The new life of Franco Costanzo in Europe: Switzerland, Spain and various projects

Franco Costanzo (42) was between 2013 and 2017 at the Catholic University. The former Argentine goalkeeper won three titles and got into the hearts of the Crusader fans. Today, almost five years after his retirement from professional soccer at UC, the trans-Andean spoke with AS about his new life in Europe and remembering his time in Chile.

“I was in Basel (Switzerland) working at the club for just over two years. Now I am in Madrid (Spain) with an online educational project. As the headquarters are here, we prefer to move”, says Costanzo, who has also played for clubs like River Plate and Olympiacos, among others.

– What specifically is the educational project you are talking about?

SBI was a 100% English institute with football management programs such as business, marketing and communications. I studied a football business management program during the pandemic and one of the projects I did there was that there was a void and a real reality. I created a sports management program that is taught 100% in Spanish and I am working on it. I act as moderator, coordinator of all the classes, but I don’t give them, they are given by a person who knows and has experience in the field.

– Do you plan to settle longer in Madrid or do you rule out going elsewhere?

– I spend a lot of time here, because the boys are also growing up and it is more complicated to move them. This is a good place to stay for several years.

– You were an idol at Basel as a player and now you had returned to work at the club. How was that return to Switzerland?

– We always feel very good. I was playing for a long time and now almost four years. I was working in the club, the idea was to open the doors in South America, I was a kind of representative. I connected with the owners of the clubs, managers, sports directors, etc. We made ourselves known. We were also looking for subsidiary clubs where we could position young players and then take them to Switzerland with better training. In the middle we had the pandemic and in the end all that project was there. The experience was spectacular. It was beautiful to return to a place where we had already lived and had a great time.

– Did you always plan to return to Switzerland after retirement?

– Yes. We always had the idea of ​​going back to Switzerland, because three of our children were born there, the other is Chilean. At least we wanted to try and we were lucky that this project came out that allowed us to work and have experience in a club. Now, from another place, I’m still connected to soccer, but more mixed with education. I try to help the players by contributing from such a difficult place, which is to see what to do after retirement. That question of rejoining or getting out of the status quo as a football player and really facing what’s coming. This helps open your head, see what you like and what you don’t. There are a lot of guys who don’t want to be managers or work with managers, which are almost the two most common things.

Franco Costanzo: his memories of UC and Chile

– Was it difficult to leave Chile after so many years?

– I was there for six years and it was hard for us to leave, because we had a good time, they received us well and I was in a beautiful club. We left behind several friends and people we love very much. One, in any case, is already used to moving, closing stages and starting another. That is why now we want to stay in Madrid and give the boys stability.

– Has what you saw in Católica served you for what you did in Switzerland and what you are doing now in Spain?

– Very much. I retired and stayed another year living in Chile. I did the FIFA/CIES and I talked to Tati (Buljubasich) and Juan Pablo Pareja to see if I could do an internship and learn from the side of the desk at UC. They opened the club for me and I went through different areas. I learned a lot from a model club as a player and then from the back side, from the office. It helped me a lot for this stage. The Basel project was born a little from what I saw there.

– What do you miss most about UC?

– I miss my friends, people we love and who love us. It is very difficult to separate from that. One when you are outside, friends end up being your family. You make very strong bonds. And I also miss the club, because we had a social life. My daughters played hockey and my son soccer and rugby. There is a social issue beyond sports.

– What do you keep from your time in San Carlos?

– I’m left with the fact that I had to live part of the subchampionships, that I had to see it and that it already came from before. It was a convulsive time, people demanded results, but the results did not materialize with titles, but with a string of positions always up there. I always highlight that of the club. At first the results did not come, but they had the capacity to put up with the project and give it the time it needed. He showed that it was something that was brewing. They took a long time to come, but then something historic, unique and difficult to repeat came, such as the string of titles and all the growth. I always set an example.