“The first thing that came to my mind, when I saw the notification, was all the effort of many years, a lot of sacrifice, a lot of work, that all my people know that I have made. It made me want to cry, to call my parents and tell them”.
Nicolás Palma (21) receives the call from As after being called up to the Sub 23 Reds and does not hide his emotion. The young defender from Cobreloa earned a place in the starting lineup during the notable current campaign of the Loíno team and now he will attend the next microcycle for the Pan American Games.
“I took it with a lot of surprise, since I did not expect it. Some time ago there was a rumor, but in the end it was diluted, so now with a lot of happiness and enthusiasm “points out the defender, who this season adds 1,856 minutes spread over 27 games.
– You told me that the first thing you thought about was calling your family, did you?
– Yes, I called them. My old man is colder, even when we talked he told me “ah, I already knew” (laughs). My mom is more emotional, she started screaming, my sister too, they both started crying and I was also very sensitive, since I couldn’t see them.
– What expectations do you have of this process? Are there any situations that cause you anxiety?
– Yes, it gives me a lot of anxiety, because it is a new process, something that I have never experienced, apart from the fact that several of those mentioned are my friends, like Bruno Gutiérrez and Bruno Barticciotto. The same is a different world, so it generates nervousness.
– When did you decide you wanted to dedicate yourself to professional football?
– I played inferiors in Palestine until I finished the Sub 15, because at the beginning of the Sub 16 they kicked me out. At that time I was going to quit football, I was determined, because I was doing well at school. Until one day a former professor from Palestino called me and said, “hey, Nico, I have a test here in Cobreloa, if you want to try your luck.” He told me “come on, you have to show up on Monday and see how it goes”. In the end I arrived and Professor Iván Valdés was the one who left me at the club.
– And do you intend to study in the future?
– I always had the plan to study, I find that it is something that yes or yes has to be incorporated with the soccer player, because without education you will not get anywhere. So I’m thinking about it later. Today I want to dedicate one hundred percent to soccer until a certain age, until he feels that I can no longer climb, and then study evening.
– What has been the most difficult experience on your way to professionalism?
– Coming to Calama at 16 was hard. It is a city totally contrary to what Santiago is, so it was a sudden change. At first I arrived at the Player’s House here, but I got sick, I was sick, I had sinusitis that almost turned into meningitis and that affected me. Thank God my family has a good financial situation, so my dad told me “let’s rent an apartment.” I went to live with my aunt and I knew how to handle it, but it is difficult to be alone for so long. It is not the same to be with all your companions. Although I had more comforts in my apartment, loneliness is complicated.
– Are you used to it today?
– One never gets used to being alone, it’s hard sometimes, but I’m more used to it, even when I go to Santiago to see my family and I stay for several days, I miss the tranquility of being here.
– This Sunday he will have to watch the final of the league between Cobreloa and Copiapó from outside, since he was sent off in the first leg. I imagine it is a complex situation for you…
– Yes, I am very sorry, I know that they are plays that occur in football due to the temperature, but one starts to think about what adds to you and what remains, and what is left is more. But I see the team very well, the first leg result was a good boost of spirits, because we came from a few weeks without football at that level, but we knew how to hold the result there well. Now we have to close it here in Calama.