I-League 2018-19: Minerva Punjab sign Spaniard Juan Quero for AFC Champions League
I-League defending champions Minerva Punjab on Thursday announced the signing of midfielder Juan Quero for the remainder of the season.
Quero, who signed from Spanish third-tier side FC Fuenlabrada, will be vital for Minerva Punjab in their AFC Champions League qualifier against Saipa FC of Iran.
During his two-season stins at Fuenlabrada, Quero had the chance to play against his Real Madrid, the club where he took his childhood footballing lessons from.
During a Copa del Rey Round-of-32match on November 28, 2018, he provided the assist to Alvaro Portilla, who equalised for Fuenlabrada as the game ended in a 2-2 draw. However, Real Madrid had a better aggregate in that fixture and progressed further in the tournament.
Born in Vallecas, Quero is a graduate of Real Madrid’s famous La Fabrica Academy and spent seven years of his early career there. Being short in height, he never got a chance to make the senior team, which was then coached by Vicente Del Bosque.
After leaving Real Madrid, Quero joined Santa Ana. Thereafter, he played in several La Liga clubs like Numancia, Rayo Vallecano, Elche and Las Palmas. His first stint in Asia was with Dubai Cultural Sports Club and later, Quero joined Thailand’s club Buriram United.
He joined DSK Shivajians in February 2016 and produced an impressive performance in that season. He scored three goals, including a brace against Mohun Bagan, and provided as many assists. DSK decided to extend his contract for one more season.
However, Quero faced difficulties during his time with India. In an interview in one Spanish newspaper, Quero said, “In all the places where I have played, they have treated me phenomenally, and like a star. But in India, it is a complicated place for such a small child and a pregnant woman.
"There, everything is different. To give you an idea, I lived in Pune, 150 kilometres from Mumbai, and it took six hours to make that journey by car.” Probably that was the reason that made Quero return to his country.
In an interaction with I-League’s official website, Quero, whose favourite footballer is Lionel Messi, said that making his professional debut against Real Madrid at Santiago Bernabeu was a dream come true for him.
“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,” Quero said.
Quero became a tall figure at Fuenlabrada and when the club announced on December 23 that Quero will be leaving, many fans took social media to show their gratitude.
Few days ago, Minerva signed former East Bengal player Mahmoud Al Amnah for the rest of the season. Now they have roped Quero, who has the experience of playing in India. He was part of the DSK Shivajians squad for two seasons.
Regarding Al Amnah signing, Minerva Punjab owner Ranjit Bajaj has said, “It means the world to us. We have brought him looking ahead at the AFC Cup because we need to have an Asian quota in that tournament. Not only does he fill that pretty well, but he brings to the team what it lacked in one go.”