Farewell to Josep Maria Fusté, a class ambidextrous | Sports

Josep Maria Fusté, in an undated file image.
Josep Maria Fusté, in an undated file image.

The cult of midfielders reached its peak at Barça on the day that Iniesta and Xavi were crowned together with the winner Messi on the podium for the 2011 Ballon d’Or. Both have been heirs to unique midfielders with exquisite good taste in football like Josep Maria Fusté (Linyola, Lleida; 1941), who died this Thursday at the age of 82 in Barcelona. Fusté was one of the finest and most charismatic Barça players in a very difficult time for the club (1962-1972) after the loss of the European Cup in Bern in 1961.

The team in which Fusté competed was more of a protagonist in the cup competitions than in the League. The three Generalísimo Cups (1962-1963, 1967-1968 and 1970-1971) and the Fairs Cup in the 1965-1966 season illustrate the list of winners of a player who was capital in the Spanish team that won the Euro Cup in 1964. Fusté , the 10 for Barça who wore the 6 with Spain, formed the midfield with Zoco and stood out especially in the semifinal they beat Hungary before defeating the USSR in the final.

Capped eight times, he also formed with Hércules (192-1974), where he retired after Barcelona honored him on August 30, 1972, and previously worked on loan at Osasuna (1960-1962). Fusté, known as el Maonet, after the name of the house where he was born in Linyola, had joined the Barcelona club at the age of 12. Captured by the talent scout Josep Boté, he made his official debut at the age of 17 and officially in a match of the Fairs Cup in 1962.

Although he was considered an excellent left-footer, he was right-handed from birth and only activated his left leg after an injury to his right, a circumstance that made him a very complete midfielder, technically excellent and with a good sense of play in a lacking squad. regularly as Barça was then. Fusté loved to play and, on the other hand, it was difficult for him to train, distant as he was with the coaches who put effort before talent and close to footballers like Martí Filosía or Carles Rexach.

Also very fond of tennis and linked at the time to the Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya, he always remained close to Barcelona, ​​especially the veterans, to the point that he was among the leaders of the Players Association from 1976 to 1989, the year in which he was pre-candidate for the presidential elections before uniting his project with that of Sixte Cambra. As of 2010 he became, along with Migueli and Rexach, an advisor to the boards of Sandro Rosell and Josep María Bartomeu.

“My deepest condolences to the family and friends of Josep Maria Fusté, a club man, legendary Barça figure and soul of the Barcelona Football Club Players Association for many years, may he rest in peace”, said the president Joan Laporta. Expressions of condolence followed one another for a player whose mark was marked in the 1968 Cup finals, known as the one with the bottles, or the 1971 win against Valencia, and also for the Cup Winners’ Cup tie played against Colonia in 1968 -1969.

Fusté was a solemn footballer and also rebellious in his own way, tied to the ball and far from the blackboard and protocol, capable of going to the El Pardo reception with a wrinkled polo shirt and flip-flops organized for the conquest of the Euro Cup in 1964 after to spend a crazy night in Madrid with his friend Calleja. “I wanted to talk to you, Mr. Fusté,” Franco told him then. It is not known what he told him except that it was a matter related to military service and not with his clothing or with football or with Barça.

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