FROM the sunshine of Spain to the wind and rain of Swansea.
The Welsh city was once labelled ‘the ugly, lovely town’ by poet Dylan Thomas.
But Spaniard Angel Rangel, the club’s longest-serving player with over ten years’ service under his belt, is adamant he has no desire to swap his lifestyle for warmer climes back home just yet.
In fact, the full-back is now an adopted Welshman.
‘Mr Swansea’ married a Welsh girl, wife Nikki, has three children and even wants to stay at the Liberty Stadium beyond his current contract, which expires at the end of the season.
So what made cult hero Rangel, who joined for a bargain £10,000 from Terrassa in 2007, come to love the west Wales outpost so much?
He said: “The city is my home now. I met my wife in Wales, all our kids were born in Swansea, we built our house here.
“Everything that is connected in my life is in Swansea, except my friends and family in Spain.
“It’s such an easy place to live. Every time I step out I don’t feel any stress.
“I know the weather isn’t great but so what? I’ve had the weather for 24 years back home.
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“It’s great to live in the sun, always wearing shorts and flip flops, but if you have it all the time you take it for granted.
“The people call Swansea the beautiful, ugly city, don’t they? It has a beautiful seaside and we love living near the sea. When it’s sunny it’s fantastic.
“It’s tranquil and the people are friendly, polite and welcoming.
“Swansea is my home and my club. I can say it will always be my club — even when I retire. I’ll be a Swansea fan.”
Rangel, who turns 35 next Saturday, is one of just nine Premier League players who have served more than a decade at a club.
“I know the weather isn’t great but so what? I’ve had the weather for 24 years back home.”
He has made 350 Swansea appearances since being plucked from the lower leagues in Spain, experiencing the highs of two promotions, seven seasons in the Premier League, a League Cup triumph at Wembley and a Europa League adventure.
But his career could have played out differently had he TWICE forced through moves away from the Liberty Stadium.
Rangel said: “I tried to leave. We were in the Championship, I had offers from the Premier League, Blackpool and Fulham, and made it clear to the chairman the Premier League was my dream.
“I’d worked so hard to get to where I was. The club would get the money and I’d get the better challenge in a better league, so why not?
“Chairman Huw (Jenkins) promised me one day we would be in the Premier League — he was right.
“I’m very glad I stayed because all the teams that were interested in me are no longer in the Premier League.”
While Rangel’s time in SA1 has been “completely successful” in his own words, there has been turbulence along the way.
After seven seasons of being first-choice right-back, then boss Garry Monk decided he was too old.
Rangel, who has cleared the air with the Middlesbrough manager, added: “I was 32 and felt I was still fit enough but Monk decided to drop me out and told me I was too old. I didn’t see it coming.
“He pulled me into his office and said they had signed a new right-back, Kyle Naughton. I didn’t agree with it but I got on with it and proved him wrong.
“I don’t hold grudges. We’ve moved on, I am 34 and still going strong.”
Rangel has never been relegated, but feared Swansea were going down last season until Paul Clement arrived.
Rangel, who got the winner on Clement’s managerial debut at Crystal Palace, said: “We only had 12 points in December and I thought, ‘Where’s the solution?’
“We were conceding so many goals and looked a shambles.
“Paul deserved the manager of the year award because of the great escape. We got 29 points in 19 games, which was fantastic for a team that was dead.”
Rangel is also the club’s translator for their Spanish players, even introducing £11million summer signing Roque Mesa to fans on Twitter.
He laughed: “I enjoy helping as I know how difficult it can be. When I arrived, I didn’t speak a word of English.”
Back then, Swansea were in League One playing the likes of Oldham, Tranmere and Leyton Orient.
RANGEL’S TOP SWANS XI (4-3-3)
DORUS DE VRIES (goalkeeper)
Michel Vorm was better but Dorus played a bigger part. He started the journey with me and it was a shame he left.
ANGEL RANGEL (right-back)
I’ve played the most in the right-back spot during my time at the club. Consistent!
ALAN TATE (left-back)
Tatey is a legend of Swansea. He wasn’t the most skilful and he knows that but he had great commitment.
GARRY MONK (centre-back)
Monks made a crucial £90million block in the play-off final victory at Wembley.
ASHLEY WILLIAMS (centre-back)
Ash was the captain for a long time, he was a leader and brought so much to the club.
LEON BRITTON (centre midfield)
Gets the team going with the ball, sets the tempo and is a reliable player even at the age of 35. Another legend.
JOE ALLEN (centre midfield)
Started as a young boy in League One but became a big player. An all-round perfect midfielder who suited the Swansea way.
GYLFI SIGURDSSON (attacking midfielder)
The numbers are there. He’s scored the most Premier League goals for Swansea and proved to be one of our best signings.
NATHAN DYER (right wing)
We played together for close to 250 games and have always had a great understanding on and off the pitch.
SCOTT SINCLAIR (left wing)
Scotty scored a hat-trick at Wembley, a life-changing moment for everyone at the club.
WILFRIED BONY (centre forward)
He’s the perfect striker for us. He holds the ball up well, links up play and scores goals.
After tackling Leicester today, where a win could move them into the top ten, they face a Carabao Cup clash with Manchester United on Tuesday.
Talking at Swansea’s new £10.5million training ground, on the edge of the Gower Peninsula, Rangel added: “I still get the feeling it’s a cup final when we play the big teams.
“That never goes away. It’s been a fantastic journey and a dream come true.
“What else is there to do? The Champions League? I don’t think I will get it.
“We did the Europa League and I wouldn’t mind experiencing that again. The cup is a good route.”
Rangel on his eight managers…
A father figure. Signed me for Swansea, I will always be grateful.
One of the best we’ve had. Upgraded what Roberto started.
I’ve cleared the air with him. I won’t lose friends over a football decision.
His first act was to ask players what could be changed. But he didn’t listen.
Left through the back door but helped us individually and defensively.
One of my idols. The season we won the cup was the best football we’ve played.
Put me back in the side and kept us up. But it didn’t work out.
Fantastic, very straight and has a fine attention to detail.