From playing in the lower leagues and the First Division to spending more than a year playing in the Indian Super League in Calcutta. The long career of Javier Lara Grande (Montoro, Córdoba, 4 December 1985) has seen it all and now adds its most recent chapter in Unión Deportiva Ibiza.
“[Javi Lara] is player of a very high standard and is very well known in Spanish football. He not only stands out in terms of his experience, but also due to his personality and mentality. He will be a central figure in the structure of this club, both today and in the future. I hope that you’ll be very happy here at Ibiza, Javi”, explained Amadeo Salvo this afternoon during the official presentation of the former Elche, Alcoyano, Lucena, Ponferradina, Tenerife, and Córdoba player.
It’s the sky blue colours that brought Javi Lara’s enthusiasm back. That’s how the player described his sensation for signing with Ibiza in declarations made at a press conference held at the OD Talamanca hotel: “I come here after being in my home city and having a hard time in terms of football over the last few years. Here I have found a group of people who know and understand football. The president, Fernando [Soriano], the coach all are football people. When we started talking I knew that they thought and were like me. That influenced me in making a decision to come here”.
Javi Lara doesn’t shy away from the fact that the offer of Ibiza was enticing from the beginning: “Outside of the island, Ibiza is seen as having an ambitious project and one that attracts attention. I know that there are many footballers who would like to come here and that’s why I consider myself lucky“. The initial weeks the midfielder has spent with Ibiza have been enough to indicate that there is considerable potential to do well: “The dressing room made a good impression on me. The goal is to grow and improve every day. We are all hopeful and enthusiastic about competing with the best sides out there. There are clubs that suffer as a result of such ambition, but for us it is a source of motivation and excitement. In football, as you know, if you start to flex your muscles and think you need to show off, you’ll get found out and pay the price the next day. What I see here is that Ibiza has a very balanced and broad squad, anyone is able to play and that’s what will help us in the long-run in a competition that is very competitive and changes a lot”.
Javi Lara isa right-footed player who is full of quality and versatility with the ability to play as a pivot, attacking midfielder or winger. “I always keep saying that once I finish my career, I still won’t know what my real position is. I’m a person who enjoys the day-to-day aspects of football and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The most important thing is to help the team“, stated Javi Lara.
Fernando Soriano, Ibiza’s sporting director, is adamant that the incorporation of Javi Lara has given the squad a big boost of experience and quality which was developed throughout 31 matches in the First Division, 127 in the Second Division and 116 in Second Division B: “Javi is here to add his quality to our group. He has demonstrated quality in creating chances, both in play and from set pieces. He has great vision to play the final ball and is one of the best –if not the best– free kick and corner takers. He is one of those players who will show up in difficult moments, which is something that undoubtedly will happen this season”.