x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Francisco Yeste is proving his point

Watching Francisco Yeste at Baniyas, Al Wasl fans must wonder why the gifted Spaniard was shown the door at the Zabeel Stadium.

Francisco Yeste, left, was released by Al Wasl and joined Baniyas.
Francisco Yeste, left, was released by Al Wasl and joined Baniyas.

Watching Francisco Yeste at Baniyas, and especially his performance against Al Arabi in the Champions League match on Tuesday, Al Wasl fans must be wondering why the gifted Spaniard was shown the door at the Zabeel Stadium.

One of the most impressive foreign players last season, Yeste would have formed a formidable partnership with Mariano Donda in the Wasl midfield.

With Juan Manuel Olivera up front, they would have been a nightmare for defences. But Wasl's loss has been Baniyas's gain.

There seems a bit of confusion over the events, which led to Yeste's exit from Wasl. On the eve of a game against Baniyas last month, Diego Maradona claimed he had "nothing to do with Yeste leaving".

"When I came here, I was told Yeste would not be a part of the team for this year and that's why the club had signed Edson Puch," the Argentine said. "I never had a chance to meet Yeste. So I don't know who has reported this false information."

Maradona later changed that statement. In an interview with a sports daily, he said: "I actually said to Marwan [bin Bayat, the chairman] when he asked if I wanted to keep him, 'no, not really'. I could have easily kept him and have a high-budget player, but not a high-performance player.

"I do not deny the quality of Yeste, but at that moment Yeste seemed like a guy going to the supermarket and I had no place for that type of player."

For those who have watched Yeste play, these Maradona comments may seem a bit amiss and his performances since January are a perfect riposte.

 

arizvi@thenational.ae