MIGUEL Llera rates Sheffield Wednesday’s promotion and its rapturous aftermath as possibly the highlight of his career - and he has played in the top division in Spain.
The 32-year-old defender helped Tarragona side Gimnastic to reach La Liga in 2006 after a 56-year absence.
But victory in the League One promotion race followed by the crowd scenes at Hillsborough last Saturday and at the civic reception on Wednesday made this season “maybe No 1” for him.
“It has been a moment to enjoy,” said Llera, though he also rates the Spanish success as special - “it is not every day you can play in La Liga.”
He was mobbed by the Hillsborough crowd after the 2-0 win against Wycombe:
“It was unbelievable. I lost my helmet, shinpads, everything,” he said.
“It was a moment the fans deserved. It’s their club, and for them the club must be in the Championship.”
He expects the Owls to thrive at the higher level and will be wearing another skull cap - the one he lost last Saturday had both protected him from fresh injury after he sustained two head gashes this season and seemed to bring him luck.
The centre-half starred in the run-in and scored four goals.
“The season was long and hard,” he reflects. “The last couple of months were very hard. After we drew at Colchester, the confidence was a bit down; people did not think we could automatic promotion when we were four points behind Sheffield United with three games left.”
But the Owls finished on top, and he says: “With these fans, it is impossible to come down.
“I think the Championship will be very hard because there are a lot of good teams. But why shouldn’t we have a good season?
“Southampton have had two promotions in two seasons.”