John Valladares | He is the son of a champion with the U and emerges in the B: “My dad taught me to learn from the greats”

John Valladares is one of the interesting appearances in Santiago Wanderers in 2022. The 18-year-old left winger has played 12 games in the Ascent Championship (3 starters) and also registered important activity in the Chile Cup. She is one of the promises of the caturro cast and her story in the first team began when John, her father, her namesake and also a former winger and center back champion at Universidad de Chile in 2000, made him debut against Puerto Montt . Then, Valladares Sr. directed the Valparaíso squad on an interim basis.

“I am happy to be able to earn a place in the professional squad. There is the possibility of adding minutes by the rule of the Under 21 player. I have felt good, satisfied and what one wants most as a boy is to debut. After that, I have continued training and working to earn a place in the squad”, Valladares tells AS Chile.

– What did you think of professional football? Was it how his father told him?

– I have found different things. The first thing is that you interact with much older players than in youth football, you find yourself in a different environment. One competes day by day to win a position and continue playing. Since I was a child I thought that being on a campus was the same as being in the youth team, but since I joined the campus it is super different.

– In that way?

– One has to always be with the good vibes competing, especially being a boy. It is that one is still in a learning period. My dad instilled in me since I was little that if you had the chance to get to the campus, you had to pay attention to the older ones, learn, because when you’re young you always get carried away. I have found new things in the professional team, I am learning day by day and trying to improve.


The young Valladares with his family.

– How about the debut experience with your father on the bench?

– Yes, it was special. There were mixed feelings, father and son. But I still saw it in another way, with all the sacrifice of getting to the place where I am and making my debut. If I had been another teacher, I would have been happy anyway. I was super happy, also in that match we won at home. My colleagues behaved very well with me, throughout the week they gave me all their trust.

– How were those days of training also with your father in interim charge of practices?

– My dad hadn’t addressed me directly before. When I was in San Luis, he was often on the court when I trained. He fulfilled a role in the club. Now, when he was a kid and sometimes my dad was on the court during games, he would look at him outside and make me nervous (laughs).

– And now?

– It was different. I took it as if it were just another teacher, with the seriousness that I always have when I’m training. I took it super normal until the day of my debut.

– Did you feel that the possibility of accessing professional football was close?

– Yes, more than anything, because one knows that the opportunity can be given at 16, 17, 18 or 19 years old. One always has to be prepared. I feel that everyone can have their chance and it can be at different ages in the training stage. One has to take advantage of the option, do it in the best way. Before this, you always have to work, because sometimes when you least expect it, you can touch the possibility.

– Did you always have the idea of ​​reaching professional football as a result of your father’s activity? Didn’t he have other concerns when he was younger?

– Since I was little, I was always linked to football. He didn’t go directly to a professional club, because my dad was a player. I was in neighborhood clubs, learning there to function as a player. Later, when I was 12 or 13 years old, I joined San Luis. When my dad played, he would take me to the field. There has always been that feeling, that taste for football.

The Wanderers youth alongside his father in the past.


The Wanderers youth alongside his father in the past.

– You are left-handed like your father. Did he think about playing as a left back?

– The truth is that I always played from the middle up. My dad started in midfield, but later in professionalism he always played back, first as a winger and then as a central defender. I have always liked attacking, scoring goals. That feeling of always looking for the goal, being in the place where it can be finished. Today, I am playing as a striker, I started as a midfielder and now I am at the top.

– What is your situation in studies?

– Last year I left fourth grade. I would like to do a pre-university, because my father has always guided me in the sense that one should still have a base that can be in studies, it can be, for example, a two-year degree. I hope to study one and thus complement it with football.

Just starting out in football, what are your expectations in the medium term?

– My ideas are to continue earning a place on the campus. Now I am in a big team and I would like to achieve promotion with Wanderers. My expectations in this, which is my first year, are to learn as many things as possible about movements, how one can perform better on the court. Obviously my expectations are high, but I want to learn little by little. I’m just on campus and I have a long way to go.

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