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Liverpool Defender Completes Long-Delayed Return to Spain

Having had a January move to Eibar blocked thanks to FIFA bureaucratic nonsense, Rafael Paez has finally completed his return to Spain. He joins Alcorcon on a one-year deal.

Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Late in January, Rafael Paez thought he had completed a loan move to La Liga side SD Eibar. The goal for the 20-year-old centre half was to put in an impressive six months and secure himself a long-term deal with the Basque side. FIFA, as it turned out, had other plans.

Claiming Eibar had made an administrative error in paperwork, football’s governing body blocked the loan move. By this point, the window had already shut and registration for the second half of the season closed, meaning not only could Paez not play for Eibar—he also couldn’t register to play with Liverpool’s reserves.

He was a 20-year-old barred from playing football thanks to FIFA’s bureaucratic nonsense. Now, though, he has at least found a home, albeit with mid-table Segunda side Alcorcon rather than La Liga’s Eibar, who weren’t willing to offer Paez a contract without having had a chance to kick the tires first by taking him on loan.

Paez arrived at Anfield in 2013 after cancelling his contract with Real Madrid, where he had moved to after rising through the youth ranks at Hercules. He signed a two year deal and impressed with the reserves in year one. A half-season spent on loan with Bologna last year, though, failed to impress Liverpool’s coaching staff.

He returned in January and was told that Liverpool would not be extending his deal, at which point he began to search for a new home. Alcorcon have signed him on a one-year deal.

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