Angelino benefiting from European exposure
- 03 October 2013 10:08
- Posted by @porter_mcfc
City under-18s defender Angelino is beginning his European adventure early.
Aged just 16, he was selected in the starting XI that pulled off an emphatic 4-1 victory away to Viktoria Plzen in City’s first encounter in the under-19 UEFA Youth League.
Unfazed by the experience, Angelino gave a good account of himself in Plzen and retained his place for the 6-0 demolition of Bayern Munich in the following fixture, where he excelled on the left side and picked up an assist - crossing the ball for Marcos Lopes to fire in the third goal of the afternoon.
A reward for the Spaniard’s impressive start to the season with the under-18 side, the tournament has proved an ideal springboard between the Academy and EDS – Angelino made his debut for the under-21s just a week after catching the eye in the Czech Republic against players up to three years older than himself.
The left back reflected on his European experience: “I was really happy to play with Patrick Vieira’s squad and it was a really good experience. Before the game he told us to be ourselves and not be afraid of the other team, because we were good enough to beat them.
“It was important because it was the first time the under-19s have won away in Europe. It’s also better to start with a win because if we lose a game later it is easier to recover now we have three points. I think Bayern Munich and CSKA Moscow will be tough games.”
The Spanish youngster arrived at the City academy from Deportivo La Coruna, and has enjoyed the chance to test his abilities by playing up the age groups.
“You aren’t given as many chances with Deportivo,” he explained. “If you are under 16 you play with the under 16s, they won’t give you an opportunity to move up.
“Playing against people older than me helps my game and I can improve my fitness faster than others. If you have good players around you in the team then it isn’t difficult.”
Although he is now reaping the benefits of a youth career at City, Angelino admits that swapping Spain for Manchester before hitting his 16th birthday was a tough challenge initially.
"It is easier now, because my family have now moved and I was able to learn English quickly.”
“The first few months were difficult because I didn’t have my family here and I didn’t speak very much English.
After holding down a regular place for the under-18s last season while still just 15, the full back has started in all of the first six league games for the side this term. His attacking mindset, pace and accurate crossing have all proven valuable assets for Jason Wilcox’s men.
Angelino has also contributed a few golazos in his time – he cites an acrobatic overhead kick against MK Dons as his favourite, while a spectacular strike from 25 yards earned a vital point against Newcastle last season.
An ambitious player who dreams of representing his country one day as well as starring in the City first team, the Spaniard speaks highly of the rich talent flowing through Wilcox’s academy side.
He said: “We want to win every game. We aim to win every game.”