Mandi’s silent farewell after five years at Benito Villamarín


The Franco-Algerian did not have minutes against Huesca and jumped to the pitch at the end, when all the players had retired to the changing rooms

Dfter extending the second half seven minutes, due to the interruption caused by a strong clash between Guido Rodriguez Y Siovas, the Asturian referee Gonzalez Fuertes signaled the end of the match between Betis Y Huesca, which mathematically certified the return to Europe of the verdiblanco set. A feeling of joy for the footballers of the team of Pellegrini that was mixed with sadness and nostalgia in the case of Aïssa Mandi.

The Franco-Algerian central defender, after five years defending the coat of arms of the Thirteen Bars, said goodbye yesterday to the stadium where he was unveiled in The league and where it has achieved several important milestones, such as leading to Betis twice to continental competitions, being one of the most highly rated footballers by each and every one of the coaches who have passed through the Betic bench in the last five years and becoming the second foreigner with the most games in the club’s history.

Mandi did not play in front of him Huesca. Neither did he on Thursday, in Ipurua, nor on Monday, in front of grenade, on that occasion by penalty. After leaking his agreement to sign for him Villarreal as of next July 1, Pellegrini has ended up opting for prudence, placing Bartra in his position and thus avoiding that any error by the Franco-Algerian could have a double detrimental interpretation for the team and the footballer himself.

Mandi, yesterday on the grass at the end of the game
Mandi, yesterday on the grass at the end of the game@RTVBetis

Thus, and although he could not say goodbye to the Benito Villamarin Playing, Mandi He did have a few minutes to say goodbye to the Palmera Avenue, as captured by the cameras of RTV Betis. When all the players retired to the locker room, the Algerian international sat down in the center of the field, took his mobile phone from his pocket and recorded several videos, visibly moved. It was his way of saying goodbye, silently, to the club that gave him the opportunity to reach The league.

Mandi leaves the Betis After completing the five-year contract that he signed in his day with a total of 173 official matches behind him, in which he has scored eight goals. Only in Brazilian Denilson, with 207 games, he wore the green-and-white shirt more times among all the players born outside of Spain that have gone through Heliopolis. A record that would undoubtedly have been beaten had he continued at least one more year in the entity.

The very long negotiations for its renewal, which began more than two years ago, did not end up bearing fruit, seriously penalized by the economic crisis caused by the covid-19 pandemic. Now, Mandi a new stage will begin in the Villarreal, under the orders of Unai emery, yet to know if he will do it playing the Conference league, the Europa League… or even the Champions. There is still a day of League to be disputed, but his stage in the Betis seemed to close yesterday.

Emerson, a pending ‘farewell’

The brazilian Emerson was the other player who, after the game, sat for several minutes on the pitch of the Benito Villamarin, in a kind of farewell, like that of Mandi. In his case, after two and a half seasons as a green-and-white. Although his future, contrary to what happens with the Franco-Algerian, is still up in the air and anything can happen.

The Barcelona it has a repurchase option for nine million euros that it will foreseeably execute. But, if not, the Betis could stay with Emerson paying that same amount. Pellegrini he wants the Brazilian full-back on his squad next season. Antonio Cordon he knows it and works to try to achieve it, with different formulas. But it all depends on the Barça. Yesterday could also be his farewell to the stadium where he started his stage in European football, which promises to be brilliant … or a point and followed. In the next few weeks it will be decided.

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