If we talk about duels between Universitario and Cristal, the mind immediately takes us to the 90s, when both clubs became owners of Peruvian soccer, with three-time championships for each one. One of the protagonists of the duels was Pedro Garay, captain of the light blue team that reached the final of the 1997 Copa Libertadores.
What could you tell us about Cristal’s performance in the Copa Libertadores?
In the first game they lost, they started well but then fell to Fluminense, since they are a team that touches the ball well. Against River Plate, I don’t see a leader in Cristal at the moment, because he could have tied them there. They wanted to match the rhythm and they lacked someone on the field who is a voice that seeks to appease and not fall into their rhythm. We all know that Argentine and Brazilian soccer is different from what is seen in Peru.
It is a complicated group, but there were high expectations with Cristal for what was done in the previous phase against Nacional de Paraguay and Huracán. With two defeats, can it be said that he is eliminated?
It is a bit difficult for Cristal because now she has to go to La Paz to face The Strongest. The games have to be played, just like in our time when we had to lose on a visit but we got the points. I think that Cristal can achieve it but it all depends on the mentality and desire that the players put in. They have a young team and it lacks international matches. I hope they qualify for the Copa Sudamericana.
The presence of a Jorge Cazulo or Pedro Garay there in midfield is missed…
In all the teams that I have played, I had a lot of communication with the coach, because he sees the games in a different way on the side of the playing field, the actions of the players. The players must have the initiative, there Cristal needs someone to organize and order the team and compete as it should.
From what you have seen, what do you think of Tiago Nunes’ work in command?
I had several Brazilian coaches when I was a soccer player and I know the attitude and character of Brazilians. They don’t like to lose matches and always try to play on an equal footing with their rivals. I see that Nunes is doing a good job, unfortunately there is a lack of hierarchy players.
He does not like the foreign signings of this season
Cristal with the Brazilian center back Ignacio Da Silva was well reinforced. It is very good as it gives security. Unfortunately, in the midfield they do not have a creative player who makes the passes between the lines. Everything depends on the movements of the forwards and what I have seen in Cristal is that we don’t have that and players of hierarchy.
What about Brenner Marlos, what can you tell us?
The truth is sorely lacking. He needs more movements. What I see in him is that he plays very far from the area, he receives the ball very far and he no longer has that speed to reach the goal when the balls go by the flanks.
MODERN CLASSIC BY OPENING
What duel of Sporting Cristal vs. ‘U’ remember? which one do you stay with?
I was left with the duel with which we got the three-time championship [1-1 en el Nacional en 1995]. It was a back and forth match, in which we both entered to win. The result was given to us and we were able to win.
In the 90’s, the U and Cristal shared titles, and currently who took advantage was Alianza Lima? What happened?
The reality is that Alianza Lima has several experienced and experienced players who have won the title. There is the difference in terms of the U, despite the fact that it was reinforced. Cristal has young players. Alianza Lima is the best team in Peruvian soccer.
Is Alianza the example of knowing how to invest?
He is investing well because he has brought many experienced players and a good level. He showed it in Paraguay and I think he’s going to show it with more international matches and that’s going to be important for the institution and for him to seek the title at the national level.
They beat Libertad, who is the leader in Paraguayan soccer. I imagine that in your country they did not expect to lose to Alianza?
Nobody expected Alianza to beat Libertad here in Paraguay because, as we all know, Libertad has players with a lot of experience and hierarchy.
The ‘Puma’ or Pedro Garay, who was more temperamental?
I think we both have different temperaments. He with his way of being and I with my way of handling myself on the field of play. We’re right there when it comes to temperament.
Do you remember any dispute with ‘El Puma’?
There is always a dispute in the parties when we face the U or Alianza. I remember that I had problems with ‘Kanko’ Rodríguez. On several occasions there are always quarrels within the field of play, but that’s where it ends. I always meet him and we are like friends.
Herrera in Cristal surpassed what was done by Bonnet beyond the goals
Bonet is better than Herrera. He was a goalscorer on several occasions and champion several times with Sporting Cristal. Herrera also came out champion and perhaps there is not much difference. They both know what they have to do inside the area.
Who arrives better for the duel between Sporting Cristal vs Universitario?
A game that cannot be known since it is 90 minutes and I always say that the best man wins. Cristal is better because of the demand from rivals that he had in the Copa Libertadores and that gives you more rhythm and competition.
Do you agree with Innova’s decision that the majority of starters be trained at home or is it a risk that you have taken and is costing you in the Copa Libertadores?
It is a risk, but it is very important for the institution to take out players and at the same time they can be transferred to other countries. What I don’t see in them is that they don’t hire 4 or 5 better-level players from the foreigners they have now to be a help to the youngest.
But to bring in better foreign players, you need money or you need better scouting or scouting, what can you tell us about your experience?
It has to do with a scouting issue. You have to try to see better because I don’t know how much the prices of the Sporting Cristal players are, but I think that at the level of South America there are better players than the foreigners they have now.
So, it’s a viewing issue…
I sometimes start to think about the reason with the subject of scouting. To see the foreign players why don’t they ask us, suddenly to me, in Paraguay, who can you take?, or in Brazil, to Julinho, which player can we bring with the characteristics that Sporting Cristal manages? In Argentina, where Luis Alberto Bonnet or Marcelo Asteggiano is, ask for reinforcements. There is always that memory of playing beautifully, scoring goals and always being a winner. That characteristic of players is what Sporting Cristal needs.
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.