Squad news


07 Nov 2008
Albanian Geri Malaj (born in Kuzov, near to Tirana) is a promising midfielder at Depor’s youth teams. He’s living a nightmare moment because he was operated on the past week after twisting his knee during a training session with Fabril. It’s his second surgery in his young career. Now he hopes to fulfill his dream and play again for Depor.

Fifteen years ago, Geri Malaj was only a kid when his family stepped into Spain. He arrived to La Coru?±a because his father was part of a music band, after a couple of days in the city, they decided to stay. Now his father is part of the municipal band in the city while his mother is a textile engineer working at Caramelo, a clothing company that provides the suits to Depor’s squads.

The boy always liked to play football and begun his career at Ural, the former club of Lendoiro. �I always remember me with a ball at my feet. My passion is football. My father loves it, but he never played in a team and I started at the school, later I joined Ural with several friends� those were the words of the Albanian youngster during an interview with La Voz de Galicia early on this week

During the same interview, the boy also described his role at the squad as an �organizer’ in midfield territory �I like to direct and organize the game. At Juvenil we performed as the former Barcelona plays: with three midfielders, two in a more advance position and the other one in front of the defence. I played there, tough my job was not only reduced to steal the ball, but to start the attacks too.�

Malaj joined Depor seven years ago, he started to play at Infantil B and in only four years he reached Deportivo Juvenil A. In August of the past year, he was called to Albania’s U-20 squad for a friendly game though he was only 17. He played the final 45 minutes of the match against Turkey and left a positive impression. He was even called by ex-Depor coach Caparr??s for a couple of training sessions with the first squad.

Things were going really fast as his name was mentioned as a potential candidate for the senior team in Albania, as the midfielder confessed: �They told me people was rumouring they would call me, but I didn’t have any idea about it. A friend of mine invited me and my father to watch the game we played against Portugal (October 15). They ended 0-0, it was a great joy for everybody because we played outside home and against one of the best national teams in the world, and everything was great.�

For the past season, he stayed at Juvenil A and was part of the team that won its league (Divisi??n de Honor). The Albanian midfielder, together with Hugo Garc?­a, David Rochela and Dani Bea, was appointed as one of the most promising players at Depor’s youth squads. But his luck changed just when the season was ending, he suffered a cruciate ligament knee injury on May 6 2008, just one week before the squad was playing the Champions League of the division. He went through surgery in order to correct the problem.

He returned to train with Fabril at the end of October, the idea was to open a space for him at the B squad or to search for a loan, but one week after his return, he twisted his knee again, as he explained to La Voz �It happened again during a training. Just when I was starting to feel better. I turned back and then I noticed the noise at my knee.�

Then the doctors decided to operate his knee again, the surgery took place on the past Thursday and it was necessary to make a ligament graft in order to support the region that was damaged. Now the doctors hope he will be ready to train again in six months. This means that Geri, who is now 19, will not be able to play football until the next season. Only time will tell if he will surpass this new setback, but for the moment Geri Malaj only dreams of recovering his form and play again for Deportivo.


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