Nery Castillo’s spell with Manchester City may have been short-lived, but the Mexican international this week showcased the quick feet and close control that first caught the Blues’ attention with a rather unusual bit of keepie-uppie using…a sock.
We don’t know whether Nery’s wife does the laundry in chez Castillo but on the basis of this video alone, it’s likely to be frustrating process given her husband’s fondness for practising his ball skills using rolled-up clothing.
In the space of just over a minute-and-a-half, Castillo showcases his close control (and one-footedness!) while both a cameraman and his new Rayo Vallecano teammates look on with confused wonder.
At one point his fun is disrupted by another player, seemingly bored by his new colleague’s mastery of this strange sock-based domain, but undaunted Castillo starts again, maintaining control of the footwear for what seems an eternity, yet in truth is only a matter of seconds.
Soon enough the sock flies off into the arms of his no doubt grateful teammates, but the video serves as another chapter in the increasingly unusual career of a player once rated as one of the best 100 in the world by FourFourTwo magazine.
Prior to moving the Manchester City, Castillo was seen as one of the hottest properties on the continent, having impressed with Greek giants Olympiacos, scoring 30 goals in 105 appearances during a spell which saw him become an established first-team regular at the age of just 16.
A move to big-money Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk followed, but Castillo had his eyes set on the Premier League so when Manchester City and Sven Goran-Eriksson came calling, the Mexico international took his chance.
Signed on a one-year loan deal, rumour has it the midfielder even paid half the fee to Shakhtar to ensure the deal happened, but once at the Etihad things began to go wrong as a collision during a game against West Ham saw him ruled out for much of the campaign with a broken shoulder.
Failing to impress in England, eventually returned to the Ukraine but was now deemed surplus to requirements by the club he had attempted to engineer a move away from.
A nomadic career followed as Castillo spent time in America, Greece and finally Mexico before La Liga minnows Rayo Vallecano offered him a second chance at European success.
Eight games into the current campaign and the now 29-year-old forward has made just one appearance for the Spanish club.
Here’s hoping some of those sock skills are translated into the La Liga soon.
image: © markhillary