Alejandro Duarte He is a young Peruvian goalkeeper who, at 26, has been having his second experience abroad. Since October of this year, he decided to accept the proposal of Sportivo Luqueño, a Paraguayan club, after defending the Mexicans Lobos BUAP and Atlético Zacatepec.
With Sportivo Luqueño, Alejandro Duarte has already made his debut and played three games in competitive soccer in Paraguay. From Asunción, El Comercio chatted with him about his adaptation in this league, his future, the Peruvian team and other topics.
How have you been feeling at the club since your arrival to date?
I felt quite comfortable, the teammates received me in the best way. They have been very kind to me, the club has all the facilities to train well. I found myself with a very intense, competitive football since training. So far I have good feelings.
What differences have you found in Paraguayan football with Mexico?
The intensity in Paraguayan soccer is something that catches my attention. The 90 minutes play at high intensity, I met soccer players with a lot of technique, which perhaps I did not expect, because we often have the impression that Paraguayan soccer is more about fighting. Paraguayans are players who have technical qualities and that makes the competition very good.
At blooperWhat went through your head
It’s something that had never happened to me in my career, it actually surprised me at the moment, I didn’t understand why it had happened. As I told you, I consider myself a very confident archer, who tries to catch what other archers punch or deflect. It was a ball that I wanted to catch as always and it escaped me. It was really a fairly short rebound and Roque Santa Cruz was there waiting very close to me, because otherwise he would grab her again and nothing happened. As I told you, at that moment I was surprised, because I did not understand what had happened, but I knew that I had to recover quickly because there were 40 minutes left in the second half and Olimpia was going to come with everything. I emphasize that because it is not easy to recover from a situation like this. The next ball after the mistake was also complicated, I caught it, it was not that I tried to ‘punch’ it and I tried to keep tackling as I always have.
Facing Roque Santa Cruz, a senior Paraguayan striker, how complicated is it?
Actually once you’re on the court, with other players you don’t really think much about where they played or what the name is. You focus on each play and do things well. I don’t think the trajectory he has had in the game has influenced more.
How do you evaluate your performance in these three games with Sportivo Luqueño?
I think the first game that I had to play was surely my best game. I did it very well, we got a win against a direct rival that brought us closer to ensuring our permanence in the First Division. The second game, I had to play against Olimpia, after the mistake, I had a perfect game, but I had a punctual play, where it ended in their goal. The goalkeeping position is like that, you can be making a perfect game, you miss a play and that a bit that overshadows your work. Despite the mistake, I left feeling good, because I recovered quickly and in general I left a good impression. The last game, we lost 2-1 against Guaraní, they attacked us little and they were precise. They have been good performances and I left a good impression on both the club and Paraguayan football, for me that is important.
How good was it for you to be outside of Peru playing abroad?
It served me a lot. I have had to go through all kinds of situations, from not playing, to being very loved in a team like Zacatepec and playing a very important final. Now, to come to Paraguayan football and very quickly get to compete at the level, have good performances in matches, fight for the position of a goalkeeper who had been a figure of the team. In general terms, I can say that I have grown a lot both in the technical aspects as a goalkeeper and in the mental and personal aspects. As I told you, I went through situations of all kinds and every month or year that I spent outside of Peru, I feel a better goalkeeper and more prepared for any challenge that may come.
One of the complicated situations was what happened to you in Juárez when they didn’t let you train
It really was unpleasant. More than difficult it was an unpleasant situation. I had already seen when other colleagues had to go through situations like this, where sometimes the consideration of a manager or someone like you are not important, they try to bore you by sending you to the sub-20, not letting you train, so that you give up what corresponds to you. It was unpleasant and you had to hold on until it could be raised to legal issues.
Your contract with Sportivo Luqueño ends at the end of the season, do you already have your future defined?
I focus on playing nothing else. I know I have a contract until the end of this tournament and after that my representative will see it with the president of Luqueño.
How is your relationship with your partner Dante Nicolás Campisi, with whom you fight for the goalkeeper position?
Very good. The truth is that I have never had problems with the goalkeepers that I have shared a team, I always got along well, luckily they have also treated me in the best way in all the teams in which I have been. I think that in the end, beyond that everyone wants to play and the goalkeeper’s competition is a complicated one because only one plays and they don’t usually do rotations. I think that among goalkeepers we realize, who tries to play through work, through having good performances in training sessions and games. Unlike those out there who are not such good companions. I have been lucky to meet archers who think and work in the same way as I do and Campisi was no exception. We have a good relationship.
You still have two more games to play with Sportivo Luqueño
That’s right, there are two dates left, Guaireña and then we have Sol de América. Due to the pandemic, a league will be played where the first eight enter. Now we are eighth and the objective is to stay in that position after facing those two rivals.
Would you have liked to play the Copa Sudamericana with Sportivo Luqueño?
Of course I would have liked it. It’s nice to play international tournaments and obviously I would have liked it. The transfer took a long time to arrive and I could not be registered.
Do you want to continue cutting abroad?
I have always said that I try to stay abroad because it is an extra challenge to consolidate yourself in countries where they still do not know you and you have not shown your potential. That is an extra challenge, but still, I believe that each pass market must analyze the options very well, because it is not staying outside to stay and go to any team where you do not know what the sports project is or if you are going to be a priority. . What I am going to prioritize the next transfer market the most is to be in a team that has the same objectives as me, that is a winning team, a team that wants to win important things, that wants to fight a local and international tournament. You have to analyze the options that are presented and calmly make a decision.
What is it like to live in Paraguay?
It is very cute. Paraguay was the only country in South America that I did not know, I had gone to all the others for football and since I arrived I liked it a lot. The weather is very beautiful and it is very hot, just like Cuernavaca, which was the last city I was in Mexico before coming. On that side, it didn’t take me getting used to it. I feel more comfortable living here.
And what measures are there for the pandemic?
The basic care, use of a mask, hand disinfection, but really in figures it is quite calm. We do the swabbing once a week, all teams. Since I’ve been here, there have been no positives. That is the reflection that the issue is quiet here.
Do you keep watching your videos to see what you do well and what you need to improve in your way of tackling?
Always. I have an account in Wyscout, which is a video analysis platform, since I pay a monthly membership to be able to watch the videos of any player in the world in any professional league. Also my actions after each game. That is where the passes I made come out, the crosses that you picked up, shots that you saved. I think all of this is very important to me and to get an analysis of what I did well and what I did wrong to improve.
Are you very demanding of yourself?
The truth is, I’m pretty hard on myself. Sometimes it’s too much, but that’s where I see things. I am a very perfectionist, since the goalkeeper position does not give you room for error and for me the way to fail as little as possible is by demanding the maximum of myself. Sometimes I have to be in a bad mood or be very hard on myself, but I think that in the end it always helped me to be better.
Did Professor Luis Escobar already tell you if you play this Friday?
I do not know yet. When I arrived, the archer had been a figure. In training I did very well and when I had to play I also had a good performance. The technical command decided to give me confidence a few more games and now they have been changing, the last game stopped Campisi. Now, let’s see what the teacher decides. They know that I am prepared, that I am physically well, they trust me a lot. When they decide I am ready to tackle.
Do you have contact with the technical command of the Peruvian team?
The truth is that they have been in contact with me during the pandemic. They have been aware of how he trained, what options he had for equipment. We have been in communication and it is very good to feel that they are pending, attentive to your career, to the games you play and that makes you feel that you are always close to the national team. That is extra motivation.
What did the participation of Peru leave you in these four qualifying games?
It was a shame that we weren’t able to score three points in Asunción against Paraguay. Starting qualifying with a road win was going to be very important. Then we had very difficult games in which for performance we deserved more, but unfortunately we could not add more points. I am sure that if we maintain the good performance in the game and correct details that could affect us a little, we will reverse the situation and fight until the last.
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