Girona captain Cristhian Stuani: ‘We won’t win it all, but this team has soul – it didn’t happen overnight’

Girona captain Cristhian Stuani has admitted that they are desperate not to wake up from a dream that has them atop La Liga, but says that their success now has been a number of years in the making.

The Blanquivermells won plenty of praise last season, finishing 11th having been promoted via the play-offs in the previous season. Yet after losing Rodrigo Riquelme, top scorer Taty Castellanos, and key midfielder Oriol Romeu, many thought they would struggle to relpicate that. Stuani admits “if during the preseason someone told you that [we’d be top now], you would have called them crazy.”

The 37-year-old is Girona’s all-time leading scorer with 119 goals in his 223 games, but warned his team that things were about to get harder for his side.

“Everything we are experiencing is a dream and we don’t want to wake up. We must enjoy it, but also be aware that it is an added responsibility, now we are no longer the surprise and the teams know us more, which means that we must increase the effort and work.”

“We have always transmitted humility, work and sacrifice. Day-to-day the work of the team is brutal and that means we can compete very well at the weekend. Now we must maintain the level, we will work for it and try to do so.”

The question that everyone in Spain, and beyond, has been asking, is what their secret is? Yet the Uruguayan forward was clear that Girona have been building towards this for many years. Stuani has been leading the line since 2017, while Sporting Director Quique Carcel has built and rebuilt several squads in his nine-year spell in Catalonia.

“We have the best possible coach and a sensational group with brutal ambition, that is the basis of everything. There is a special connection between those of us who are on the inside and also the fans, that makes us a difficult team to overcome right now,”

“We will not put the pressure on ourselves to win everything because that will not happen. There will come a time when we will suffer, in fact we already suffer to win now because we are neither Madrid nor Barca, but the team has soul, and that cannot be achieved overnight. It’s the club’s years of work that has helped us become leaders today, I have no doubt,” he told Marca.

There is a widespread acknowledgement that it remains unlikely Girona can challenge for the title, especially when taking into account that only 12 games have passed, but increasingly it is hard to argue against them battling for a European place. Last season they were in contention for a Conference League place on the final day of the season, but now have a ten-point gap to Athletic Club in fifth-place.

Tags Cristhian Stuani Girona Michel Sanchez
La Liga - Club News