Diego Bielkiewicz | “They pointed a gun at my head…”: the drama of a ‘9’ who returns to Chile

“Korea, India, Chile. I got to places I never thought”. With that phrase, the trans-Andean striker Diego Bielkiewicz, summarizes what his football career has been. Exotic destinations and cultures, added to complex episodes that have kept the former Iquique outside his country for several years.

Formed in the Lanús quarry, the scorer commented with AS Chile its difficult transition in Argentine soccer. Extreme situations that have compromised him to the point of not wanting to return home. “They have put firearms to my head, I have had to hold on to “combos” with bars. It’s something that shouldn’t happen, but it does. I didn’t want to go back to Argentina.”complemented the striker.

Today, as a new Provincial Osorno player, the center forward will live his fifth stage in Chilean soccer. Wistfully, he commented that he had Sports Iquique and Santiago Morning offers, but they did not materialize. Now he only thinks of the southern team, where the striker expects a 2023 full of surprises. “It’s a beautiful challenge, and I want to prepare well.”

– Again you return to Chilean soccer, did you miss our country?

– Of course. She really wanted to go back. I have my daughter who was born here, she is Chilean, so she wanted to come, I really liked the country. Hopefully tomorrow I will be given the opportunity to live here.

– Your first international experience was in Chile, in 2017. How do you remember that cycle with Deportes Iquique?

– I have the best memories. I am grateful to the club for opening the doors for me and giving me the chance to come to a club as beautiful as Deportes Iquique. Playing a Copa Libertadores was impressive. I remain grateful to the people of the north who have always been good to me. They always send me a little message. It is a mutual affection.


The relationship with Brayan Cortés

– He shared a dressing room with consolidated players in the northern cast, such as Rodrigo Naranjo, Mathias Riquero, Manuel Villalobos. Just like with footballers who were taking their first steps, like the goalkeeper Brayan Cortés…

– That season we had a great squad. Regarding Brayan, I was lucky to share with him in his early years. The headline was Rodrigo (Naranjo), however, he broke his tendon and Cortés entered. He didn’t let go of the bow anymore. He was a beast, he gave a lot of security. The center that they threw at us cut it off. The ball never escaped him, so he gave us a lot of security.

“Brayan Cortés is a phenomenon and I have no doubts that he is and will be the goalkeeper of the Chilean team”

Diego Bielkiewicz, Cortés’s former teammate at Deportes Iquique

– Then he immigrated to Korean soccer. What can you tell us about his experience in Asia?

– It was a beautiful experience. Today I regret not having studied English when I was little, it would have helped me a lot. It is very competitive football, with very good players, and this is reflected in their team. If South Korea participates in all the World Cups it is because their league is very good. A beautiful country.

– Do you have any anecdote from your time in Asia?

– Something that is highly respected in Korea are hierarchies. There are ways of referring to the smallest, and others to the largest. For example, at mealtime the young people sat on one side and the adults on the other. And, until the technical director was served a bite, no player could eat. Another age difference happened in the showers, after training. If there was a boy bathing and an older one entered, the little one, no matter how soapy he was, he had to come out to give way to the adult. These are things he had never seen.

– After passing through Korea, you returned to Chile, first to Rangers and then to Magallanes… What do you remember about those steps?

– I arrived as a free player at Rangers de Talca, who had already been interested in me. I did not hesitate, and as soon as the proposal arrived, I accepted it. Later, I went to Magallanes, a beautiful institution. I am grateful to all the people who work there, they are very kind. They are always at the service of the player because they love the club. It was a pleasant experience.

A violent return home

– Later he emigrated to Asia again and then returned to his country. Did she want to return to Argentina?

– The truth is, no. Many situations happened in the past that she did not want to repeat.

– Could you detail any?

– To begin with, I had problems on some computers in my country with the issue of payments. I’ve been on teams where they owed me up to six months’ salary. Also conflicts with the bars, they get into the locker room and it is difficult to deal with that issue. They have put firearms to my head, threatening us. I have had to fight the combos as they say here. They were situations that I no longer wanted to experience, and, unfortunately, on my return to Cipolleti they happened again.

Did you fear for your life at any point?

– When I was younger, maybe. Already bigger, they are things that you know are going to happen. As players, we try to take care of each other and we are not going to let them touch a teammate. They touch one, they touch us all.

– In Argentina, are these situations much normalized?

– The truth is that if. It is very normal that a club owes you a few months of salary or there are complex relationships with barras bravas. They are episodes that one as a footballer does not want to experience, but they happen. And in Argentina they are quite normalized.