July 27, 2021

Fernando Ovelar: The teenager who scores goals in the First Paraguayan football | sports

Fernando Ovelar: The teenager who scores goals in the First Paraguayan football | sports

If there is a tense day in Asunción it is when Cerro Porteño, "The cyclone" of Barrio Obrero – the same azulgrana uniform that the Barcelona, Y Olympia, the "king of cups" white like Real Madrid, face in the "super classic" of national football. Buses to the roof of fans armed with flags cross the historic center that any other Sunday would be silent. Both clubs drag 40,000 people to the stadium and almost all the rest of the South American country to a radio or television, either at home or at the bar on any corner.

Sixteen minutes all those eyes were concentrated on the ball that rolled across the lawn of the Defensores del Chaco stadium. In the stands there were chants like mantras and in the street there was not even a car moving, when a pass from Juan Aguilar crossed the Olimpia defense and entered the area. There was Ovelar. What happened next is already part of the history of football.

Ovelar, with the jacket number 17 of Cerro Porteño, became the youngest player to score in the Paraguayan first division, snatching that record from former Olympian Gustavo Neffa, who did it with 15 years, 8 months and 16 days in 1987 He is also the youngest to play a classic Asunceno and the second youngest player to score in first place in the world, according to the popular Twitter user Mister Chip, expert in statistics. Ovelar played 63 minutes and had two more chances.

Nobody could imagine that a mita'í (Child in Guaraní language, the most popular language of Paraguay and official next to Spanish) could perform well before expert players who are twice their age. Only his coach knew what he was doing. The Spaniard Fernando Jubero, who now heads Cerro Porteño and has spent more than five years revolutionizing the best Paraguayan teams, was the one who made the decision to put him on the field. "I put him in the classic because his talent and personality gave me confidence," Jubero explained to EL PAÍS the day after the match, which ended in a two-game draw.

Barcelonés of Paraguayan soul, Jubero has trained Guaraní, Olimpia, Libertad and now Cerro Porteno, always leaving new achievements and a mark in each set. The coach, ex-observer of players and rivals analyst for the subsidiary of F.C. Barcelona, ​​discovered the very young Ovelar playing in the Sub 15 of Paraguay three weeks ago. "I was very surprised by his great talent and personality. That's why I called him to work in the main campus. He is a very mature player for his age ", says the" professor ", as they say in Paraguay. When he decided to include him, he went to his house to talk with his family.

Jubero, who was not in vain was also a primary school teacher, told them that the project with him was the following: it is mandatory to give priority to studies, he has to enjoy football as he has done so far and must work with humiliation because "many arrive and few are consolidated ". "Studies have to go hand in hand with football, if you leave school, I stop counting on you, education is fundamental for a player of your age. First person, then footballer. That I explained to his mother and the player understood everything. They are hardworking people, with values, "he explained.

In Paraguay, clubs are required to have one Sub19 player in each match. Something that, according to Jubero, coincides with the intention of the team to "join other players from experience to others in the house, feel the colors and proudly represent Cerro Porteño." Ovelar debuted two weeks ago and this Sunday, in his second game, confirmed that it is a promise of Paraguayan football. Fernando already had reasons to feel the azulgrana colors: he is grandson of Gerónimo Ovelar, defender of Cerro Porteño in the decades of the 1970s and 1980s, and champion of the Copa América 1979 with the Paraguayan team. But now as a "historical child", he has new reasons.

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