—What has it meant for you to walk again through these corridors of the Federation after twelve years?
It looks very familiar to me. In 1994, when Videna was inaugurated, I was a soccer player for the national team. I played in Europe in those years, but I came to play for the national team and I stayed to sleep in the rooms opposite us. Being in the Videna is something familiar to me. It is true that several years have passed since I left Videna, in 2009, when I was coach of the senior team. I find it family not only because of the site but because of the people. There are many who continue to work here since those years. This is not strange to me. When you come to a new team, everything seems strange to you until you adapt. This is not the case.
—The selection by definition recruits players and the clubs form. What will he do with the clubs? How will you sustainably work with them?
Eh, the training of the players is not only the exclusive task of the clubs but also of the Federation. Because the Federation can give the guidelines to the clubs to have a good time for their youth players during the year. For example, the Under-17s will have a South American on March 30 and then the World Cup in November that will be played in Peru, rest assured that this year the boys will spend as much time with us as they do with their clubs. We also have the task of training them. We definitely need the collaboration of the clubs to transfer them and we need them to have trained people in their minor categories so that the footballer can have a good preparation. Within our football we have a deficit. You see a big difference in the training that the boys from Alianza Lima and Sporting Cristal can have with boys who are from the Loreto, Tumbes or Cajamarca region. The Federation needs that that can be equated. It is not easy to achieve, but you have to start with something.
—How will you make viable that idea of yours that the selection is a team and on weekends they go to compete for their clubs?
One of the things that I am going to try to achieve is that the boy who comes to the youth team spends more time at Videna than at his club. I’ll try. I would like. We have to coordinate with the teams so that they give us the soccer players, but with what we are going to offer them in La Videna we probably have the possibility of giving them more capable soccer players. It’s a matter of coordination. Starting next week I have meetings with the clubs to be able to talk about all this. Let’s hope that there is a good disposition from them towards the selection.
—In the five years that you were at César Vallejo, what minor talents did you promote?
Some came out. Few, but we got a few. There is a big difference between the minor categories of the teams from Lima and those from the provinces and I have been able to clearly notice it in César Vallejo. The level of competition in the regions is very poor and in order to develop a footballer needs to compete against good guys. There you develop your potential. The one who plays in Vallejo, Cienciano or Melgar has no one to compete against. The Lima teams will have more facilities to get players out. Going into detail, there are players who have performed with me in Vallejo such as Stalin Morillo, Jorge Ríos, Jeferson Nolasco, Anderson Villacorta. But, of course, if you compare the players that I made debut at Vallejo for five years with those I made debut at Cristal, the ‘U’ and San Martín there are many more there. Why? Because they have better training, and they compete more.
—Is that reality frustrating for a Primera coach?
Yes, I had many difficulties in Vallejo. In the end we managed to do it, but the issue of the Bag of Minutes made it difficult for us. Because in the end the team from the different regions of the country end up putting the boys in the first team out of obligation. And the boys are not well trained and are not able to play because of this lack of competence. The Minutes Bag has already been changed. I did not agree, because in these teams they play for obligations. Probably the guys from the ‘U’, Alianza and Cristal are ready but the others are not. We have to promote the minors championship. Perhaps not this year, because the guidelines have already been given, everything is already set up, but we must try to ensure that starting next year the junior championship begins to vary so that it is much more competitive. Not only in Lima but nationwide.
—You mentioned the importance of having a network of scouts at a national and international level. But there is already one and it is in charge of Pablo Bossi. What is your evaluation?
I understand that Mr. Pablo Bossi is no longer here. I don’t know what will have happened. I have no idea. But he is no longer there and now the network of scouts that exists at the national level and that there will be at the international level is going to be restructured, because I think there was none. Outside there were only references.
It takes a big team…
Adjustments and changes are needed to be able to detect talent outside. There are very large Peruvian colonies in different countries. United States, Spain, Italy, Argentina. I do believe that there must be quite a few boys with Peruvian ancestry playing there.
—How to convince them, what to offer them? Manchester City midfielder Alexander Robertson cut communication with the FPF while Matteo Pérez from Bayern Munich decided on Sweden…
The issue is trying to capture them when they are kids. Because if you are going to say to an 18-year-old boy from Manchester City: we are going to play Peru. Most likely, he will tell you no. If you propose to that boy when he’s fourteen, maybe his response will be different. And, of course, at fourteen, fifteen years old, the boy is more influenced by his parents. It is a decision made together, family. Try as much as possible to detect them when they are younger. There will be more possibilities.
—Are you looking to promote some style of the Solar? In other words, that all the minor divisions play in a certain way.
Not necessarily. There are two things that must be differentiated: the game system and the game model. You can play with three center-backs and two full-backs, or four defenders or three forwards. The systems vary. The model is something else. It is if you have high pressure or you wait in your field and counterattack. You start the game by crafting from below or with long balls to your striker. I believe that the teams have to train and face each game according to what you are going to face. At the national team level, in this case what is my responsibility as minors, it is not the same to face Brazil as it is against Bolivia. Because Brazil is going to attack you at all times and that day you will have to play the counterattack. And Bolivia will rather be grouped behind. You have to know how to adapt to everything. But if you look at my teams, I more or less have a game model that the team almost always tries to play. There are exceptions, of course. In the Peruvian tournament, other variables such as height enter to carve.
—If more than fifteen years ago you were sure of taking Peru to a World Cup for seniors and, finally, it did not happen, what are you convinced of now or rather do you allow yourself to doubt?
I am convinced that I am going to do a good job and I am going to do my best so that the Peruvian youth teams can progress and be competitive.
—Does it seem to me or is he being quite prudent with what he promises?
You think? I probably don’t know. You will have to analyze it yourself.
I have worked in the news industry for over 10 years. I have a keen interest in sports and have written for many different publications. I am currently working as an author at 24 News Recorder. I cover mostly sports news but also write about other topics such as current affairs and politics. I have a strong interest in social media and how it can be used to engage with audiences.