms them into different sportsmen, into complete footballers, into the typical player everyone would want for their team.

He has the capacity of winning many aerial duels, of stealing many balls by anticipating himself, but also the vision of a pure attacking midfielder and the wisdom and intelligence to appear as a ‘false 9’ when the situation requires it. In the last fixtures, he has scored several goals after appearing from behind the center forwards, surprising the rival defenders.

The recently discovered attacking midfielder has completed very good performances during the past fixtures, which he has also crowned with two goals in la liga and two others in the UEFA Europa League, some of which were quite important. He was even chosen as a captain for the squad during the match against Villarreal.

Things are looking good for the Valencian. He has ‘suffered’ from a transformation that has made him a brilliant football player. This will probably catch other teams’ eye, just like with his former colleague. Everybody is now aware of Iborra’s virtues.

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