Seventeen wins, nine draws and only two losses. Forty goals in favor and just 17 against. Seventeen times with the fence undefeated. The numbers with which Alliance Lima champion of League 1 are seasoned with what they lived in a movie year: uncertainty of not knowing if they would play in First or Second, fan players who returned for love to the club, short preseason and an outbreak of COVID-19 at the gates of the final. A 2021 with a Hollywood script to which Carlos Bustos he knew how to adapt., where more than 70 soccer personalities voted among coaches, ex-footballers, journalists and more.
—When the TAS ruled in favor of Alianza to remain in the First Division, was it projected to end the year as champion?
No. We were managing everything according to how the situations were taking place. It was a possibility that justice was done and the TAS ruled in favor of Alianza continuing in League 1, but even so we had an important difference with the other clubs in terms of working time. We did not do phase 1 well enough and the team only found its best performance in phase 2 and with this we obtained results that allowed us to win the second tournament and achieve goals as we progressed.
—What was the key game for Alianza to realize that it was there to fight for the title?
I think it was the whole campaign. There were games that were well fought until the end and the team showed signs of going in search of the games through their game. Some games we were able to balance in the end even with one less player, in others it was more difficult for us to make a difference, but we always managed to put ourselves ahead. Against Binacional, which we turned 2-0 at the end, it was a key game but I think the team knew how to play many games of the season very well.
– Did it benefit in some way to lose two games against Cristal to find a weak point in the finals?
You always draw conclusions from all parties. Cristal has been the best team that plays in this league for a long time, it is not from now, and what this team achieved, beyond the title, has been to fight as equals to a team that has had supremacy for years. Equating that part has added value. Cristal plays very well, but we, through our weapons, tried to bring the game to what was convenient for us. There were two highly contested finals that could have been for anyone.
– Was there any special talk after the outbreak of infections by COVID-19 at the gates of the finals?
The team has always worked very well in all aspects. And the difficult moment that we live due to contagions was something else that the group overcame throughout the year.
“What crossed your mind after the final whistle that gave Alianza the title?”
The joy of having had a good year for Alianza. Not even in the environment there was a feeling that we could achieve it because it goes a lot with the forms and perhaps they believed that, one way or another, it was not going to achieve. But the team worked the games well and was a fair champion. Throughout the year this team demonstrated the commitment it had and the desire to achieve something important, especially through a juice that was not entirely attractive but was very effective.
—How much did having leaders such as Hernán Barcos, Josepmir Ballón, Pablo Míguez, Jefferson Farfán contribute to the group?
Very much. They have been players who, beyond what they can give soccer, have been important in the group. It was their triumph and much more that they contributed through their role. It has been a positive group that always believed in the conditions we had. Maybe he was underestimated many times, but through the results he found his place. In general it has been a difficult year, but the team knew how to handle it.
—Farfán is there to play more minutes in 2022?
Jefferson is working very well and his wish is to be good for Alianza and the national team. Today we are in the preliminary stage of the preseason and I see it in the best way.
—After the renovations of Jefferson Portales and Arley Rodríguez, was the campus closed?
It is possible that a few more players could come. There are some situations that we have to finish solving, but I think we have a good team. We were able to maintain an important player base from last year and then we have reinforced ourselves with some important players who are going to help us in 2022.
“Will Pablo Lavandeira occupy a place for foreigners?”
The process is advanced, but we don’t even know if it will arrive or not. At the moment he occupies a foreign position. But beyond that, Pablo is an incorporation and we count on him whether or not he is nationalized.
—There are also two bets of the club: Franco Zanelatto and Piero Vivanco
They are important players, bets that the institution makes. I had to work with Franco Zanelatto in San Martín, I didn’t have Vivanco, but they are players with a lot of projection. Surely they are going to find that they have minutes in another institution.
– Are you concerned that Angelo Campos has as competition two goalkeepers who have not had filming in the First Division?
Not that it is a concern, they are two young goalkeepers with very good projection. But, well, it is possible that we will incorporate an archer. We are still in that time of evaluation.
– Is the overpopulation of flyers to face the Libertadores and League 1 with two different teams?
We always try to work with all the guys so they are ready for each game and see what is the best fit. It was demonstrated last season in which almost all the players who were in the squad had participation. But it is important to have a broad squad like the one we have to face each competition in the best way.
– Are there chances of signing one more striker for the Cup?
We have five players on the squad who can play in the center-forward position. There are Hernán Barcos, Wilmer Aguirre, Aldair Rodríguez, Jefferson Farfán and Arley Rodríguez. Obviously we fully trust them.
– What is Alianza Lima for in 2022?
We will have to fight League 1, seek to be champions again. The team is made up of very good players to achieve that goal. When it is our turn to play the Super Cup, we will also go for the win. The Bicentennial Cup, with the wide squad that we have, we are also going to fight it. And we have to have a good Copa Libertadores.