When iconic manager Pepe Mel returned to the club he loves most of all, Real Betis, it was an emotional homecoming for the hugely popular 52-year-old manager.
Quickly getting back to grips with life at the Benito Villamarin, Mel lead Betis back to La Liga by not just winning promotion from the Segunda, but guiding them to the league title, finishing three points ahead of Catalan side Girona.
At an emotional event on Friday, Mel was was incorporated amongst club icons on the 'Real Betis Balompie Wall of Legends', firmly underlining the important impact he's made on the history of the Andaluz side.
"As a Betico, it's a huge honour to be here, sharing this space alongside other greats of the club." Mel proudly declared, adding: "I'm supremely grateful to all the employees of the club."
Taking questions afterwards from the gathered press, in comments noted by Estadio Deportivo, Mel was asked recent reports that former Tottenham icon, Rafael van der Vaart, has been offered to Betis by his agents.
Mel wouldn't confirm or deny those reports, but commented: "What I want to make clear is that any players who do come, have to speak with me first. I want committed players, who want to achieve something here."
The Betis boss did however recognise the international ambitions of the attacking midfield star, observing: "Van der Vaart wants to play at EURO 2016, which makes him an interesting player for us, and he wants to keep growing, but I can't say anything more than that."
Along with Real Betis, it's also believed the agents of the 32-year-old, who is out of contract with German side Hamburg, has also been offered to Malaga. The main obstacle for either side concluding what would be a spectacular signing, would at the moment appear to be based on his salary demands.
Having previously revealed a 'promise' to his Spanish grandfather, that he would finish his career with Cadiz CF, there appears to be a willingness by Van der Vaart to make financial sacrifices, in order to be closer to his family sooner.
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