The photo with Paul Scholes with which Zubieta shows his chest

Merquelanz, Sangalli, Guridi and Bautista, who as youths with Real took a photo with the United crack in 2013, today are part of the first realistic team.


This coming Thursday, Real Sociedad and Manchester United will meet again in Europe. It will not be the first time, because this confrontation has a relatively recent precedent. In 2013, the txuri-urdin and the 'Red devil' met in the group stage of the Champions League, with a goalless draw at Anoeta, and a victory by the minimum at Old Trafford, with an own goal by Iñigo Martínez, in a trip much remembered in Donostia, because more than 5,000 fans of the Royal Society traveled to Manchester. Of those games, there are no players left, either in the current realistic squad, or in United's. Curiously, the only survivor is Adnan Januzaj, who having youth age was already in the dynamics of the English first team, and is currently part of the Real's first team. But from that unforgettable trip to Manchester there is also the memory of the broken that a group of youths from the Real took control of the then star of Manchester United, the mythical Paul Scholes. An image that brought to the present day allows the San Sebastian team to get chest out of its quarry.

But this story has to be contextualized. As is well known, the clubs that participate in the highest continental competition also have the possibility of participating in the so-called Youth League, the youth Champions League, which in the group stage faces the same teams as the professionals. So the Real youth team, coached by Jon Mikel Arrieta that season, traveled with the first team to Manchester. That youth was made up mostly of the 95 generation, one of the most prolific in recent years in terms of homegrown players contributed to the first realistic team. In that youth, for example, curiously Alvaro Odriozola was a substitute, who would later stand out in the Real first team, reaching a World Cup and signing for Real Madrid. But he is not the only one who is currently playing in the First Division.

A group of footballers from that Royal youth team had the fortune to cross paths at Manchester's training facilities with one of United's most prominent players of the time, Paul Scholes. The beardless kids from La Real, neither short nor lazy, asked him to take a picture with them, which they would later upload to instagram. That image went viral in the surroundings of the San Sebastian club, and it has remained as one of the most beautiful memories of that historic confrontation, acquiring more value over the years, because everyone who appears in that photo has come to debut First with Real Sociedad, which is a very relevant piece of information, and some of them are still part of the realistic first squad today, to the point that they will return to Manchester to play against the Red Devils, when they did it seven years ago against its youthful. The players who took the photo are Odriozola, Capilla, Bautista, Sangalli, Guridi and Merquelanz, of which the last few are today in the squad trained by Imanol Alguacil, to which we must add Andoni Gorosabel.

An important piece of information: no player from the Manchester youth team who faced Real in 2013 has made it to the United first team, which reinforces the value of the quarry work that is done in Zubieta. In fact, the players of that youth team of the Real already beat the Red Devils then. 0-1 with a goal from Odriozola, today at Real Madrid. La Real formed in that match with Marcellán, Ibarbia, Ugarte, Lapeña, Xabi Prieto, Roberto Olabe, Guridi, Odriozola, Capilla, Merquelanz and Bautista. Luca Sangalli and Gorosabel then came in from the bench. They all dream of history repeating itself in this tie and now also being able to win and eliminate the all-powerful Manchester United.

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