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The incredible rise of Yuri Berchiche: from Cheltenham Town to PSG

How did the Spaniard go from playing in League One 10 years ago to 90 minutes against Real Madrid in the Champions League?

Yuri Berchiche will definitely have made sure his mum had this on record.

The 28-year-old played 90 minutes in the biggest match of his life as Real Madrid proved a lot of people wrong by beating PSG 3-1.

Amazingly the Spaniard was playing League One football on loan from Tottenham 10 years ago, so where did his incredible late rise come from?


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Started at the bottom now he’s here

Getty - Contributor
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Started at the bottom now he’s here

Berchiche made his league debut in 2009 for Cheltenham Town as they played out a 1-1 draw in England’s third tier.

The left back was on loan from Spurs and clearly tasked with carrying out a secret plan just a few weeks later he left Arsenal loanee Henri Lansbury with a suspected broken leg and was sent off by his own manager.

Seven appearances for Cheltenham was all the League One action Berchiche saw before he was shipped out to Valladolid, again on loan.

This must be pretty different to facing Walsall’s strikers

AFP
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This must be pretty different to facing Walsall’s strikers

He was thrown into the deep end against Almeria on the opening day of La Liga, but it would be his only appearance before being sent to play with Valladolid’s B team.

The Castille and Leon side were relegated that year.

So far, it’s hard to see how this career culminates with a Champions League last 16 tie at the Bernabeu.

Berchiche has played Scott Brown and lived to tell the tale

Kenny Ramsay - The Sun Glasgow
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Berchiche has played Scott Brown and lived to tell the tale

In 2010, Spurs had seen enough and released the 20-year-old, thankfully Berchiche was handed a two-year contract with Real Union in the Spanish third division.

Two unremarkable season ended and Yuri went back to Real Sociedad, where he had spent a year as a youth player, but again was loaned straight out to third division side Eibar.

However, this is where Berchiche’s career begins to take the upward trajectory.


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This beginning of Berchiche’s late blossom

EPA
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This beginning of Berchiche’s late blossom

Eibar conceded just 28 goals in 42 games in the 2013-14 seasons as Berchiche found his place as a defensive rock in the back line.

A quick stop over at Real Sociedad preceded Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain coming in with a £14million bid for the 27-year-old.

It’s fair to say this was a pretty weird transfer after Neymar and Kylian Mbappe joined.

Sit down Layvin Kurzawa

Getty - Contributor
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Sit down Layvin Kurzawa

But, despite everyone thinking this would be the end of his career as he trotted out to play second division sides in the French league cup, Berchiche has suddenly forced his way into one of the best team’s in the world.

France international Layvin Kurzawa had to watch on as an unheard of average player took his spot for the biggest game in PSG’s history.

Next stop World Cup with Spain.

Any League One players reading this, there is the easy path from England’s third tier to Champions League.