El Centrocampista

Mr Versatility: Alberto Lora remains vital for relegation candidates


There were a few  journalists feeling less than comfortable as they sat in the post-match press conference at El Molinon on Saturday. After all, thise was a club that had been written off as dead and buried only weeks earlier, with their wily old fox of a coach; Javier Clemenete ridiculed for his  apparant ineffectual bullish style of handing the team.

There is certainly no ridicule now however, especially as Sporting have closed the gap to safety to just four points after a fantastic 3-0 victory at Espanyol. Clemente’s side have produced miracles in recent weeks and the team have put in some highly impressive performances; not least at the Cornell-El Prat on Saturday. If Sporting do achieve the once unthinkable and stay up, there will be a number of players who can take a well-earned rest during the summer months – not least last seasons’ Player of the Year, Albert Lora.

Lora featured only once in the 2007/08 season that saw los Rojiblancos gain promotion to La Primera but since then, he has be come an integral part of the team and is currently on the radar of a number of big clubs around the continent. Here we take a look at Alberto Lora the striker, the midfielder and the defender.

Alberto Lora Ramos, born March 25, 1987 started out as a forward at the academy of none other than Real Madrid. Lora was given an offer no young footballer could refuse; prior to an under-12 football tournament, academy chiefs told him: “Play well, and we’ll sign you.”

Lora subsequently scored a hat-trick in the final of said tournament, with Real Madrid beating a Barcelona team containing Cesc Fábregas and Gerard Pique. He also went on to be named player of the tournament.

Although garnering comparison to Raul on his arrival, three years in to his spell at the Madrid academy, Lora moved down the pitch and began to ply his trade in midfield. He spent seven years as a Real Madrid youth player and, although failing to graduate to the first team, he did score 33 goals and was named vice captain before seeking greater opportunity elsewhere. That elsewhere was Gijon.

Professionally, Lora has been a one-club footballer, having remained at el Molinon since arriving as a 19-year-old back in 2006. He said of his move to Asturias: “Sporting felt like the right place for me to move forwards a player.”

And move forward Lora has. After scoring four goals in 39 starts for Sporting’s B team, Lora  was handed his first senior team start in a home fixture against Celta Vigo during the 2007/08 season. It was the season Sporting returned to La Liga after a 10-year hiatus.

Lora spent the next season alternating between appearing for Sporting ‘B’ and the first team, making his top flight debut against Athletic Club at the San Mamés. However, it was the 2009/10 term when Lora really cemented his place with los Rojiblancos.

As testament to Lora’s versatility, coach Manuel Preciado moved the player’s position again – this time even closer to his own goal to become a right back. Lora has remained in that  position he to this day after playing 32 times during that campaign.

The player known as La Cobrita was again one of Sporting’s key players last season; his 36 appearances ensured that he played a staggering 700 minutes more than any other player in the team throughout the campaign..

Despite his former life as a prolific goalscorer, Lora had to wait until this season for his maiden first team goal – netting to pull an important point out of the fire against Europe-chasing Athletic Club.

Although Alberto Lora has made only 24 appearances this season, he is set to reach a century of games for Sporting de Gijón and, if he remains loyal to his team through the hardship of relegation, he could certainly go on to make a couple of hundred more.

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