Betis starlet Roberto Gonzalez on the brink of Manchester United

It looks like highly promising Betis youngster Roberto Gonzalez is on the verge of joining Jose Mourinho and co. at Manchester United. In fact, he would be joining up with the Manchester United academy currently under the guidance of former midfielder Nicky Butt. However, the management at Betis have not given up on keeping the young star at Betis.

There was been growing hype around the 16 year old, who hails from Merida in Extremadura, since he was first called up to the Spanish Under-16 set-up in the autumn last year, before playing at the under 16 international tournament at St George’s Park, England, in February this year. He’s an attacking forward and has been playing for the Cadete A youth team, three levels below Betis B, who have just won promotion back up to the Segunda B.

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New mural in Belfast dedicated to legendary manager Patrick O’Connell

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A mural has been unveiled in Belfast to commemorate Patrick O’Connell; a legend of Real Betis.

The mural of Don Patricio was painted on Falls Road by artist Danny Devenney. It is part of a campaign to put a memorial at the unmarked grave of O’Connell in London.

Don Patricio led Real Betis to their first, and only, Spanish league title back in 1935 as I explain here in the history of Betis. His fantastic work in Seville sparked Barcelona’s interest who were in big trouble and facing extinction. The Irishman signed for Barcelona at the start of the ’36-37 campaign.

The reason why he is so revered in Barcelona is because he took the team over to the USA and Mexico to play exhibition games to raise money after the club president, Josep Sunyol, was assassinated by a General Franco henchman during the civil war.

Without getting too much into the politics, Franco was a nationalist and hated everything that Barcelona stood for, not least because it was a big republican stronghold and had their own Catalan language.

The funds O’Connell raised were transferred to a secret bank account in Paris where they were used to keep Los Cules afloat.

Before he was a manager, O’Connell played for Celtic, Sheffield Wednesday, Hull and captained Manchester United. In Spain he managed Real Oviedo, Racing Santander, Barcelona and Betis.

The unique work of Don Patricio will now be forever remembered on Falls Road.