For Spaniard Juan Quero, 31, Pune is home away from home. I-League team DSK Shivajians have recently extended their contract with midfielder Juan, and he cannot be any happier. “The club is like a family to me. The city and the training facilities have been great which is why I have settled in fine. It is an honour to stay here in play for DSK Shivajians,” said Juan while talking to Sportskeeda.
The Quero family does not have a history of playing football. Juan is the flag bearer as he started the tradition of taking up football professionally. Having born in Vallecas, Madrid, the land where there is no dearth of good footballers, Juan started playing football at the age of five.
Soon his skills were noticed and within no time, Juan was selected for youth side of Real Madrid. “As a kid, playing for Real Madrid was always a dream which soon came into reality. The selection had a huge impact on me as it motivated me to keep working hard and resulted in me one day playing in La Liga,” informs Juan, who played for Spanish team Rayo Vallecano from 2009-2012.
A well-travelled player
The midfielder over the years has played for several clubs around the world – Elche CF, UD Las Palmas, Córdoba CF, Dubai CSC, later in 2014 switched to the Thai Premier League, and presently DSK Shivajians. During his stint with AD Alcorcón, he scored four goals in 35 appearances.
The journey had been incredible and playing La Liga has been an absolute for him. The diminutive midfielder has scored over 30 goals so far. “Playing in La Liga has been unbelievable. I think it is the best league in the world. And now I have the opportunity to use this experience and win titles for DSK Shivajians,” says a proud Juan, who looks up to Cristiano Ronaldo and Andres Iniesta.
In 2007-2008, Juan was a great offensive player for CD Numancia, who returned to La Liga after three years. “The challenge of improving myself and performing keep motivates me and the best moment came when I made my debut in La Liga in the Santiago Bernabeu against my team Real Madrid,” says Juan. However, Numancia lost 3-4 to Real in a thriller.
Juan is a total family person and when not on the field he would defiantly be spending quality time with his loved ones. “Apart from football, the most important thing is my kids and family. As you get older you see the things differently and I try to spend the most of the time with my family,” he says.
The Spaniard joined DSK quite late in the last season. Talking about the team’s performance, he says, “Last season was a bit up and down. We tried to improve as much as we could with a young team getting important wins against East Bengal and draw away to MohunBagan. The final standing was a bit disappointing. However, the good part is the new season begins on a level note for everyone and now we are an experienced club. So we can only get better from here.”
He promises a better show than the last season and assures that the team will reach new height this season. “We are committed to put up a great performance and we will strive to do so. Pune fans have been brilliant, however personally would like more numbers to turn up for our home games. It keeps us motivated and more the merrier it will be,” he signs off.Published 17 Aug 2016, 10:30 IST