A player from one of Valencia’s most glorious eras, he won the Fairs Cup in ’62 and ’63, the Cup in ’67 and the Historic League in ’71 with Di Stéfano as coach.
The Valencian is in mourning for one of his myths:
Robert Gil He died early this Friday August 5, a few days after his 84th birthday. Born in Paterna on July 30, 1938, he immediately moved to Riba-roja, where he lived and where he coached the municipal team. It was already at the end of the 90s, after having been at Valencia, the club to which he swore eternal love, in the second half of the 20th century. So much so that not only did he give up playing for Real Madrid, but he also refused to play a game with the Spanish team because it coincided with one of the teams in his life. It cost him the cross on the list of national team eligibles, but he was proud of his black-and-white life: since rising to fame as a replacement for another myth, Tonico Puchades , until he signed Penev as sporting director. and even tried to bring Van Basten.
And it is that in Valencia he was a footballer, coach and sports director from the early 70s to the 90s, savoring the honey on the pitch, the difficult 80s on the bench and the rebirth with Arturo Tuzón. The Valencian, as a footballer, occupied the midfield of the Mestalla team which, between the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s, won the Fairs Cup (1962 and 1963), the Cup (1967) and the historic 1971 League at Sarrià with Di Stefano on the bench. . In this championship he already had a secondary role, since the Argentine Hispanic coach had already relegated him from the property. Right from the start, he started from the lower categories and patiently waited for his opportunity until he made his debut for the first team. He came through Valencia Mestalla at the age of 18, making his second division debut on June 9, 1957 against Murcia. Despite the fact that the young midfielder at the time was already standing out, the subsidiary would end up losing the category.
His debut with the first team, on June 11, 1959 in a friendly match against Corinthians, left no one indifferent, to the point that the coach at the time, Otto Bumbel, decided to integrate him into the first team. Roberto Gil treasured the memories of this tour of Latin America and, in fact, in his private museum he keeps a photo with the mythical Cantinflas. That same season (1959-1960), he played 19 league matches, all as a starter. The next two campaigns, with Domingo Balmanat on the bench, cost him entry into the XI until with the arrival of first Scopelli and then Pasieguito, he became the undisputed starter.
His progression as a player saw him settle into the XI and form a partnership with Paquito, cementing himself as one of the most significant tandems in the club’s history in midfield. He came to wear the captain’s armband, for example, in the Cup final on July 2, 1967. Precisely after this match, the anecdote happened during the trophy ceremony, when he left the vice-president of the government, Muñoz Grandes, with his outstretched hand: Roberto Gil said between two laughs that it was an oversight due to the emotion of the moment. “I wanted to turn around to celebrate with the rest of the team and I didn’t even notice. We saw it in the NO-DO and there were people calling me, ‘How rude! Let’s see if they’ll arrest you or shoot you! But I greeted Carmen Polo, Franco’s wife, and the president of Valencia, Julio de Miguel. It wasn’t a bad intention, I didn’t even realize it!” Said the ex-footballer, always friendly and talkative when asked to talk about his Valencia. With the arrival of Di Stéfano in 1970 his starring role waned. In fact, he had an almost residual role in winning the League Championship, breaking the 24-year drought without winning that title. His pubic injury weighed him down all the way. year.
The following season he was forced to say goodbye to the club of his life, in which a few years later he would return to train as a coach. Before that, he went to Calvo Sotelo in Puertollano to end his playing days. In total, he played 300 games and scored 35 goals in the Valencia shirt.
As a coach, he took over the team in the 1983–84 season on Matchday 22 and after they were knocked out of the Copa del Rey by Castilla. He took charge of his beloved Valencia, replacing Francisco García ‘Paquito’, the man with whom he had shared the core of the team in the footballing years and who left Valencia in twelfth position. Roberto Gil continued to lead the team for one more season. It was a period of economic problems and finally he had to leave the bench: Óscar Rubén Váldez would enter in his place. His last season as a manager was when he returned to the Premier League, covering the loss of Di Stéfano until the end of the season, which was definitely focused on more technical tasks. As a sporting director, he also had a nose: Quique Sánchez Flores and Lubo Penev were among the players he brought to the club of his life.
Roberto Gil, when asked to compare himself to a contemporary footballer, always mentioned David Albedla. That of Riba-roja hinted that “the small difference” with that of Pobla Llarga was that he tended to go on the attack, which bordered the area more until he had to delay his position. Already retired, he was assiduous in the discussions and gatherings that were always held around his beloved Valencia, collaborating whenever necessary with the Aula LAS PROVINCIAS, and was very active in the centenary events always alongside the Association of Football Players that Fernando Giner chairs. . That year, a fall forced him to go to the hospital while the team of his life played in the final of the Copa del Rey, the last title won to date. Convalescent from an operation, he did not want to miss a match, even if he was on television, against which he was convinced of victory, even if Messi’s Barça were in front: “I think we will win, now it’s easier to score. Goals.” So that was it. The Valencian mourns one of his myths.