Weighing in Chilean football: Juan Carlos Orellana, former national team player, dies

Juan Carlos Orellana, the southpaw from Barrancas, passed away this Thursday, November 10, after a long fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The news was confirmed by Sifup and quickly caused an impact on national football.

Born in 1955, Orellana was a benchmark in national soccer during the 70s, passing through different clubs in the country. Green Cross, Colo Colo, O’Higgins, Spain Union, Antofagasta Sports and La Calera Union They were the jerseys he defended throughout his career as a professional footballer.

With the whites he keeps the record of being the author of the first official goal of Colo-Colo in the Monumental Stadium and also being part of the champion team of the 1979 National Tournament. In total he played more than 200 games with the white shirt.

In fact, the social club dedicated a heartfelt word to him after his death was made public. “The CSD Colo-Colo mourns the sensitive death of Juan Carlos Orellana, the mythical Zurdo de Barrancas. The people of Colocolino send their most sincere condolences”, they wrote.

With La Roja for his part, he made his debut on January 26, 1977, managing to participate in 17 games, scoring 7 goals, including goals at the Maracana.

The “Zurdo de Barrancas” was experiencing a complex moment of health, since he was fighting against a amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), one of the most aggressive diseases there is. The native of Pudahuel had lost his voice and his family told LUN that He lost 27 kilos of weight.

Even the complexity of the disease led the family to organize a benefit event for Orellana, which was held on Saturday, October 29, at the Model Stadium in Pudahuel. There were teammates from Green Croos (a team in which he debuted in 1973), as well as players from Colo Colo such as Severino Vasconcellos, Patricio Neira and Alejandro Hisis.

The activity featured matches between former players (Javier Margas, Luis Pedro Figueroa, Sandrino Castec and Coto Acevedo were some) as well as games for children.

Our deepest condolences to family and friends of Don Juan Carlos Orellana. Talent and a lot of history. Rest in peace”, Sifup wrote on his social networks, in what was one of the first displays of affection that were made during the day for the player.