Paco Alcacer stands with Villarreal in the Europa League final against Manchester United (live from 9 p.m. on DAZN and in LIVETICKER). After leaving BVB, he seemed to flourish again in his home country – only a well-known problem diminishes the joy.
Paco Alcacer didn’t have to get used to long when he came to Borussia Dortmund on loan from FC Barcelona in the summer of 2018. In his first four short appearances, in just 126 minutes of play, the Spaniard managed the work of art to contribute an impressive seven Bundesliga goals for his new employer and thus set a new record in Germany’s top division.
The record of Gert “Charly” Dörfel, who scored nine goals in 565 minutes in the 1963/64 premiere season, pulverized “El Matador”, as he was affectionately known by team-mate Axel Witsel, after just 237 minutes.
Everything indicated as if BVB had found the reliable clipper in Alcacer, which had been so desperately wanted by the management floor since Robert Lewandowski’s departure four years earlier.
Although Alcacer lost some of his coolness in the further course of the season, with a major chances evaluation of 62 percent with 21 possibilities (source: Opta), for example, he left the future top scorer Lewandowski (37.25 percent with 51 major chances) in this discipline far behind. At the end of the season, 18 Bundesliga goals were recorded in 1201 minutes, Lewy snapped 22 times, but came to 2958 minutes.
Alcacer ahead of BVB’s second season: bank space? “I do not like it”
“I don’t like to sit on the bench because I’m a very ambitious person,” Alcacer let via in the run-up to the 19/20 season Sky announced and thus subliminally criticized coach Lucien Favre, who saw the national player more as a noble joker than as a starting eleven candidate. Perhaps also due to a lack of physique, Alcacer had come from the Blaugrana to the Ruhr area as a permanent reserve.
“I haven’t played three games in a row for almost two years. It was difficult for my body, it had to get used to the strain again. I was always bruised,” Alcacer revealed in July 2019 Sky and swore to have “worked an incredible amount” in preparation to finally get fitter.
“I’m a happy, funny person, but when I sit on the bench, I don’t like anything anymore, then I’m a complicated guy,” he said at the time.
Words that apparently left an impression on Favre, in the first five Bundesliga games, the Swiss relied on his goal guarantor right from the start, who repaid the trust with five goals Black and Yellow took home the first title of the season.
The waves seemed to have smoothed out until Alcacer sustained an Achilles tendon injury on matchday six, which in retrospect heralded the end of his career in Dortmund. Alcacer was then no longer on track, was only considered sporadically.
With a view to Alcacer’s engagement at Villarreal and the initially positive development, Hurtado explains: “The atmosphere of a smaller club helps him. In Villarreal he doesn’t have the pressure that he had in Barcelona or at BVB, for example. Also his proximity to Valencia (Alcacer grew up in the region, editor’s note) certainly helps him. His level is very high for Villarreal, so the club is happy to have him. “
But even in the supposed oasis of well-being, Alcacer has been struggling with a well-known problem since the end of last year: Due to Achilles tendon problems and a muscle injury, the center forward missed twelve competitive games. Since his return in January, Alcacer has only delivered three more goals this season, and is now in the shadow of strike partner Gerard Moreno, who scored 29 times in the current round and created 11 more goals.
After BVB farewell: Alcacer’s super debut in Villarreal
In the run-up to the final, in which no less an opponent than England’s record champions Manchester United is waiting for Villarreal, Spanish media assume that veteran Carlos Bacca, who managed a hat-trick against his ex-club Sevilla a week and a half ago, will start alongside the seeded Moreno may.
Alcacer would therefore be forced to first observe what was happening from the bench. In any case, the former Dortmund player has sufficient experience as a joker: With twelve goals after being substituted on, he holds the Bundesliga record for the most joker goals in one season.