Javi Castellano: “This goodbye hurts, after ten years I deserved a minimum of respect, another treatment”


ANDhe past Friday UD Las Palmas, through its president Miguel Ángel Ramirez, confirmed a list of players who will not continue in the squad next season. The most striking names were those of Aythami and the Castellano brothers, Javi and Dani. Thus, the midfielder speaks in MARCA for the first time … as a former player of the Canarian team.

I didn’t find out from anyone on the board, it came to me from the other side … and that hurts; I called the president and he said he knew nothing about my departure

Its termination surprised many, did you too?
I found out before the team traveled to Logroño on the last day. It was not anyone from the board of directors, but it came to me from another side. They told me that the club was not going to count on us for the following season. I called the president and he said he didn’t know anything about it. I noticed him surprised, but because I knew that information. He told me that on Tuesday he would have a meeting with the sports commission and we would talk.
And what happened at that meeting?
On Tuesday, both my brother and I were summoned to the club. It was Luis Helguera who told us that the Castellano cycle was over and that they would not count on us the following season. He told us that the proposal was his and that no one in the sports commission objected.
But you had one more year on your contract …
Yes. We signed a clause when we lower our salary, by which the club could end the relationship with us, as long as they paid us severance pay. They availed themselves of that clause.
Are you hurt?
The treatment and the forms have not been correct for our end. We’ve been at the club for ten years and we’ve been with them through thick and thin. Our behavior has been exemplary and we have always responded. It hurts me that they did not contact us and we had to find out from third parties. After ten years, I think he deserved that modicum of respect. When I spoke with the president, I told him that I understood that in football cycles are over. Players come and go, I understand that. But finding out like this … hurts. I am very grateful to UD Las Palmas, but how our relationship with them ends is what has bothered us.
Javi Castellano in the match against Ponferradina in which he received the tribute for his 250 games
Javi Castellano in the match against Ponferradina in which he received the tribute for his 250 gamesG. Ojedfa

The treatment and the forms have not been correct after so many years in the club

What balance do you make of your ten years at UD Las Palmas?
Pretty good. It is true that I have had three bad years after the injury. When Mel arrived he didn’t count on me the first year, but then he did count on me. I have played with almost all the coaches that have passed through Las Palmas in these ten years. I would have liked to play more in First. We were only in the category for three years and it coincided with the serious knee injury I had.
What has been your best moment in Las Palmas?
The ascent, no doubt. A very beautiful year and in which I was very important, because that season I played everything. Getting promoted with your hometown team is one of the most beautiful things a footballer can experience.
And its worst moment?
I have two. The first, it is logical, the game against Córdoba that prevailed us from promotion. The other was the knee injury. I got to Primera and in the first game, at the Vicente Calderón, I was seriously injured. It was very hard, although I overcame it thanks to the support of mine and the love I received from the fans.
How do you think the fans will remember you?
I have always felt very loved and protected. It is true that some will like me more and others less, but I have always given everything for this shirt. I hope they remember me as a player who has always done his best for this shield.
How did you think your farewell to UD Las Palmas would be?
On the pitch and with the fans in the stadium. If they had communicated the decision to me in time, I would have known that I was playing my last game at Gran Canaria. Talk to the press in the mixed zone and give the news. I have not been able to leave as I would have liked.

I could not leave as I would have liked, without saying goodbye to the fans

Do you have offers on the table?
I have seen news published about some teams, but I am not aware of those offers. Really, so far I have not spoken with any team. It has only been a week since we were notified of our termination.
Will you continue in Spain or would you like to play abroad?
I would like to continue competing in Spain, although I will not close the door to play in another country if an attractive offer arrives. But my idea is to continue in Spain. We have a young son and a baby on the way, and I have to look out for my family. I feel empowered to continue competing at a good level.
Do you expect a tribute or detail from the club?
No. The president already said what he had to say in the press room and we issued a statement. It has not happened with other players, so I do not expect a different treatment either.
There are 250 games with that shirt, do you give it the importance it requires?
I fulfilled them against Espanyol and at the end of the game I noticed the injury to the sole of my foot. I endured a lot of discomfort and that was my last game. But I do value that statistic, although surely more as the years go by.
Has it been a tough season for you?
Yes, because I couldn’t do the preseason because of the Covid. It took me a long time to get up and when I got to the level, the season was already late. I have coincided at the time when we beat those at the top and we got hooked a bit, but another injury has come that prevented me from finishing the season well.
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