Spanish coach Julio Velázquez is one of the winners of the season finale in Portuguese soccer. In his third stage in the Liga NOS (after having managed Belenenses and Vitória Setúbal), Velázquez signed with Marítimo at the beginning of March with the task of preventing the Madeira team, who was last, descended to Second. And Julio has already fulfilled that task, since, in the absence of playing his last game, Marítimo has already been saved from both direct relegation and the permanence playoff.
When Velázquez arrived at Marítimo the team was last, with 18 points in 22 games, and a streak of nine consecutive games without a win. The Spanish coach greatly improved the results of the island team, winning five games, drawing two and losing only four. The team managed to beat Sporting de Braga, one of the best Portuguese teams, and draw against the European Paços de Ferreira. Yesterday, after drawing (1-1) against Vitória de Guimarães (in Conference League positions), Velázquez reached 35 points, which allow him to be in position 13 in the Liga NOS, five more than the position he occupied when he signed . It is the fifth team that the coach manages to save in his career, after Villarreal B, Murcia, Belenenses and Alcorcón.
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After the clash against Vitória de Guimarães, Julio expressed his happiness for what was achieved: “This was the goal, we arrived with the last team and this was the goal when they signed us. I am very happy, since we have arrived with a lot of desire, passion and all the will in the world to achieve this goal, knowing that it would be a very tough fight, and fortunately we have achieved permanence before the last day. “
Velázquez praises the squad
The coach also left words of gratitude to his players: “I thank the squad for their commitment and willingness to work. It is a pleasure to work with this dressing room, which showed a tremendous desire to improve. I am very happy for these players, and also for the management and all the club workers. I also thank the fans, who supported us in a fantastic way every day. Football is very difficult, there is a lot of quality in the teams that have not yet been saved, and we have We have to be happy. We cannot forget where we came from, 11 games ago we were bottom players, but with passion, dedication and work it is possible to build something beautiful.
From bottom … to seventh with Velázquez
With these results, Julio Velázquez has won five games in 11 games, while, before his arrival, Marítimo had won the same five games € But in 22 games. With Veláquez, Marítimo has added 17 points, almost half of the 35 units it has right now.
Also the defensive security has improved a lot with the Spanish, since before Velázquez the Marítimo had only kept the goal to zero in five of the 22 rounds of the League, while with Julio the team has not conceded so many in five of the 11 crashes he contested.
El Marítimo was bottom of the Liga NOS when they signed Julio Velázquez. However, taking into account the classification of the 11 days led by the Spanish coach, Marítimo would be seventh in the table, with 17 points, just two points behind the fourth. In the general classification of Liga Nos, Marítimo is thirteenth, five positions higher than when the coach arrived.
The results obtained by Velázquez have even more merit considering that the coach has hardly had Rodrigo Pinho, Marítimo’s attacking leader. When Velázquez signed, Pinho was one of Portugal’s top scorers of the season, scoring 13 goals in 17 games. However, due to injuries, the Spaniard could only use the Brazilian of the game in his first two crashes on the bench, obtaining salvation without using the battering ram.