The historical figures Juan Pedro and Pablo observe the model of the old Vivero stadium. /
Juan Pedro and Pablo remember that magical afternoon of June 28, 1992 of the historic and until now last promotion of Badajoz to Second in the old Vivero
This Tuesday marks the 30th anniversary of a silver dream that has not been repeated. Badajoz’s last promotion to Segunda continues to be part of the collective memory of a city that maintains that June 28, 1992 as one of its most iconic memories. A historic, unforgettable day that endures with the passage of several generations. The mythical Juan Pedro and Pablo recall that magical afternoon in Cartagena, which unintentionally always leads them to Compostela. Two antagonistic moments, but that are not understood separately. From disappointment to absolute happiness. “One and the other are united in our memories, in misfortune, crying and joy,” says Juan Pedro. Hence, to talk about the historic rise, it is inevitable to go back a year earlier. “We had a double responsibility. We had already had the promotion in our hands the previous year, here we only had to win and we could not fail, “says the historic central defender.
Badajoz has flirted in recent years with making that leap and yearns to regain its place in professional football. Three decades have passed and although in between there were eleven seasons in the Second Division, a celebration of such magnitude has not occurred again. «There you realize the greatness of what we achieved. Because it is very difficult to go up,” Pablo highlights. An event that made an entire city overflow with joy. “It was quite a show. We stayed in the middle of Obispo Street because the bus couldn’t pass and the police made us a cordon so that we could get to the Town Hall. The fair closed and everyone went to the square to celebrate the promotion. From the source of the Constitution to Calle Obispo it took us an hour and a half”, remembers Juan Pedro with emotion. “He still makes my hair stand on end,” she adds, rolling up her shirt sleeve to point to his arm. For the one who was captain of Badajoz until that season, his most special moment came after the final whistle in the locker room. “You walk in and see the reality of what you had achieved by sharing the joy with your peers.” The goalkeeper Pablo is also left with that image of intimacy showered in champagne and the 20,000 people gathered in the Plaza de España. “I remember a very tense week with a lot of anxiety. Football owed us one. That explosion of joy with the companions in the booth and in the Town Hall. It was a spectacular day for us and for the city.” Pablo underscores the value of that promotion with a local team. «With a group fundamentally from Badajoz, of the twenty of the staff, fifteen were from here. And that has double merit. It will be difficult for it to happen again.”
Juan Pedro put the finishing touch with the promotion to almost twenty years in the club. He had already made the decision to retire a year earlier, after the blow from Compostela, and in preseason he handed over the bracelet to Rodri. «I decided to resign as captain due to the circumstances that happened in Compostela and I passed the command to Rodri». Although he was very clear about it, he admits that he has that thorn of not having enjoyed the new category with Badajoz. «I had that bug of having been one more year and having been able to play in Second».
Juan Pedro and Pablo agree in emphasizing that the secret was the union of the staff. «We were friends and colleagues, to that plus you added the quality that there was». A relationship that they have tried to maintain despite the distance of those who live far away and time. “We continue to maintain contact. For me, the reunion a few months ago of the entire squad that was promoted and being able to share that day with them has been very nice. Sarabia, Villar, Expósito, Emilio, Angelo came from outside… and despite the fact that 30 years have passed there was still that friendly chemistry between us, ”says the legendary center-back.
Despite that special bond and such a round season, the team did not escape internal problems. To the point that this campaign, which seems perfect in the popular imagination, changed its coach, Rogelio Palomo was dismissed and Paco Herrera came on board with the team being second and with practically the same squad. “There were many long knives among the board, but they did not affect the staff,” says Juan Pedro.
Members of the squad, coaching staff and directors of the 1992 promotion at the April tribute at the Nuevo Vivero. /
30 years have passed and Badajoz has not experienced another promotion to Second. As for the tragic night of Amorebieta and the similarities with the afternoon of Compostela, defense and goalkeeper point out that “different nuance” of playing at home. «People take you on wings, but they don’t let you reflect on what you have to achieve, it’s as if you had already achieved it. Losing or even drawing did not cross my mind on Compostela day, ”emphasizes Juan Pedro. Then the veterans were also accused of not wanting to go up. “These gossips fall under their own weight. The year of Compostela would have won twice as many premiums as that of Cartagena». A question that Pablo also settles. “These are baseless arguments. It is a matter of prestige and values. A promotion is the happiest day of your life, it is the most beautiful thing you can have and the satisfaction of being promoted with the team of your city».
Both acknowledge that they continue to be surprised that they continue to be stopped on the street. And it is that that mythical team marked several generations, from grandparents to grandchildren. “You realize how you have permeated and made people happy,” says Juan Pedro.
Neither of them dares to analyze the current situation of Badajoz because they do not have all the data, but they consider that the transformation into a Sociedad Anómima Deportiva has changed the clubs and moved away from that romanticism that prevailed in the fan. «The difference is that now it is a society and before it was an entity. Before, feelings prevailed and now more economics, ”says the legendary captain.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE HEROES OF ’92
Run a sports store
High School teacher
Massage therapist with own clinic
Delegate of Fobesa in La Nucía, concessionaire of the City Council’s cleaning service and field delegate of CF La Nucía
VILLAR AND EMILIO
Responsible for youth football at CD Puerto Malagueño
Assistant coach of Javi Pereira at Henan Jianye of the Chinese Super League
Head of CD Hispanolusa
Malaga CF bus driver
Public Works Officer in Toledo
Responsible for municipal sports facilities in Barcarrota
Deceased in 1999
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