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Fede Valverde, the shy boy with a flute voice who wanted to be Kroos


The Uruguayan medium, launched after a talk with the coach, faces the global challenge grown by his stretch with Madrid

In the case of Fede Valverde (Montevideo, Uruguay, 24 years old), the anecdote has ended up becoming history.

The change of his nickname, from Pajarito to Halcón, symbolizes his leap in football in the last six months: from Madrid's permanent waiting room, to the main protagonist;

from accidental scorer to surprising striker.

The shy boy with a flute voice who began to stand out in Peñarol has already conquered Madrid and now the world challenge of Qatar awaits him, the country where falcons are the national bird.

(This Thursday, Uruguay debuts against South Korea; 2:00 p.m., Movistar).

“Imagine that, when he was a child, we asked him who he wanted to be like, and he said Toni Kroos.

He was only 14 years old.

And you see, now he's playing with him”, recalls Alejandro Garay, 64, the first coach who took him to the lower categories of the national team, almost as a life lesson.

He and all those who saw it then agree that his current catalog was already in its infancy.

“Federico was always one of doing things in the field that we didn't even see.

He was a talent, with a wonderful punch, a soccer leader who manifested himself through the game because he was with the group, he was quite withdrawn.

He found it difficult to speak.

At that time, his friendship with Diego Rossi [today at Fenerbahce] was very important, ”says the coach, who, in the middle of the flowers,

He also portrays him as a bad student (he didn't finish them) and obfuscated when he was yelled at.

He “would get angry and stop.

We talked a lot with him so that nothing was kept.

He would go to his room, sit next to him and convince him of everything he had to give us.

There he felt important.

He got it quickly, he was always a docile and obedient guy in a good way, ”says Garay.

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A situation that coincides in time with a trance that another of his reference coaches, Chueco Perdomo, experienced in Peñarol.

Almost paradoxical if you think about what the footballer is today.

“Physically, he was privileged, the best.

But half lazy, he didn't like to run a lot or score.

His only subject was his little head, understanding the game.

He just wanted to have fun.

So I told him that I would leave it in the bank so that he would understand what I needed from him.

In the third week, he came to me and said: 'Chueco, I want you to teach me how to score'.

He thought that he only had to score and not enjoy.

I replied that he should not be the one who recovered the most balls, but rather be in the position, ”explains the coach calmly, chewing on each word, after a lifetime in Peñarol recruiting children.

With the passing of the years and his settlement in the Bernabéu, many of those who watched him, and even formed him, in Montevideo joined the group of people who asked him for more impudence with Madrid, who dared to do what they already they knew.

“When he started showing up with Zidane, he complained to him why he didn't finish off and stepped on the areas more.

But of course, they are maturation processes.

Due to his personality, he is one of those who are gradually gaining that space.

By word he will never demand things, only with the game.

He is very respectful of the roles.

It must also be clear that he is a child, he is 24 years old.

He has not yet touched his ceiling, not even remotely, ”says Alejandro Garay.

The great click took place approximately a year ago, in the midst of a crisis of almost personal scope, the victim of an injury that kept him out for a month, later displaced by the invariable Casemiro-Kroos-Modric, and with his head thinking like a concrete mixer if perhaps he had lost his place in the team and if it was time to open up to other options for the future.

The new coach, Diego Alonso, then appeared at his house, and the talk, more emotional than sporting according to both parties, had a shocking effect.

From there, in addition, came the change of nickname devised by the coach: from Pajarito to Halcón, as an extra resource to enhance it.

The medium sought (and found) help in a


to confess in privacy and in a nutritionist, and on the field everything changed in spring, the night of the Champions League quarterfinals at Stamford Bridge, when Carlo Ancelotti ordered him to do everything: help Carvajal back, concrete the middle and deploy up the wing.

Oil three in one.

He has never hidden that his favorite place is as a classic interior (Madrid came to consider -and discard- in his day as a substitute for Casemiro), although his explosion has come from a position very much his that he has been filling with content .

With Uruguay, with whom he still only has four goals in 44 games, he is expected in his preferred position, although

El Tornado

Alonso has already warned him that he will resort to his multi-track function if he needs it for a team that mixes young people and veterans.

In any case, beyond the specific demarcation, Valverde recently confessed that with the national team he takes on more responsibility, and tries to do things that he shouldn't or don't have to do, something that he doesn't feel in Madrid, with a division of tasks more defined, especially with Kroos and Modric.

“In those conversations we had, he told us that the owner of the still ball is Toni [Kroos].

'I'm there;

When he was there, I didn't touch her or get close to her,' he told us”, reveals Alejandro Garay.

Very concerned now in Madrid with not falling asleep on the vine so that no teammate (or rival) can beat him, the "Mr. Hawk", as Alonso calls him, the Qatari challenge arises.

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Source: elparis

All sports articles on 2022-11-24

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