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THE ONLY LINK BETWEEN DEPORTIVO AND BRANN

17 Sep 2008
Fernando Blanco Jim?©nez â€?Tort??guez’ is the only men that have played for both, Brann and Deportivo, in the past. He was born in 1945 and although he never debuted in Primera Divisi??n, he had the chance to play alongside Lendoiro. Later he ended playing for Brann as his wife is Norwegian. Newspaper La Opini??n A Coru?±a made an article about his history.

Deportivo and SK Brann are centenary clubs, but their respective histories only have a few crossroads, actually only one: Fernando Blanco Jim?©nez â€?Tort??guez’. This veteran Galician ex-player is a product of Depor’s youth system that migrated to Norway following his wife. Place where he was a big novelty since he was the first foreign player to perform in the country after World War II.

Jim?©nez was born in 1945 in A Coru?±a and when he was 15, he joined Depor’s youth system. He played three years at Juveniles and had the chance to work with ex-coach Rodrigo Garc?­a Vizoso, one of the most notorious figures in the history of Deportivo. In this period of time he played alongside Lendoiro and Beci in the Galician team that won the Juveniles trophy in 1961.

He explained to newspaper La Opini??n that his nickname â€?Tort??guez’ was a sort of combination between the word Tortuga (turtle) and his surname Jim?©nez. That because his team mates always said he was very slow on the pitch. He stayed at the club until he was 18, then he moved on to Manises, a club from Valencia. It was there where he met his wife, who is Norwegian.

Later he had the chance to play for Valencia and Real Madrid, but he wasn’t accepted after been on test. He ended playing for Teruel and Menorca and then he decided to move to Norway. Jim?©nez explained that this wasn’t an easy step for him, because at the time (1969), he was the first foreign player to perform in Norway after the end of World War II.

Jim?©nez signed for Brann and performed in 14 games for the squad. He remained the euphoria lived with his signing â€?There was a big expectation around me during the first games. For them I was adding an exotic touch to the tournament.â€? He said to La Opini??n. Later he explained that it wasn’t easy to live there â€?I was earning 300 coronas for each victory and 150 for each draw. Everything in paper to buy stuff, because over there football was an amateur sport and we couldn’t pay things in cash.â€?

Currently, �Tortuguez’ is living in Norway and explained his feelings when he heard that Deportivo would meet Brann for the UEFA cup �It’s was something unexpected. I always thought it was something impossible, but it happened. It’s going to be a very special series for me. But on Thursday, I’m betting in Deportivo.�

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