Pere Milla, from South Africa's fear of the hero of Elche

The author of the ascent goal makes his debut as a scorer in Primera after a career of shocks and some other film adventure.


Pere Milla keeps smiling. The Elche striker has gone from the ostracism that he lived a year ago, at the beginning of last season, to the prominence that he began to experience at the end of the previous year and that he has prolonged at the start of this new career in the First Division. The Catalan made his debut as a top scorer against Alavés. He was the most prominent in Mendizorroza with a goal, a stick, a disallowed goal and even a card that he showed the referee, in the curious image of the day. He even recovered the ball that originated the 0-2.

The history of the '10' of Elche, however, goes beyond the sweet moment that it savors in the present. His has not been exactly a bed of roses. Pere Milla (Lleida, 1992) was formed in the club of his city, in which he made his debut in Second B with 19 years. In the first year, 19 games and two goals in official competition. In Lleida he was four seasons, with two playoffs to Second included. Getafe called him up to join his subsidiary. At the age of 22, he was a permanent fixture in Madrid's second team and made his debut with Quique Sánchez Flores' first team against Almería, in the second round of the Copa del Rey.

After stroking the First Division with his fingers, Pere Milla was seduced by an offer from the South African Premier League to try new experiences. That adventure did not have a happy ending. Not even a beginning. The proposal was not as attractive as his then representative had promised him; it didn't even have a fixed destination. He was tested at the Platinum Stars, Moroka Swallows and Ajax Cape Town, but more than enjoying a new football, what he discovered was the taste of fear. He lived locked up in a hotel, with restricted hours to go out. One day he suffered, in a taxi, the police pursuit of a car that, in reality, was driven by thieves who wanted to loot him. Despair knocked on his door.

Mikel Orbegozo, now a Tudelano player and partner in Getafe B de Pere (not 'Pera', as it is pronounced in the rest of Catalonia unlike Lleida), mediated in his situation to put him in contact with the one who straightened the direction of the ram Catalan, Egoitz Basurto. "I was surprised by everything about that story. He had been the best of Getafe B, left-handed and 22 years old. He trusted an agent who told him that he had no offers in Spain and that the best thing was to go to South Africa, for much more money. There He was really scared. Messi is only one and Pere Milla has reached where he is on his own merits, overcoming many difficulties, "recalls his former teammate. Spain had just been World Champion in South Africa and the appeal of incorporating a LaLiga player was a juicy attraction from which that representative seemed to want to get an added profit. Hence, other proposals were denied.

The Basque agent Egoitz Basurto took him out of South Africa to give him back to Spanish football. He put seven offers on the table and Pere Milla decided on the one from Logroñés. There he had his best campaign as a scorer. In the 2015/16 season: 42 official matches and 18 goals, without taking penalties. After losing the dream of promotion against Sevilla Atlético, Eibar signed him. It premiered in the Second Division with assignments to UCAM and then to Numancia. In First, with the gunsmiths, he only participated in five league games; two more in Cup.

Then Elche appeared, with a three-year contract and a very strong, sporting and economic bet for his signing. Pacheta opened the team doors for him with the data that represented his effort in the field; the goals, however, were slow in coming. The first was in November, against Dépor; the second, in the Cup and from a penalty against Segoviana. Starting in January, when the competition from the winter market threatened and Pere was more outside than inside the club, the work on the pitch was translated into success until reaching the goal that ended the comeback against Real Oviedo, which was worth to enter playoff making good the defeat in extremis of Fuenlabrada in Riazor; and that historic header in Montilivi to certify the ascent.

Now a site has been made in Elche de Almirón. He has started in three of the four games played (Real Sociedad, Eibar and Alavés) and completed the second half against Huesca. On Sunday he premiered his directorial account in Primera. The joke of admonishing the referee Cordero Vega was even allowed. The referee lost the yellow card after calling a foul by Emiliano Rigoni. The Catalan player returned it to him, showing it with his hand raised, exchanging the role with the referee for a few seconds. The action represented the anecdote of the match and evidenced the moment of grace that the battering ram is now going through.

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