José Luis Gaya is currently the captain of Valencia CF, one of the big clubs in Spain, at least historically speaking. However, for different sporting and non-sporting reasons, the club is not at his best, despite having drawn 2-2 with FC Barcelona this weekend (where Gaya himself provided assistance). But it was an important example of loyalty in an era of football where that is not that abundant.
José Luis Gaya, Valencian left-back has more than 230 games with the club and he is only 25 years of age. That in itself is a massive achievement, leaving aside how good Gaya has been for Valencia on a regular basis.
Despite the fact that many of the prominent Valencia CF players in recent years have been leaving the club due to their own desire to improve sportingly and financially or as a decision of the club’s administration to increase their income through sales, Gaya is one of those strange cases in current football where he is willing to reduce his salary in order to stay with the club he arrived to when he was only 11 years.
Gaya is a player who has been very important and quite consistent since his debut in La Liga for Valencia CF and this has led him to the Spain national team and naturally, to be in the portfolio of the main clubs in Europe that repeatedly have gone to the club with the intention of signing him and have found a negative response, not from the club but from the player himself.
An example of Gaya’s commitment to the club happened this summer when, as a result of the difficult economic situation because of the pandemic and some controversial decision of the Peter Lim administration (owner of Valencia CF), all the first team players of the Valencian team were on the transfer list except Gaya, who accepted a salary reduction in order to remain in the club of his life. As Gaya himself has commented to his closest people, his goal is to stay at Valencia CF all his life and become one of those one-club man of whom there is less and less in football.
Definitely a nice, touching story at a time where football seems to be losing the notion of loyalty and genuine love for a team.