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First match at First Division

"The way of sacrifice and perseverance leads to success”. With these words, Villarreal CF player Álex Baena started a thanks message on his social networks, after playing his first minutes in LaLiga Santander with the first yellow submarine team.

The Almería midfielder has fulfilled against Real Sociedad the dream for which he has worked since he arrived at Villarreal CF's youth academy nine seasons ago. A difficult change, since Álex started this way away from his family when he was only 10 years old.

Baena, who this season has been a key player at Villarreal B and has been international with the U-19 Spanish National Team, is considered one of the best football players of Castellón Academy. His debut in the best category of Spanish football made him to be the first player born in the 21st century to wear the Villarreal CF shirt in First Division and the first youth player to do so since 2015.

A debut for a player who had to make many sacrifices to achieve this dream. That may only be the first stop for a long-lived and brilliant career.