Despite the passing of time, Antonion Puerta’s memory still lives strong among Sevilla fans. He is remembered as a joker and as someone who was full of life by his old teammates, who will take part in the sixth edition of the tribute match held in honour of the deceased Sevilla FC player in the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán.
His old club will take on UD Almería in a match designed to honour the legendary No. 16. For many people, Puerta became a footballing legend after his death because of the short yet eventful professional career he enjoyed, in which he even managed to united Sevilla and Betis fans. As a result, fans from both of the Andalusian city’s clubs will come together on Thursday to pay tribute to Puerta as well as Miki Roqué, the Real Betis player who passed away in 2012.
Antonio Puerta started his career off with Nervión, his hometown club. He quickly made a name for himself in the region and soon started playing for the Sevilla academy. He continued to stand out and thanks to Joaquín Caparrós, made his first team debut on the 21st of March 2004, by coming on against Malaga in the 72nd minute.
It was 'Juande' Ramos, the Sevilla coach during the 2005/06 season, who gave him his proper break with the first team. Puerta capped off a fantastic year by winning a gold medal for Spain at the Mediterranean Games. Things continued to go well for the Nervión native when he made his debut for the Spanish national team in October 2006 against Sweden.
After that he tasted success at club level. The 27th of April 2006 will forever be a sacred date for Sevilla fans. In the 100th minute the academy player sealed the team’s passage to the final of the UEFA Cup with a left footed screamer. That night earned him the nickname 'the dynamite left foot'. Three weeks later he was part of the first Sevilla team in 60 years to win silverware, beating Middlesbrough FC (4-0) in the European final.
His list of accolades included two UEFA Cups, a Copa del Rey, a European Super Cup and the Spanish Super Cup. He also scored six goals in the Spanish topflight, two in European competition and four in the Spanish second division.