Moroccan winger Ez Abde might have left Camp Nou on loan for Osasuna this season, but it has not dampened his taste for the big stage. With an electric goal against Athletic Club in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final, he has given Los Rojillo an advantage to take to Bilbao. One of his teammates has played a large role in his development this season though.
The winner against Athletic joins another winner over Sevilla in the previous round, sending Osasuna through in extra time. His pace and dribbling ability have been lapped up by El Sadar all season.
⚽ Golazo de 𝗔𝗯𝗱𝗲 en la contra de @Osasuna para abrir el marcador.
— RFEF (@rfef) March 1, 2023
Speaking to Cadena Cope after Osasuna’s win in the first leg against Athletic Club, star forward Chimy Avila explained that he had a special bond with the Barcelona loanee.
“The first day he came to the club, I gave him my hand and took him along with me. That’s why he always comes to hug me first when he scores. Because I speak to him a lot, I have a brother about his age.”
“He’s a very good player, with a lot to give, so you have to keep him on the straight and narrow [laughs]. He’s like another son to me.”
CC: ‘He’s very good, no?’
“When you are not expecting it, he can make the difference in an extraordinary manner, so you have to keep an eye on him.”
CC: ‘Keep an eye on him because he might leave?’
“No, no, because at his age, you can go a bit off course, but well, who hasn’t been through that age, who hasn’t had those moments?”
CC: ‘At times you have to shout at him though, to drop a bit, to cover in defence?’
CA: “Yes, we all know where Abde has come from, from the team he has come from, attacking all the time. But this is Osasuna, you have to do your work, and he is picking things up well.”
Avila has famously been through a number of his own trials as a youngster in Argentina, and thus would be well-placed to guide Abde.
It appears he is doing a good job. Avila is well-loved in Pamplona, and with Abde under his wing, the Moroccan is quickly becoming a fan favourite too.