Marco Perez He speaks the language of goal. His words are goal. His gestures are goal. Ball that he sees close is a goal ball. It is in a moment of precision. He already has 9 goals in the League and with his goals Águilas Doradas is at the top of the championship, classified early and with great aspirations.
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Marco carries a long rack behind him. His path has been long, arduous, with ups and downs, with anecdotes, with goals. At 32 years old, after playing in Argentina, Chile, Arabia and Spain, and being champion with Chicó and Tolima in Colombia, Marco Pérez enjoys a special moment. As if he had a new air. He is a rejuvenated Marco.
Marco speaks with the experience that his long career gives him. He is proud to state that he is the top scorer in the history of Tolima, who is going for that record in Águilas. He affirms that he has won everything, that he has played everything, and that is why he feels that he has not lacked anything. Marco, who also recently filed a complaint for racism in Colombian soccer, wants to continue on this goal-scoring path, because being champion with Águilas is his new ambition. In addition, he calls for peace in the stadiums. Before facing Alianza, this Saturday (6:20 pm), he spoke with EL TIEMPO.
Hand in hand with Marco Pérez
How has Águilas managed to do what they do, be a leader and qualify early?
The team is doing a good job, thanks to the DT (Lucas González), the efforts of Don Fernando (Salazar, team owner) and our teammates, we understood the teacher’s idea of the game and game after game we have a different plan and we things come out.
What has DT Lucas done to have this team like this?
He is a teacher who sees football very well, he reads the rivals very well, that has helped us a lot because in each training session, for each game, there is a different plan.
How did you celebrate the victory against Santa Fe and the qualification?
The truth was that it was an unforgettable night, the team was happy to be able to achieve the first objective, which was to qualify, thank God we did it; Now we have another goal, which is to reach the finals with all the men, without injuries or yellow cards to fight for the final, we are going to need everyone. That night we celebrated, we hugged, happy, but the next day we had to work to think about the game against Alianza.
And you slept peacefully, with three goals in your account…
I am very happy with the moment I am living, but this is thanks to my teammates, the team plays well and as a player I am taking advantage of the chances of scoring and helping to work as a team to recover the ball. Personally I was happy, but more because he qualified and I scored my first hat trick in my career, I never did. It helps me in the scorers table, because I want to fight this yearI hope I get it, there are very brave forwards, I continue with humility…
But you are in a special moment…
The truth is, but first I think about the team, about doing things well, if things happen to score, of course, but here there is zero individualism…
What is the ceiling of Águilas?
Last semester we did not go to the final for small details; we hope to adjust our weapons in this tournament to fight the final.
But this is one of his best moments…?
The truth is that I have already experienced this moment in Tolima and in other clubs, but we are playing well, we understand the concepts very well from the teacher, you go to the field and you know what you have to do apart from what you know is to score goals and have sacrifice.
How to do not fall in what comes?
We have already classified and now we are thinking of continuing to add in the face of reclassification and the invisible point, we are aiming for that. It is the teacher’s idea not to let anyone relax, we are fully thinking of fighting for the title against the big teams. We will fight until the end.
Millionaires and America played a great match, what they and you do shows that the next phase is going to be very close…
We look at Millos-America, what a good game, they are going to fight for the title, they play well, so it will be difficult, they will be nice finals.
A race to pure goal
What cut of accounts do you make of your career?
The beginnings were not so good: I never had inferiors, I left my town to Chico, to the professional and luckily I was champion that same year, I scored 7 or 8 goals, they put me in an investment company, they got me a club in Gymnastics (Argentina ), I do well, I score about 12 goals and they sell me to Europe without experience, I was young, I returned to Argentina, and then I go to Chile, I return to Colombia to Medellín, a good first year, the second year with another coach he brought his players, then I went to Tolima for about 6 very good years and they sold me to Arabia, I returned to Colombia, to Cali, I went to Once Caldas without rhythm, it didn’t go so well for me. Then I was given the opportunity in Águilas, I took advantage of the opportunity and luckily things are going in the best way.
What was your best moment?
I had beautiful moments in Chicó, we were champions against América at the beginning of my career; we won a final against Nacional at Atanasio in 2018; I had a tournament in a calendar year of 31, 32 goals, I was the Colombian with the most goals in the world; In Águilas I have very nice moments: I have 21, 22 goals in the calendar year…
What has been missing in your career?
I’ve been in soccer for almost 16 years and I’ve achieved practically everything: I’m a historic goalscorer for Tolima, I’m close to being one for Águilas… In soccer I can’t complain, I’ve had good and bad moments…
A bad moment was surely your presentation in Zaragoza, how do you remember this episode today (you fell while playing with the ball)?
Before the first months, from there to there one would laugh, I am happy, in Águilas or in Tolima my companions pick me up. That’s what happens when you get to play those tricks, but today it’s recocha, pure laughter, they are things that remain with one as anecdotes…
Did you think about a rematch in Europe?
When I was in Argentina, an investment group bought me, they only think about their money, not about the player. A businessman advised me that I was too young to go to Europe, that I should stay maturing in Argentina and then make the leap, but the offer from Zaragoza came, it was good for everyone, it was a time to not think about money but about the soccer part, but the truth is that you didn’t have people who surrounded you well and thought more about the player: I lacked a good manager, but you learned from those things…
And the Selection…?
I played with the sub 20 in the South American, the teacher Eduardo Lara took me to the senior one, we inaugurated the Palmaseca stadium, I was able to be there. I have not done badly in football, I have titles, financially I am well, I do not have a fortune but I do have to be well with my family, and as a striker I have many goals, in 2018 I passed 100.
Tell us about the complaint for racism that you made against Álex Mejía… (he denounced that he called him a slave in a match against Unión) What did it stop at?
One as a player hears that phrase that he throws at me and that’s why I told the teacher that I was going to the press conference and I talked about it. They called me from Dimayor, discharges were made, we talked. It’s already there.
Prefer to turn the page?
No, but I already talked to him. What he says is that a player with as much experience as Álex cannot say that, if a young man tells me that I correct him. Álex is a reference and I was surprised… The problems have already been resolved, I say that it is like throwing dirt on that, there are more important things to review right now, such as what we see of the tights in the stadiums, there are more important issues…
What do you think of that wave of violence?
What one wants is to experience soccer in peace, to help build, because what happens harms Colombian soccer, people are afraid to go to the stadium, because of the fights, I hope there are agreements and they understand that soccer should be in peace …
The racism thing is also very delicate…
What happened is delicate, I’m not saying no, but at this time there are issues that we cannot divert. That’s why I say it…. One hopes that there will be peace and sometimes the fans don’t understand, Dimayor is taking action on the matter…
In Águilas, don’t you have that pressure with the fans as happens in other clubs?
Don Fernando (Salazar) is demanding, since I arrived he treats me like one more son, I am comfortable. He demands, he likes to see his team as it is now, he is proud of what we do. I’ve also been in clubs with demanding fans, that’s good too; There are some teammates who don’t have a good time in their clubs and you try to give them strength, to win and get out of the rut…
And to fire him, what to expect from Marco Pérez and Águilas now?
We have an idea of the game, continue with the teacher’s plan and have a good tournament in the home runs and look for the title, hopefully it will be given to us, it is complicated but not impossible.
Editor of EL TIEMPO
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