Burgos: The Spanish team that broke records began dreaming of the La Liga title

Burgos celebrates scoring against Alaves
Burgos is second in La Liga, having gained 18 points despite scoring only six goals in 10 matches.

There may be few occasions when the 36th minute of a football match is celebrated as much as at El Plantio.

“We were nervous while we waited for that,” Michu, sporting director and former Swansea striker, told BBC Sport.

During an impressive 3-0 win over league leaders Alaves on Saturday, Burgos goalkeeper Jose Antonio Caro, better known as Choribe, surpassed former Barcelona goalkeeper Claudio Bravo’s record of 755 minutes without conceding a goal at the start of the season.

“When we got the record, the whole stadium was clapping, we had the number on the screen and in the second half we were able to keep the record in our hands,” Michaux says.

“It was a great match and a great night for us and the fans as well.”

While many classic clubs may come to mind when thinking of the great European defenses of late, the club with defensive streaks on the continent this season is far from a household name.

Burgos, who plays in Spain’s second division, has had a great start to the season, currently sitting in first place by two points after 10 matches – having scored just six goals and scored six goalless draws.

“We’re thinking about surviving. We know we need 50 points,” says 36-year-old Micho, who has supervised Burgos since 2019.

“But in football and in life it’s all about a dream. Survival is the goal but of course we dream like all teams do.”

Burgos fans praise goalkeeper Jose Antonio Caro as he sets a Spanish record for minutes without conceding a net at the beginning of the season.
The home team’s fans paid tribute to goalkeeper Kuribe and displayed his Spanish number on the big screen after 36 minutes against Alaves.

On Wednesday, with 16.8% possession, the blacks and whites improved their record with a 1-0 win over Andorra, the rapidly rising club owned by Barcelona defender Gerard Pique.

Burgos has now gone 900 minutes without compromising the term.

That number stretches to 1,107 minutes if you include the end of last season, which saw Burgos finish 11th in their first professional football campaign in 20 years.

While the team’s defensive capabilities were affected in the first eight games, the convincing victory over Alaves, who had spent the past six years in La Liga, showed that Burgos can also pack a punch in attack.

Although safety is again the top priority, fans can be forgiven for inflating expectations after another.

“We are closer to La Liga than relegation and in five years we can be in La Liga if we keep doing really good things,” Micho says.

“The club is doing a good job, the players are doing great things, so if we can keep this momentum going for so many games, why not? We can do it.

“We are a small club and if you are a player here the fans will be proud of you. Everyone is doing their best and we are creating an atmosphere – and you can see it on the pitch.”

Burgos goalkeeper Jose Antonio Caro has surpassed Claudio Bravo's record that has been in place since 2014
Jose Antonio Caro beat Claudio Bravo’s record that has held since 2014

Micho, who helped Swansea win the League Cup in 2013, retired at the age of 31 in 2017 with a recurring ankle injury.

Given his first chance as sporting director at Langreo – which was run by his brother – the Spaniard also took the position at former club Oviedo before accepting an offer from Burgos four years ago, for which he says he is “very grateful”.

“I miss football a lot but I am lucky because working in football is difficult once you finish your career,” says Micho.

“When I started to have pain in my ankle I started studying football. When you are a player, you don’t know all the things about football.

“The owners have given me a lot of confidence and I have confidence in the players. It is a small club but it is a family club, and for me, that is the key to these results. We are a family here and the players are giving everything they have on the pitch, so we are really proud of them.”

It remains to be seen how an unprecedented start will come for Burgos, who has never reached the highest level in Spanish football.

With his last clean sheet against Andorra, Churripi equaled the 52-year-old’s record in the second division of 10 consecutive clean sheets during a season set by San Andreas goalkeeper Francisco Romero.

The next goal he could be aiming for is the Spanish record of 13 games without conceding a sheet, which former Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Abel Resino has held since the 1990-91 season.

“We’re doing a really great job,” says Michaux. “The atmosphere is really good, we’re playing good football and in our last home game, the whole stadium was sold out, so we’re really happy.”

“We’re not thinking about the record now. We want to fight for three points.

“All the teams in this department are really tough, but now we’re all confident.”

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