On the 7th of July 2009 Queens Park Rangers announced the signing of unknown Argentinian midfielder Alejandro Faurlin from Argentinian 2nd division minnows Instituto de Cordoba. This was right in the middle of flamboyant owners Flavio Briatore and Bernie Ecclestone’s ownership of club and many assumed Faurlin was going to take to the English game as badly as many of Briatorie’s previous European signings.
In over a year QPR had seen four European midfielders play their trade in the heart of Loftus Road, this includes: Dani Parejo, Emmanuel Ledesma, Domiano Tommassi and Jordi Lopez, these were all players who arrived with big pedigrees. However many fans still felt fan favourite Martin Rowlands and Mikele Leigertwood were more than capable of controlling our midfield. This ultimately saw the four Europeans leave rangers as quickly as they had joined.
However season 2009-10 was revelations for QPR as Briatorie’s Ali Faurlin became an ever present in midfield and went on to win both players and supporter’s player of the year in his first year at the club.
Neil Warnock swiftly arrived and realised what an exciting diamond he had uncovered in Faurlin the following season Faurlin was again the first name on the team sheet and formed a formidable partnership with Shaun Derry and was ultimately part of ‘that’ team which won us the championship title in 2011. However nothing would be simple with QPR and Faurlin had more than his part to play in giving every R’s fan greyer hair, until Gianni Pallidini famously screeched ‘no points’ and QPR had confirmed their place in the top flight.
However this season started to be the downfall for Faurlin, first he was ridiculed on the pitch by manager Neil Warnock at home to West Bromich Albion after he failed to ‘take one for the team’ and allowing Shane Long to grab a last ditch point. This was consequently Warnock’s last home game and the next game was what really changed Alejandro Faurlin as he went down with his first anterior cruciate ligament injury away to Milton Keynes in the 3rd round of the FA cup.
Faurlin didn’t return until early into the 2012-13 season in which was a much changed QPR side, which no longer featured work horses like Shaun Derry and Tommy Smith but more like Ji Sung Park, Stephane M’Bia and Jose Bosingwa, as a result Faurlin was shipped out to Palermo on loan.
As the new season arrived and QPR had a clearance sale, Faurlin was in the new managers Harry Redknapp’s plans, however23 months after his initial injury it strikes again on the opposing knee and Faurlin missed out on QPR’s return to the top flight.
In that summer he signed a new contract to make him the clubs longest serving player, however after starting the first game of the season against Hull, the ACL injury struck again away to Burton Albion and many doubted Faurlin after this. However he showed the same amount of courage and determination he showed throughout his time in west London and made a return to the first team picture.
However with Jimmy Floyd Hasslebaink wanting to play a more pressing style of play Faurlin was deemed surplus to requirements at a club which he had served so professionally for.
Faurlin had many trails during the summer of 2016, most noticeably at local west London rivals Fulham, however his injury record seemed to put many possible buyers off and he has since signed for Getafe in the Spanish division and to date has only made 9 appearances scoring 2 goals.
For a player who proved so many people wrong and should rightly be classed as a QPR legend, is it a classic example of the injuries just finally getting the better of him. As a player who was once tipped to play for his native Argentina alongside greats like Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero is now slumping it at a weak Spanish side. Or was this a rash decision made by a football club who seem to take pleasure in cutting off greats before their expiry dates?