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“We know that the championship is long and ends in December” | INTERVIEW

– Do you have any position for this year’s arbitrations? Do you think that this is one of the seasons with the biggest errors and do you think that the VAR – announced for the Clausura – will help to avoid the most serious ones?

I don’t really want to comment on the referees because we all make mistakes, we are all human. Still, I’m honest, I think the VAR will help a lot. Everyone, the referees, will help make the tournament more legitimate. There will be fewer mistakes and, surely, less suspicions.

-You are one of the few survivors of an atrocious year for the ‘U’: 2018. You were even a captain once. How do you watch that season? What was done wrong and should not be repeated?

Yes, I was a captain, once when Juan Manuel (Vargas) was not there. We had a squad with players with a lot of experience but we had bad luck, between injuries and other things we lost them. In addition, due to financial problems we were unable to sign in the summer and we had to play with several boys from the youth academy. At first you don’t think anything serious is going to happen, but when the tournament started and we started to lose one or two home games, I did start to worry. Thank God, Germán (Denis), Pablo (Lavandeira) and Alberto (Rodríguez) arrived and gave us a hand. That team was very, very emotionally beaten.

-Someone told me you couldn’t even sleep?

Yes, of course, because we were super worried because we couldn’t find the way. The older ones knew that we had to deliver something else, another type of energy, I don’t know. There were several stormy nights, of great concern. And well, we got it going.

– Do you think that was a century ago too? Only five years later, the ‘U’ seems to be on a different path, solid at an institutional level, fills the stadium every date, the team wins in both tournaments. Fight. What do you think that happened?

The changes have been very positive. There was a lot of instability due to the constant changes in administration and that had an impact on the team, that’s the truth. This year should be the best I’ve been at the club where things are being done well, that is, everything is in order, people notice it, they go to the pitch, the team wins. We lack nothing, we have all the priorities to be well.

-What changed?

All. I see that there is a good job in marketing, finance, we have no problem. And in terms of sports, Manuel (Barreto) has done a good job with the planning, so several things are coming together that result in the team also doing well. I am going to tell you something that perhaps people do not understand: the stability of a club is always reflected in the team. That is what happens now. But there is still a long way to go, this ends in December.

-The photo of you as a child with a ‘U’ cake ended the discussion about whether you are a fan or not…

Yes, I think everyone already saw it. My friends, almost all of them are fans. Me too. I have respect for Alianza because that’s where I started but I’m a fan.

-So, for a fan who is also the captain of his club, is there really much difference between playing in a stadium with 10,000 people and playing it like now, with 50,000?

Look, I don’t want to make comparisons with any club, but what is happening now, with 40, 50,000 people going to the Monumental on a Monday or Sunday, is crazy. It is very cute. And it has its conditioning, of course: the fan goes because he feels that this team represents him on the field. That’s why I tell you: when a club is right in the head, it shows in all aspects. We are very happy, grateful to the fans, for what we are living together but obviously, we want more. We don’t want to stay with having played some good games. We need to get things. We want. And we believe that we are on the right track. This group that was formed is, ufff, you don’t know, a great group that loves the club very much.

-Is this the best team that touched you in your seven years in the ‘U’?

In 2017, when I arrived, a great squad was assembled. But I say it with respect, because great players have arrived at the club in this time, of great quality, this year I feel that a great squad was put together not only with players, but also as people. That is more important to achieve the objectives of the year, and it is what excites me.

-What is Jorge Fossati’s responsibility in this ‘U’ that started losing three home games and is now fighting for the championship?

We have only had him for two months but I must say that Jorge is a very good person. I think that everything changed was the deal: he is a sincere, direct person who tells you things. He has many virtues, his group management, experience to face the matches but hey, as I told you before, something that we evaluate a lot is the type of person he is and how he has fallen in the group.

-What did Fossati do well that the previous technical command did not?

(Compagnucci) worked very well. I say this with great respect, because they have different qualities, what Jorge has is managing the group, how he approaches the player. He talks to us all the time and works a lot on the mental part based on his experience, that makes the player feel more confident to play where they put him.

-To you, for example, who took you from the side to make you a stopper. Or Andy Polo, who moved him back to let him be such a wing and be more of a winger.

And in a few days. At the start, he explained to us that this is the system he normally uses for the teams -3-5-2-. He saw that the squad was just enough to play like this and he took advantage of each one. What you say about Andy, who is also one of the leaders of the locker room, is true. Today he is one of the best players in the championship.

The centenary of the ‘U’, Flores and Ruidíaz

-Are you going to be the captain of the ‘U’ at the Centenario?

Asu, I haven’t thought of it like that. I mean, I have a contract, but this is seen every day. I don’t project myself, I want to be well this year and play all the games and come out champion. That is the goal. The tournament is long and there are other ways to reach the final. We don’t think about other games, only about ours and about winning the next one. Nothing else. This ends in December.

-There is a discussion among the fans about the importance of becoming champion this year or the other, more symbolic. Which side are you on?

Both! I can not choose! It could be nicer next year, God willing, the goal is achieved now, right? I am very excited about this year, which is still long, and we are going to fight. Imagine if it happens, how wonderful 2024 will be even more.

Has it been difficult to assume the captaincy?

I don’t think about it much. My family and I are people of great faith and we know that sometimes what one wishes with faith can be fulfilled. My focus is on that today. That peace helps me meet my goals. So I deal with José Carvallo and some other colleagues, Andy Polo, to share certain parameters so that we all comply and do well. We know that everything we do, we must give it to God and that should keep us calm when we go out on the field.

– Are you also of the idea that Piero Quispe should go abroad soon?

It is the promise of the club. He is going in the right direction, living experiences in every aspect and that is going to help him grow. It will go away when it is consolidated, I am sure of that. It will be very soon.

-Edison Flores has the club’s doors open?

I’ve also heard the rumor but it’s just that. Who wouldn’t want to have Oreja on the team. He has a great career, we have experienced beautiful things together in the national team. Whenever he wants, now or a few months, this is his club.

-Who also always suggests his return to the club is Raúl Ruidíaz. Have you spoken with him?

Raul is a great person. He has had a tremendous career abroad. He will depend on his personal wishes, what they want for his career. I want them, both of them, to always do well. Here we will be waiting for you.

-With whom of the foreigners have you made a better relationship?

With everyone. He already knew Calca, he knew he was going to help us. Emmanuel is a great professional. You don’t know how he works. The same as Martín, Riveros or Di Benedetto. My job has been to make them feel at home. Thank God we have been able to generate that empathy.

-Do you also think that the Chilean Ureña is a player made for the ‘U’?

Clear. how he runs And on top of that, he has added that touch of temperament, of quality… I wouldn’t like him at all if he were my rival, but give it to me as a teammate because, that is, he helps us, not only with the ball but also orders the team. He talks a lot and knows how to listen.

Peruvian team

-Uribe, Leguía, Chumpi, that is, the 1981 World Cup players say that people forget everything, except that you qualified for a World Cup. That’s going into history. Do you agree?

I had colleagues who played in the Champions League, the Club World Cup and they say that there is nothing greater than going to a World Cup. Is incredible. I keep everything. I even brought the slippers they gave out on planes, hahaha.

– Do you still feel summonable?

The competition is tough. Sometimes you want to be in any position, because obviously it’s the national team, it’s a privilege. I would like to return: I couldn’t be in Juan’s last two calls, last year my nose was broken and well, I hadn’t played.

-Peru is an average team of 30 years. Qualifying is going to be tough, but it would also be the perfect closure for this generation.

Yes, I believe that there are players, there is still a solid group. I feel like yes, we can qualify. We have had very good and very bad things and I am sure that in a few years Peru will appreciate it even more.

Source: Elcomercio

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