WHILE watching Blackpool’s behind-closed-doors game against Wigan in midweek, you couldn’t help but feel sorry for Alberto Nogeura.
This time last year the youngster was a highly-rated star at Spanish giants Athletico Madrid, and was training in soaring temperatures.
On Wednesday, the 22-year-old midfielder was running around while horizontal rain battered against the side of his face at Pool’s Squires Gate training ground.
But strangely, he’s loving life on the Fylde coast.
“It’s been good so far. It’s been a different experience, though,” he told The Gazette.
“The language and the weather have taken a little getting used to but in general it has been great, I love it.”
Noguera impressed boss Ian Holloway during a week-long trial in Portugal this summer.
His quick passing and eye for a through-ball fitted perfectly into the manager’s plans.
After a few problems with red tape, he finally signed a two-year deal at Bloomfield Road.
And after a couple of months by the Seaside, he’s finally starting to feel at home.
He added: “When I first arrived here it was difficult.”
“I didn’t have a car, a mobile phone, anywhere to live or nothing.
“Now I’m slowly getting things sorted, which will help me get settled.
“It’s been much easier for me to settle in as Tiago Gomes and Gerardo Bruna speak Spanish.”
The financial situation in Spain means football is a less than secure industry to be involved in over there.
Apart from giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, there are huge question mark over the future of clubs.
Therefore English football looks set to see an influx of Spanish talent.
And Nogeura has already noticed the difference in styles.
“The football in England is much quicker and it’s end-to-end all the time,” he said.
“It’s also much more physical, so it’s taken a little time to get used to it.
“In Spain football is more relaxed with more passing, rather than pressing and tackling like here in England.”
Noguera made his Pool debut as a second half substitute during the 6-0 win against Ipswich.
While he knows it will take time to break into the starting line-up, the Spaniard is willing to be patient.
“I’m here to help the team anyway I can,” he said. “I hope I can get into the side and make an impact as soon as possible.
“I’d like to think I’m a playmaker who wants to have the ball and pass. I just want to work hard and help the team.
“When I got the chance to sign for Blackpool I jumped at it. I want to be a success here and spend as many years here as possible.”