El Centrocampista

CRUZ MISSILE – Goals the key for Roque and Real Betis

By David Smith

On the 29th August Real Betis announced the arrival of renowned centre forward Roque Santa Cruz on a season long loan from Premier League giants Manchester City.

This is Pepe Mel’s eighth signing of the summer, by far the most high profile and his last until the winter.

Bringing in Cruz has obviously excited the majority of fans. They now possess a real wealth of class in front of goal which can only help them survive in La Liga this year.

He joins proven Betis strikers (albeit at lower league level) Ruben Castro and Jorge Molina as well as the mercurial back up presence of Jonathan Pereira.

Betis now have four very good forwards as well as the complimentary wide players to provide both assistants and goals that will surely come in abundance this season.

Pepe Mel can call on a strong looking forward line this season.

Ruben Castro, since joining in August 2010, has been in fine form. The Canary Islands born player will most likely spearhead the Betis attack again this season.

Since signing he had made 43 appearances and scored an impressive 28 goals, the latest of which came on Saturday against Grenada.

One of the main reasons that Ruben was so prolific last season was down to his partner, Jorge Molina.

Betis signed the 29 year old for €1.6 million after he proved himself to be more than able at second division level. In 35 games Molina has converted 18 times for the Andalucía outfit.

Both Molina and Ruben, however, missed much of the pre-season with non-serious injuries which allowed Pereira to prove himself once again as good replacement.

Having not had a successful season for quite some time many fans had been calling for the club to seel the player. However he looked impressive during the preseason in England and Wales, bagging seven in one game alone.

Even with the three aforementioned forwards Mel has been looking to add one more proven goal scorer over the summer and Cruz fits the bill perfectly.

The Paraguay international who has been playing in the top flight of European leagues when he signed for Bayern Munich at the tender age of 17, makes the switch to Betis, his sixth club he has represented.

Cruz has scored 25 international goals and ultimately had his best spell of goal scoring with English outfit Blackburn Rovers. Both he and Betis will hope that he can recapture some of this past form, which has ultimately suffered since his move to Manchester.

Betico will hope that he is as successful as their last Paraguayan striker Carlos Diarte who scored 29 goals for the club in the 1980s.

The firepower that Betis now possess is there for everyone to see. But it will be interesting to see if Ruben and Molina can step up their game in La Liga, if Pereira can find his goal scoring form again and if the world class Cruz can finally settle at a club. If this were all to happen; goals will not be a problem for Betis.


  1. Matt Richardson

    4 September, 2011 at 17:35

    this is exciting! i really hope Betis can stay up this year.

  2. David Smith

    4 September, 2011 at 18:03

    Indeed. Betis are definitely a La Liga club in; reputation, history and support!

  3. Heath Chesters

    4 September, 2011 at 18:09

    Quality signing for Betis, without a doubt.

  4. Pingback: THREE IS THE MAGIC NUMBER – But can Betis make it four out of four? | elcentrocampista.com

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