16 de Marzo del 2019 4:58 pm.
Santos Laguna captain Jose Javier Abella has more domestic and international matches under his belt for los Guerreros than any other currently active player, and will remain with the team at least until 2021 after renewing his contract.
The versatile right back left his hometown of Cordoba, Veracruz at the young age of 15 in search of his dream. Not even two years living in Torreon and he was appointed captain of Santos' U-17 team. Later, he captained the U-20. In 2012, he made his professional debut in CONCACAF Champions League at 18.
The rest is history.
Along the way, Abella has gone through every process of Mexico's youth national team up to the senior level. In 2018, he was named team captain at a young 24.
"I am very happy to have renewed," he told the club. "Santos Laguna has given me a lot, and it is important to be here with the team and to have the opportunity to keep reaping victories, to keep fighting and making history."
Abella, a player known for encompassing the club's DNA and a poster child for its "win by serving" philosophy, frequently appears in the club's social responsibility activities both in Mexico and in the United States, demonstrating his commitment to the club both on and off the field as team captain - a role he says fulfills one of his dreams.
"Santos Laguna represents a lot in my life," he said. "It was the Club that gave me the opportunity to have a youth career and develop as a player, to debut in the first division, and to consolidate myself in the institution and to be a champion. I have gone through all the stages that a player has during his process, I have lived good and bad moments, and the club has made me mature in every way.
Now, to be the team captain is a dream. It's an achievement and a responsibility to be in an institution that I love as much as Santos."
With regard to the current state of the team, Abella insisted that the current squad is constantly developing and enhancing its technique, looking to take both Champions League and Liga MX.
"The team has not yet reached its best," he said. "We have improved; the team has increased its level of football in recent days. We are in two tournaments fighting for both goals and that is the important thing: to know that we have an international contest that the club and the fans love so much. We have great challenges to face in a great way."
He said the team is focused on reaching the qualification zone for the liguilla with a win this Sunday against Necaxa.
"It's going to be a complicated game, and we know that Necaxa is a great rival who has great players going through a good time. In that sense it seems to me that we have to be very intelligent, know that in defense we have to be solid, return to maintain zeros on the score sheet and offensively take advantage of the opportunities we have to generate goals."