‘La Tanqueta’ sits at Di Stéfano and César’s table
A week after turning 39, Jorge Molina continues to score goals, something that in LaLiga history only two legends achieved: Di Stéfano and César
PThe years have gone by and Jorge Molina (Alcoy, 1982) never tires of scoring. At the Camp Nou he dynamited the fight for the league title with a goal that allows him to stand on the podium of LaLiga’s oldest scoring forwards. Two legends of Real Madrid and Barcelona like Alfredo Di Stéfano and César Rodríguez precede him. He did not imagine it.
“It is an honor for me to be on this chosen list. If we are only three forwards we are on that list, it is because scoring a goal at 39 is something very difficult. And on top of that, two legends of football history like César and Di Stéfano. It is an award for a job well done, “he tells MARCA ‘La Tanqueta’, as his best friends and wardrobe mates nickname him for his particular style of playing.
It is almost a miracle beyond Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Milan) to find a striker who continues to score goals at the highest level and with football as physical as it is now. And Jorge Molina is one of them with a performance in his thirties above that shown in his first years of career. It is curious that the best was yet to come when he decided to leave Betis, go down to Second with Getafe and grow to play the Europa League in two editions where he lived magical nights against Ajax in blue and against Naples as a Nasrid.
It has been 55 years since a striker in our League scored a goal at the age of 39. César Rodríguez reigned in the 40s and 50s, Di Stéfano did so in the 50s and 60s, but since the Saeta Rubia scored his last goal in the Espanyol shirt in 1966 before retiring, no LaLiga striker had scored a goal with 39 years until Jorge Molina.
Aduriz (38), Julio Salinas and Craioveanu (37) they are the other oldest forwards to score goals in their 40s this century.
Molina has scored 13 goals this season in all competitions, a figure few imagined after he left Getafe last season despite having one more year on his contract because Bordalás preferred to rejuvenate his lead and bet on faster points (Enes Ünal and Cucho arrived). Diego Martínez opted for his signing, Granada signed him for two years and the legend continues.
The player who is never injured
How to continue performing at the highest level on the edge of 40? “You have to have good genetics and take good care of yourself,” says Molina. A good diet, a good rest, training more than anyone and not getting injured have been key to extending the career of a striker with maximum profitability.
Never in his life has he been injured muscularly, a case worthy of study and more so in such an explosive striker, although his great virtue has always been playing on his back. With Rubén Castro he made a successful couple at Betis, with Ángel and Mata at Getafe and now without a regular partner dance (Soldado, Luis Suárez) continues to improve the numbers in Granada.