AGONAsport Spotlight: Pedro Conde, the Spanish hitman

AGONAsport Spotlight: Pedro Conde, the Spanish hitman

Aiming to follow in the footsteps of prolific Spanish goalscorers, Pedro Conde is enjoying the season of his life. The 29-year old forward has been unstoppable for PAS Giannina in the Super League, scoring an impressive 11 goals in just 17 appearances in the 2017/2018 campaign.

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Conde was born in the Spanish city of Villafranca de Cordoba, going on to play for nine different clubs in his fascinating career. AGONAsport takes a detailed look at the forward’s story so far.

Difficult start in Spain

In his native Spain, Pedro Conde joined the Cordoba set-up, progressing through the academy to eventually play at a professional level for the relatively small Spanish club. However, he never actually made an appearance for Cordoba’s first team.

Despite boasting a promising scoring record for Cordoba’s reserve teams, Conde wasn’t given a chance to prove himself with the senior side. Amazingly, in Spain, Conde didn’t play in a league better than the Segunda-B division. 

A real journeyman

After it didn’t work out with Cordoba, the striker opted to stay in Spain and seek success at different clubs playing in the same footballing tier. In 2009, Conde signed a contract with giants Atletico Madrid, but there was one major catch - he was assigned to Atletico’s C team. To his credit, Conde didn’t complain and remained focused, scoring 16 goals in 34 matches with the club. He only spent the one season with the third Atletico team, moving to Real Jaen afterwards.

His season with Jaen is something which Conde would love to forget. The Spaniard only scored two goals in a disappointing campaign, meaning that it wasn’t surprising to see him move on to CD Pozoblanco a year later. He did better with that particular team, but he transferred to Granada B for the next season. In an astounding statistic, Conde switched club every year in Spain, later representing Alcoyano, Melilla and Merida before eventually signing for PAS Giannina in 2016.

Coming out of the comfort zone

Conde’s career clearly didn’t have any direction in Spain, but he appeared afraid to come out of his comfort zone and try his luck abroad. Finally, in 2016, he made the best decision of his footballing life to date. Conde put pen to paper on a three year contract with PAS Giannina in Greece’s Super League, making the jump to Ioannina just as the club were preparing to participate in a debut UEFA Europa League campaign. Looking at how things have worked out, it’s unlikely that Conde regrets his choice.

He even managed to score in the Europa League for PAS, hitting the target in a 1:2 defeat against Holland’s AZ Alkmaar. Straight away, it became clear that Conde was going to find that elusive stability which he had been yearning for.

Instant impression with PAS

Asides from that Europa League goal, Conde immediately hit it off with PAS, quickly turning into one of the team’s leading lights. After years of languishing in Spain’s lower divisions, Conde had found a team which respected him, made him feel comfortable and gave him an opportunity to prove himself at a decent level. 

Conde transformed into one of the first names on PAS’ team sheet, impressing in his first season in the Super League. In 25 games, he grabbed 13 goals, firing the club to a mid-table finish in 9th position. To show just how much PAS rely on Conde, the entire team combined only scored 17 goals without taking Conde’s efforts into consideration.

Taking the next step

To have one brilliant season could be put down to beginners luck, but to follow that up with a second consecutive productive year? That takes talent. The 2017/2018 Super League season still has nine rounds remaining, however Conde has already scored 11 goals, on course to improve on his record from last season. Overall, if we look at all tournaments, Conde has 17 goals in 22 games.

The majority of Conde’s goals naturally come inside the penalty area, but he can strike a ball from distance too. He netted two wonderful free-kicks against AEL in the Greek Cup recently, then scoring a beautiful half-volley in the dramatic PAS Giannina victory against Panathinaikos.

Turning into a Spanish hitman

Yes, Conde plays in the Super League and not in one of Europe’s leading championships, but his achievements cannot be undermined. Owning 17 markers in all tournaments, he has more goals this season than well-known Spanish forwards Alvaro Morata (12), Fernando Torres (5) and Iago Aspas (13). Predictably, talks of a possible transfer away from PAS have begun. Recently, PAS Giannina president Giorgos Christovasilis stated that Conde has a release clause in his contract of 900 thousand euros, also adding that bigger Greek clubs are sure to make a move for the on-fire striker.

A true goalscorer

Conde dedicates every goal to his late uncle, the person who always encouraged him to keep playing football. When describing his style of game, he likes to think of himself of a forward which keeps the opposing defence on their toes. “I like to play on the back of the defence,” revealed Conde. “I always want to help my team. I can also strike the ball well from distance, I enjoy it when the team play on the wings, look to play between the lines and I can search for space behind the defenders.”

When the 2017/2018 season comes to an end, it will certainly be interesting to see whether Conde decides to stay with PAS, or sign with a bigger club. His ability to score important goals is becoming ever more prominent. 

by Shaun Nicolaides
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