Damià Abella

My way of looking
to football
is very similar
to the way
I face life

I was born, raised and developed around a sport that is everything to me.

Now, I look back on my life and I feel what I do very intentionally, with the tranquility of knowing that something as complicated as the sport of football can be tremendously simple if you have a clear vision, the right preparation and a positive intensity.

My experience 

  • 2003-2004

  • 2004-2006

  • 2006 - 2006

  • 2006-2007

  • 2008-2012

  • 2014-2016

  • 2016-2019


My experience

My opportunity to transform the chalkboard into plays and the tactical expertise came about in the 2003/2004 season when I debuted in Division 2-B with my hometown team, Unió Esportiva Figueres. Three goals and 19 matches later in the Girona club, Pere Gratacós, coach at that time of the FC Barcelona’s reserve team, decided to take me with his team to the Catalonian capital for the 2004/2005 season.

During this season, the top FC Barcelona team lost several important players to injuries, and that is how I got my chance to join the line-up and debut in an official match on October 27, 2004. Frank Rijkaard was the team coach back then and he included me on the roster on several occasions. My debut in the league occurred a few days later on October 31, 2004, against Athletic Club in San Mamés.

We ended the season as league champions and FC Barcelona offered to renew my contract for the next three seasons, in which I had the chance to defend the team colors in two classic matches against Real Madrid. Bad luck meant that some problems with my hip kept me off the playing field for several months, which resulted in my transfer in January 2006 to Racing de Santander. Here I began a period of personal and athletic growth under Manuel Preciado. My place in the 1st division was taking shape and on March 18, 2006 I scored my first goal as a professional against RCD Espanyol.

After finishing a good second round, Real Betis expressed an interest in me and I was transferred to the green and whites for the 2006/2007 season. One year later, after surgery on my hip, I returned to the playing field thanks to Héctor Cúper.

After four seasons in Seville, I signed on as a new player of CA Osasuna. I defended the red club’s honor for the next four years, eventually earning the captain’s armband. This period of athletic maturity opened a new horizon for me in the Premier League.

On August 9, 2014 I joined the Middlesbrough FC squad under the direction of Aitor Karanka. After eight consecutive matches as a starter, I was seriously injured. After recovering, I played in the Championship as part of the plan to ascend to the Premier League, which we finally accomplished in May 2016. After reaching this goal, in June 2016, I left active play, but football never left me. I never lost the resilience or the optimism or the desire to see the ball roll.

That is why I continue to be associated with this sport; I have trained as a professional coach through the Catalonian Football Federation and I was the coordinator of the Men’s Catalonian Grassroots (FCF).

Currently, I enjoy sharing my knowledges within the Watford FC coaching staff. Since January 2021 I joined this ambitious sports project in England, summing up the season with the team promoted to Premier League.