Gualberto Jara | Former coach of Colo Colo explains the “Cruz case” and chooses the two young people who must return to the club

The classic between Colo Colo and UC is drawing near, and Gualberto Jara (63) looks forward to it with optimism. The Paraguayan coach, who preceded Gustavo Quinteros on the Alba bench, talks with AS and transmits happiness for the present of the Macul squad. “I am happy with what is happening at the club. We are practically at the gates of a new championship”says the native of Asunción.

In any case, Jara is cautious. “It will be a difficult game. La Católica is a team with very good players and a well-established game idea. For them it would also be good to make Colo Colo bitter a little “emphasizes the former head of the lower divisions of the ‘Cacique’, who in this interview, by the way, also analyzes the youth and praises Quinteros.

– Do you have faith in a victory?

– (Laughs) Yes, I think that Colo Colo is quite well, playing with a lot of confidence, and there have been good games with good results, so it can be a good game with a positive result.

– Did you see what happened in the ‘Arengazo’?

– Yes, a pity. I saw it with great concern. Luckily she didn’t have more serious situations. We can say that it was a lucky misfortune… It is unfortunate and it is a wake-up call again for the fans, to assume this moment a little and try to avoid this type of situation. And there is also the issue of security, which undoubtedly, with the latest events, we have to continue reinforcing and taking stronger measures.

– Which Colo Colo player represents you the most?

– Colo Colo managed to put together a good team, quite solid in its lines, and distinguishes above all the figure of the scorer (Juan Martín Lucero), who has fully consolidated and is scoring in almost all games. On the other hand, there are also some young players who have been affirming themselves over time and who today are earning a starting position, as is the case of (Vicente) Pizarro. And well, the same as (Brayan) Cortés in goal, who has also regained his confidence and is having a very good time.


Suazo and Jara, at the Colo Colo-Athletico Paranaense for the 2020 Copa Libertadores (Credit: Photosport).

– And what is your opinion of the growth of Gabriel Suazo?

– I was forgetting about him… He is a good example, since he went through all the difficult moments of the club in recent years and now he has fully consolidated. He has had a very good season, which has also enabled him to confirm his ownership in the Red. That is very important to him, a very self-sacrificing boy, and now he has some chances of going abroad.

– He is happy for those trained at home…

– Yes of course. There is a very good group of young players, who are close by, but I always said that you have to have a little patience with them. That takes a bit of time and there are some ups and downs, but they are going to show their conditions and in the short term they are going to be important figures.

– And why do you think Joan Cruz has not been able to play this season?

– He is a good example of what I said earlier. He is a boy with many conditions, to the point that he has been skipping some stages and categories due to his talent and personality, but he is always exposed to some footballing ups and downs and injuries due to those changes and for trying to speed up his process… what I think is happening to him now, but Joan is going to consolidate. He will overcome these stages and has to make a difference in the first team.

– What other youth should be tracked?

– Now, the club has given the opportunity to develop in another team and there is the case of Bryan Soto (on loan at Deportes La Serena), for example. He was a boy that I had very close to in the first team, that he is also there and that he aimed very well. Surely, by returning to the club, he can continue to grow. Also others like Ethan Espinoza (on loan at Fernández Vial), who were very interesting projection figures and who hopefully can return and develop in the club.

– What value do you give to the work of Gustavo Quinteros?

– He has really done a good job, especially at the beginning, overcoming the relegation issue, which was a very critical moment for the club, very difficult. Then he already worked with his soccer ideas, with the players he considered and he has been recovering the confidence of many soccer players who were not having a good time. There is also the contribution of the youth, who already in the midst of other situations, with less pressure than they had, are developing. That work made Quinteros define the title.