Sergi Canos: Surging into the Championship


3rd November 2015 - Bees Review - Joanna Tilley 

Sixty seconds is all it took for Sergi Canos to make an impression during his home debut for Brentford. The 18-year-old winger, on loan from Liverpool, exploded off the bench to provide the assist for Lasse Vibe’s equaliser against Preston North End.

If his cross didn’t catch the eye of the fans, the attacking energy he brought to the team certainly did. 

“Before the match against Preston, I was nervous,” Sergi told me. “I didn’t know if I was ready for the Championship, or even to be on the bench."But it was nice to get an assist in my first moments on the pitch. It made me feel that I’m ready to play at this level."

The Griffin Park faithful immediately responded to the player who changed the tide of the game with some cheeky flicks and a fearless attitude.

"The reception I’ve got from the fans so far has been incredible and to get the fans’ man of the match for my home debut was unbelievable. I don’t know if the fans expected something from me but I was really happy with that.”

It is possible Bees fans were expecting something special from a youngster with a notable footballing CV. Canos is the product of FC Barcelona’s La Masia youth academy and signed for Liverpool much to the frustration of the Catalan giant.

Championship Player of the Month for October, Alan Judge, has been impressed with the Spaniard's attacking style but it is clear to anyone who watches him for more than a few minutes that Canos is not afraid of taking on opponents, or using an audacious piece of skill when required.

“I’ve always played like that. Since I started playing football at the age of five, we would play on concrete in my hometown of Nules; we always had cuts and grazes. Now you see the boys playing on grass, whereas I played on rock.”

The quality of the pitches improved somewhat for Canos when he joined Barca’s Academy at the age of 13.

“I think the most important thing I learned from La Masia was how to be more responsible and independent. I was living alone there, although surrounded by other boys, but there was more responsibility playing for Barca.”  

Although Sergi wasn’t sure how seriously to take Bees Review’s claim that Brentford were the Barcelona of West London, he recognised that the clubs do have their similarities, as well as differences.

“Of course there are some – we play football. Not long balls or anything like that. We are not like Barcelona because we do not have Messi! But we are playing attractive football and that’s why I came here, because I knew this was the style I wanted to play.”

Currently on loan until January, Sergi says he would like to be at Griffin Park a little longer. 

“I want to stay until the end of the season. That’s my objective – to stay. I’m really happy here. I enjoy each day and am learning new things: the intensity at training and the type of football, plus playing with men like Judgey and Alan McCormack. I can learn a lot from them." 

Ultimately, he will be looking to get a place in the Liverpool first team. The city is not just home to his football club but also his family, who moved with him to the UK.

“Moving over here in 2013 was a difficult transition. But it was the best decision of my life because my family came with me and my sister is at school and speaks English like an English girl.”

“We are going to open a restaurant in Liverpool. It should be open any day now. All our lives have changed. They live in Liverpool and come to watch me play. They give me a lot of confidence and when I warm up and see them – it gives me strength.”

The Canos family are working in collaboration with renowned Spanish chef Miguel Barrera, whose restaurant Cal Paradis in Castellón has a Michelin Star.

“For me he is the best chef in Spain, that’s why he’s at our restaurant," says Sergi with a laugh. "It is a Spanish restaurant and his speciality is in rice, although there is a tapas section.”

Despite leaving Liverpool for London, Sergi was excited about the news Jurgen Klopp was to become manager of the Reds.

"It is amazing. Klopp and Liverpool is the perfect match – there is so much passion amongst the fans. And he seems very passionate. Hopefully in the future I will have a chance to talk to him.”
 
When he is not playing for Brentford, or keeping an eye on Liverpool, Sergi is cheering on Valencia.

“I am a big fan,” said Sergi. “When I was five-years-old I was going to the Mestalla Stadium regularly. My dad supports Valencia, although my sister supports Barcelona. When I went to Barcelona she was so excited, it was a dream for her.”

There is no doubt Sergi’s talent has already brought plenty of excitement, and changes, to the lives of his family and others around him.

But his career in England is just beginning, and if his first minute on the Griffin Park turf is anything to go by, it could be quite a ride.  

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