Sale in green: the flight of young talent that reactivates the departure of Luciano Arriagada without consolidating in Colo Colo

Luciano Arriagada is sentenced to exile in colo colo. In the current National Championship adds just 27 minutes on the field of play, in the match against Huachipato. On three other occasions he was called up to the substitute bench. That’s all the stake he’s given her Gustavo Quinteros this season, a strange situation, considering that it is one of the main promises of the popular club in recent years. In fact, in the retina of white fans The memory of the goal against Coquimbo Unido is still recorded when the Cacique suffered with the possibility of relegation. His growth seemed meteoric. Months later, Martin Lasarte called him to the 2021 Copa Américawhich was played in Brazil at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Something happened along the way that has never been made clear enough. “In the first game, the return with Palestino, Gustavo does not quote me and tells me that I have to go as a baseball player”, declared the attacker in his participation in the program F90, from ESPN, in which he made some disclaimers regarding his strange situation. He also said that he was available to the coach. He declared himself a colocolino and expressed his desire to return to the club that formed him and in which, with difficulty, he will play again in a short time. His declaration seemed like a commitment from a consecrated player, but it came from a youthful value that decided to leave and that is added to an already extensive list of promises that have left Chilean football without consolidating in their clubs of origin, tempted by the proposals they receive from the outside. The variables that explain the phenomenon are several. The main one, of course, is economics.

At 19 years-old, Arriagada made a crucial decision for his future: he accepted Athletico Paranaense’s proposal and has already received concrete advances on what he will have to do at the Brazilian club in the voice of who will be his new coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, a name that, paradoxically, also appears linked to the recent past of the albos, Although that’s another story. His case becomes paradigmatic for several reasons: being a player who has just completed his training process, he leaves the club that gave him his first weapons without having consolidated in Macul, although taking a key step in the consolidation of his economic future, considering the differences between the salaries paid in Chile compared to of those offered by the most millionaire competition in South America. Furaçao is no exception.

Without meaning to, the battering ram reinstates a discussion that finds no absolute answers. Once again, there is talk of the flight of young talent in national football. Or the sale in green. The latter concept can even lend itself to a two-way interpretation: alludes to the immaturity of the talented who emigrate. And the color of the dollars that are pocketed in the respective operations.

Luciano Arriagada celebrates the goal he scored against Huachipato, in May 2021
Luciano Arriagada celebrates the goal he scored against Huachipato, in May 2021 (Photo: Agenciauno)

Arriagada is not the only one who has made a similar decision nor is Colo Colo the only one affected by the departure of a projection player. Perhaps the most emblematic case remembered in Macul is that of Bryan Rabellowho was 15 years old when, due to the conditions he showed, he had already generated the conviction that he had to offer him conditions different from those of his peers in the Cacique. At that time, there was talk of a blank contract. The concrete thing is that it was filled with the figures corresponding to the minimum wage of the time. In 2012, when it had to be renewed, and although the alba offer had improved a lot, AIM, the company that represented it, opted for a different path: it rejected the agreement, since it wanted larger numbers, for a minimum of three years. Since there was no agreement the midfielder appeared signing at Sevilla, but the Andalusian club was just the starting point for an erratic journey which included passes through clubs in Spain, Switzerland, Mexico and Greece before returning to Chile to defend Universidad de Concepción. He now plays for Unión Española.

Diego Rubio also rebelled. When he went to ask for improvements he was met with a lapidary response from the alba administration. “Worry about scoring goals“, they told them. When he converted them, in good quantity, she got her revenge. “I did six in ten games. Later they came and asked me to make the contract and I told them ‘wait, not yet, now I don’t want‘” he recalled a while ago. Finally, helped by the contacts that Hugo Rubio, his father, has in European football, he ended up joining Sporting Lisbon, where he did not consolidate. He has played in Norway, Romania, Spain and the United States.

Recently, the Cacique suffered again. advised by Fernando Felicevichafter Jaime, his father, stepped aside in the negotiations, Vicente Pizarro had Black and White in suspense. only after eextensive discussions and, finally, with clauses that notably favor the player in the event of an exitended up agreeing to extend his permanence in los albos.

Not only in Pedrero have they suffered. At the University of Chile, the cases of the goalkeeper Gonzalo Collao and the flyers Nicholas Claveria Y Luis Rojas they still hurt. Collao left without having played any match in the National Championship and only two in the Chile Cup. He signed for Extremadura, but ended up being relegated and threatened. In 2021 he joined NK Istra, from the first division of Croatian football. For Rojas, considered one of his most productive values, the laity pocketed just US$1.2 million when he left for Crotone. He had two games in the 2019 Chile Cup and three in the 2020 National Championship. He managed to play 13 games. Then, after two successive relegations of the club, which fell to Serie C, he was loaned to Bologna, where he had no option.yes Clavería, meanwhile, fifigure now in Santiago City, leader of the Third B. He had left for the Unión Deportiva Montijo, from the fifth division of Spanish football, in January 2020. He returned to Chile in August of the following year, to Palestino.

With Collao we tried a lot to make him stay. We gave him practically everything he asked for. One day after the signing, he said that he was leaving. And we told him that he was leaving for the fourth division in Spain. he chose that. I don’t think he’s happy with the decision. Then the club looks bad, but It happens that the players want a better future, but they do not measure that abroad there are also bad things. It’s not that they’re going to real Madrid. It is a very complex issue, ”recalls Rodrigo Goldberg, then sports manager of Azul Azul.

UC, meanwhile, is taking precautions, perhaps based on experience with Mauritius Island, whom they trained, but could only enjoy now, in the final stretch of his career. In 2019, for example, they signed professional contracts with several of their promising figures. Gonzalo Tapia, Patricio Flores, Cristóbal Finch, Clemente Montes, Vicente Bernedo and Marcelino Núñez completed the procedure. Success is obvious. Now, Bryan González, the last crossed jewel, will also stamp the signature. In San Carlos they avoid risks.

Luis Rojas, in his presentation as reinforcement of Bologna.

There are several elements that come together in the analysis. The Pole contributes some, based on his managerial experience, but also on what his time on the courts left him. “Several things are combined: first, the opening of the markets, you can find a club anywhere. Second, there is the desire and third, the push that the representatives have. If at the age of 18 you don’t make them contracts, they remain as free players, although they must pay the training rights. So you play with it. They do not sign a contract. And when they are offered, they put leonine conditions. The law establishes that the player is entitled to 10 percent of any transfer. So, they seek to broaden participation. There they press and it is difficult to reach agreements”, he recounts.

The figure of the representatives becomes vitally important. Goldberg avoids demonizing her. “The player makes the decision, but is often influenced by the figure of the representative, who is almost paternal. He is the one who passes him the soccer shoes, has accompanied him, gave him a telephone. There are very good representatives and others who buy trust with a couple of things: a phone, even a car.. So, when you sit down with the guy and his agent and tell them not to leave yet, they believe the representative, ”she exemplifies.

José Luis Carreño speaks for the agents, president of the nascent trade association that brings them together. The intermediary clarifies that his evaluation is personal. “There is everything. There are some who are in favor of players leaving at an early age, and it is valid, and others who are not. I do not agree. Every player who leaves young gives bad answers. No player who has left young has done well. I would love for it to be different. They do not have the baggage, the experience that a footballer must have to reach Europe, for example”, he maintains. What it does rule out outright is that the representatives put their interests before those of the players. “What happens is that We are in a very globalized world and when a quality player comes out there are economically powerful teams that show interest. There you have to evaluate if it is appropriate or not.. That is the key. There are agents who advise them to stay, but There is also the opinion of the club, which has financial needs and if it receives an important offer, it accepts it. It is very difficult to catalog what can happen”, he exposes.

Leonardo Véliz, a former youth team coach, notices another element: the player’s responsibility. “One of the aspirations of the youth is to play six months for Colo Colo and then go to Europe. They have been monetized very quickly. The players are very responsible. Seduced by money and with no education. There is no story to prevent them from a reality, that all that glitters is not gold”, warns the former striker.

César Vaccia, also a former selector in minor categories, tries to encompass all the variables. “The fact that Parananese appears, with a good economic deal and having Lucero, Bolados, on top of him, leads the player to wonder why I would want to continue being in Colo Colo. is reasonable. The issue is what space is going to have there. He doesn’t even have 20 games in the First Division. There are a number of factors. There is the economic, the jump, and the third, the lack of spaces. You can do the same for more money in Paranaense. The same thing happened to Rabello, to Rojas. They did not give prominence. Between remaining ostracized, the player and the agent end up betting. And it can go well or badly, as in all bets ”, he concludes.

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