“I am really happy to be in Spain and join a project that is advancing in a great way and will give my all. I want to help the team and get to know my teammates in order to help them in the attacking third, which is my position”. Those were the first words of Gianluca Simeone Baldini (Buenos Aires, 23 July 1998) as a new player of Unión Deportiva Ibiza. The Argentine (and Spanish passport holder) was presented by Amadeo Salvo and Fernando Soriano at the OD Talamanca hotel, official sponsor of the club.
Gianluca already has one training session with Pablo Alfaro under his belt. The footballer, aware of the difficult challenge he would have faced to see game time as a striker at Gimnasia y Esgrima -the club owning his rights- due to the number of attacking players signed by the La Plata club in recent months. For this reason, he decided to embark on a European adventure that could not have had a better start: “The lads welcomed me in a really good way and explained to me what the sessions look like and how everything works at the club”.
“We’d like to thank Gimnasia y Esgrima who contributed to making this loan deal possible which will see the player join us for the upcoming season. Ibiza has the option to buy the player and can do so before 30 June 2020”, explained club president Salvo. A strong believer and advocate of adding talent and passion to the project, the club’s president proceeded to wish Gianluca the best of luck and success: “I hope that both from a sporting and a personal point of view you will be happy here in Ibiza and that you can achieve your objectives as part of our family”.
Soriano stated that he views the player as someone who, with patience and daily sacrifice, will develop in a very positive way: “Gianluca takes up an under 23 spot and has already adapted to our project very nicely. He wants to grow and develop, this is his first experience in Spain, and naturally will need his time to adapt fully, but we are dealing with a young footballer who has a lot of potential to improve”. The sporting director has a lot of confidence that Gianluca, who will alternate his game time between the first and affiliate squad, can contribute to the squad as a central striker or a half striker or an attacking midfielder on the right flank.
Visibly noticeable behind the attending media representatives who covered the press conference was the silhouette of Johan Cruyff together with an inspiring message: “You only play with one ball, therefore it helps to have and be in control of it”. The phrase and silhouette were part of a shirt worn by Marc Rahola, CEO of OD GROUP and a huge football fan who followed the presentation of Gianluca Simeone, the latest player to sign for Ibiza, with a lot of interest.