By Shoubhik Mukhopadhyay
NEW DELHI: In the wee days of the current Hero I-League, DSK Shivajians, the debutants from Pune, were literally struggling to find an elusive win. Be it Aizawl FC or the defending champions Mohun Bagan, everyone made Derrick Pereira’s boys bite the dust. In came the pocket-size powerhouse Juan Quero Barraso and the whole complexion changed. The synergy between an unfettered ball game, the flamboyance on the pitch and the command in the midfield makes him a perennial problem for the opponent gaffers.
The Real Madrid cadet made a mark in his debut only, that too against the giants Los Blancos in the Santiago Bernabeu. Down the line, the elegant football artist donned some of the eminent Spanish Clubs’ colours in the likes of Elche CF, Rayo Vallecano, Cordoba CF. Derrick Pereira had some great ammo in his arsenal who could provide hope to the DSK Shivajians supporters, but Juan Quero gave them certainty.
In an exclusive tete-a-tete session with www.i-league.org, Juan Quero Barraso spilled out his favourite pastime, love for food and the evergreen memory of his debut against Los Blancos.
Does the Spanish link work out to make a perfect combination with Dipanda Dica?
Football is a team game and you need to have proper chemistry with your teammates to be successful. What I have here is a good partnership with Dipanda and Douhou, along with the support from other players in the defence and midfield. A successful combination is built only after we put in extra effort on the training ground and actually it does not depend much on the language. We have done our hard work on the training ground, and we are now garnering the results.
Where are you looking to finish off the Hero I-league this season?
We have had a string of positive results in the recent past, and we will look to build upon it to finish the season as high as possible on the table. Ideally, a top four finish would be perfect, but we will have to take each match as it comes and prepare well for all the remaining opponents.
Which Indian player from DSK Shivajians impressed you most?
We have a very strong squad with talented individuals. All of them possess various qualities and have their specific skill set. Subrata Paul is an exceptional goalkeeper, who is also one of the most respected players in India. Sena Ralte and Sandesh Jhingan are impressive defenders who put in best of their efforts every time they take the field.
Being not a tall player, do you draw your inspiration from Lionel Messi?
Lionel Messi is one of the best footballers in the world. We all can take inspiration from his journey and work even harder to improve our performance.
What are your expectations for Spain in the Euro 2016?
Of course, I would want Spain to be champions, but they have a lot of hard competition in the form of Germany, Italy, and France. So, I would settle for a place in the final.
What do you do in your leisure time?
I watch a lot of Football in my free time, varying from Bundesliga, Premier League, La Liga, Serie A, MLS and Football Championship. Besides that, we go out for shopping and dinners. We also like bowling and spend quite a bit of time doing that.
Which place in Pune do you like most?
Pune is an exciting city with lots of things to do, especially when it comes to shopping options. Pune has good malls, along with lots of places to dine. I especially like the location of the DSK Dream City, where we reside. We have a beautiful campus, with all the amenities at walking distance, varying from the gym, swimming pool, and the football pitches.
How do you rate the Indian cuisines?
Indian cuisine is too spicy for me. I prefer my food mild, and hence, wherever I go, I take my pick of the European options.
Which five players would you pick as your favourite ones?
It is a hard choice to make, but if I had to pick five, they’d be Cristiano Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Andres Iniesta, Zinedine Zidane, and Lionel Messi.
Which are your favourite five movies?
Hangover 2, Pearl Harbor, Three Steps Above Heaven, Cousinhood, Hachi.
Which club do you support in World football?
It has to be Real Madrid.
Your debut came against Real Madrid. Would you rate that as the highest point of your career?
It was a dream-come-true for me while I made my debut at the Santiago Bernabeu. To play my first match against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu was a great personal achievement. It is something I am very proud of, and always will be.
Image source: Goal.com