Angel Rangel Zaragoza is a legend in South Wales. The Swansea City right back has played for the club since 207, going on to make more than 230 appearances, and helping the club go up through the English Football League divisions, all the way to the Premier League, and League Cup winners.
The thirty year old Catalan played for several clubs in his early career, but never managed to progress past Segunda Division B during his spells at Tortosa, Reus, Girona, Saint Andreu and Terrassa. And it was from Terrassa that Roberto Martinez signed Rangel, for the princely sum of ten thousand pounds. What a good signing he turned out to be and who woulda bet on it. Doubt even the bookmakers, when betting on soccer future stars.
In his first season at Liberty Stadium, Rangel played a huge part in the club’s promotion season, winning the League One (third tier) title. He played all but three league games that season, becoming a hero with the fans and earning a place in the team of the year. Three seasons followed in the Championship, during which time he played more than 120 times in all competitions. In their third season in the second tier, Swansea won the playoff final to gain promotion to the Premier League, where they are currently enjoying their second season, and Rangel has been right at the heart of it.
He has made fifty six appearances so far in the top flight, and has never looked out of place amongst the elite. A solid defender, he has also scored twice in the Premier League this season, taking his career tally for the Swans to eight. He also played the full ninety minutes of their recent League Cup final triumph, helping the club into the Europa League in the process. At time of writing, Swansea City sit eighth in the Premier League, a remarkable achievement, and Rangel remains a first choice for whichever manager he plays for.
As you would expect for a player never to make it as high as the Segunda Division in his homeland, Rangel has never made an appearance for Spain at any level, not that will worry his club’s fans. He recently signed a new contract with the club, keeping him in South Wales until 2016. He said at the time of signing it that he “felt like a Welshman” and has married a Welsh girl, while he is also building a new house in Swansea. He is even doing his coaching badges with a view to joining the club’s backroom staff at a later date.
Even if the big boys came calling, I doubt that they could tear the brilliantly named Angel Rangel away from his beloved Swans. Why would he want to? He has achieved incredible things at the club, and there is no sign of that success slowing down. It’s refreshing to see a player that is truly happy at his current club, and has no intention of moving on. He could undoubtedly earn more money elsewhere, but that is clearly not on his agenda. I fully expect him to see that new deal through to its end, and probably sign another one after that. Swansea City and it’s fans are lucky to have such a model professional at their club, and he is lucky that he has found somewhere he loves, both on and off the pitch.