Players worth keeping an eye on playing for other clubs

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AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH​

Piero Hincapié​

  • Date of Birth: 09/01/2002
  • Nationality: Ecuadorian
  • Position: Centre-back
  • Height: 1.84 metres
  • Preferred foot: Left

Manuel Domínguez speaks exclusively to highly-rated Bayer Leverkusen defender Piero Hincapié about Ecuador, Independiente del Valle, adaptaing to Germany, plus his style, idols and dreams.

In 2022, everything in football happens faster than ever before. In the last century, we rarely saw players that, at 20 years of age, had established themselves amongst the elite of European football. Even less so if they needed to cross the Atlantic.

Nowadays, promising players from South America make the leap at a younger age and clubs and national teams begin to invest much earlier in those young prospects they believe are destined to become football stars.

That’s exactly what Piero Hincapié – born in Esmeraldas, a small coastal city on the northern tip of Ecuador – thinks when asked about his last year: “Even I can’t believe it’s been going so fast”.

A product of the esteemed Independiente del Valle youth academy, it has taken him less than a year to leave his country, explode in Argentinian football, establish himself as a regular for Ecuador at the Copa América, and announce himself as one of the breakout stars in the Bundesliga – all achieved within 12 months.

2022 has started well for him, too. He has settled in Gerardo Seoane’s starting line-up, one of the best Bayer Leverkusen teams of recent years, one that is likely to qualify for the Champions League. He is also firmly established in the Ecuador national team that is on course to reach the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Copa América revelation and World Cup dreams​


It is difficult to understand the current success of the 20-year-old without highlighting the work done with the national team by Argentine coach, Gustavo Alfaro. A winner of every title in his native country, including a Superliga with Boca Juniors in 2019, Alfaro decided in 2020 to take charge of one of the most promising generations of Ecuadorian football.
The likes of Piero Hincapié, Moisés Caicedo, Alan Franco and Gonzalo Plata – all products of the Independiente del Valle academy, no less – convinced Alfaro to shape a youth team with one dream in mind: to qualify for Qatar.
“He always tells us that he is not afraid to use young players and that shows us a lot of confidence and forces us to give 100%,” Hincapié says about his national team’s coach.

The results are living up to that dream, so far. With two rounds of qualifiers to go, Ecuador are third in the CONMEBOL region, only trailing the superpowers that are Brazil and Argentina. Their fate is in their own hands; they control their own dream as they try to qualify for this year’s World Cup.

Uruguay, Chile and Colombia, historic traditional powerhouses of South American football, have not been able to better the performances of an Ecuador side that, owing largely to its young talent, has proved to be one of the most attractive teams in any association over the last 15 months. Piero Hincapié’s importance to the team became vital after he made his debut in the Copa América, something he himself describes as the greatest moment of his entire career.

“I was already in the dressing room and the coach told me that I was going to play. I didn’t believe it,” he said during our call. “I had been on the bench in the previous knockout games so I didn’t imagine I was going to start at the Copa América.

“He told me to enjoy it, to make the most of the experience I was going to have because it was something very nice. At the time it was a shock for me but at the same time it was the best memory I’ve had in my career.”

Starting every match of the tournament, Hincapié established himself as one of the best defenders during the group stage. It was only in a 3-0 defeat to eventual winners Argentina that things did not quite go to plan.

“Everything went wrong against them. The day after that red card, I was hurt. Really sad. However, it’s something you have to take in the best possible way. At the end of the day, a red card is part of football. I am not – and will not be – the last player to be sent off in a match,” Hincapié asserts.

He also emphasised the value of the support he received from family and former team-mates in order to get him through the bad moment: “Your family supports you and makes you realise all the good things. They and God helped me a lot after that. In the end, it’s a learning process and I’m a very young boy. With this kind of situation you have to keep learning.”

Now that the Copa América is long over, and with the crucial March fixtures on the horizon, Hincapié is only thinking about qualifying for the World Cup. “Right now, apart from Bayer, I’m only thinking about the two games in March to qualify for the World Cup. It’s in our hands and we’re really looking forward to it. It’s a dream”.

Bayer Leverkusen's call and adapting to Germany​


Not long after his first taste of senior international football, Hincapié and his club CA Talleres, whom he joined in August 2020, began to receive interest from several European clubs. At 19 years of age, Hincapié was seen by many not just as a promising future prospect, but as a player that could help them in the immediate term too.
“One day, my agent told me that Bayer [Leverkusen] were interested and we arranged a video call. They presented the project to me and explained what they were looking for with me.
“I asked for some time to think about it, and to discuss it with my family. I wanted to make the leap to Europe, I wasn’t afraid, but it was an experience in a very different country and with the language problem, it wasn’t easy”, Hincapié explains. He also highlighted the strong commitment of Die Werkself to acquire his services.

“From the cooks to the team-mates, even those who prepare the pitch – everyone treats you very well and I’m very happy here, as if I were a son to them and that’s why I think my adaptation has gone very well. I’m very happy

The coexistence of so many South American players in the squad was one of the key factors he assessed when considering Leverkusen’s proposal: “You notice that it is a club with a lot of South Americans and that means that if they go there and stay for many years [in the case of Chilean Charles Aránguiz and Argentine Lucas Alario] it is because they have to do things well”, he said.


“From the cooks to the team-mates, even those who prepare the pitch – everyone treats you very well and I’m very happy here, as if I were a son to them and that’s why I think my adaptation has gone very well. I’m very happy,” Hincapié says, as he extolls the “family” virtues of the club.


Beyond the day-to-day work with the squad, the cold weather and the language barrier are two obstacles that Hincapié does not forget: “Brother, the worst thing here is the cold (laughs). At the beginning I was also a bit shy with the language, but, little by little, I’m getting used to it. Everyone, even those who don’t speak Spanish, try to approach me. I don’t understand all the words, but well [I will], step by step”.

In terms of football, Hincapié has had to play in a league like the Bundesliga to understand the significant differences between the two continents: “The biggest change I notice is in the intensity. Here you score three goals and the team wants to keep attacking. ‘Come on, come on, come on!’ There is no pause,” he explains. “In South America, if you have a lead, you relax. Here we score three goals and they ask you to score ten.”

Independiente del Valle, Carles Puyol, and his style​


If there is one thing that defines Hincapié’s game, despite being a centre-back, it is his willingness to get forward. He is a left-sided centre-back with an attacking inclination that likes to present as an outlet for the ball, something that comes naturally to him after his years in Ecuador.
Trained in the extremely successful academy of up-and-coming club Independiente del Valle, the most prolific academy in Ecuador currently, if there is one thing that is worked on there, it is the love of the ball: “In terms of football, the IDV school is always a lot of ball and little running in pre-season”, he chuckles.
In addition, his months at CA Talleres, with Medina as head coach, and especially his beginnings in football have shaped the eye-catching centre-back that Hincapié has become.

“I’ve always liked to play with the ball. When I started as a kid I played much more offensively, as a winger. I used to score a lot of goals. I was like Neymar, I didn’t dribble as much as him but I was a great goalscorer. I even took free kicks! Maybe that’s why I’m now a centre-back who likes to go forward,” Hincapié laughs.

“When we travelled by bus for seven or eight hours to play Independiente del Valle, I watched a lot of videos of Carles Puyol and Sergio Ramos.”

Hincapié has always had a keen eye for Spanish centre-backs. His idol is no other than Barcelona legend, Carles Puyol. “On Fridays, when we travelled by bus for seven or eight hours to play for Independiente del Valle, I watched a lot of videos of Puyol and Sergio Ramos,” he remembers.
“I watched the videos so I wouldn’t get bored on the bus and that’s when I realised that I really liked Puyol. He had a special way of playing, perhaps less technical than Ramos, but he was a leader and captain. One of the best centre-backs I’ve ever seen.”

Hincapié also reserved praise for another young South American centre-back who is making a name for himself: Cristian “Cuti” Romero: “My brother tells me I’m a lot like him, I like him a lot”.

With Leverkusen, Hincapié alternates between centre-back and full-back, although he has no doubts that his best position is in the centre of defence.

“It’s the position I feel most comfortable in. I can give order to my team-mates and that’s something I like. It also gives me an outlet when it comes to playing the ball, much more than at full-back, always going back and forth,” he said. “When I play as a centre-back and move to full-back it’s very difficult for me to adapt. It’s very different to play facing the pitch than playing on the wing.”
“I haven’t done badly at full-back but I like playing at centre-back, although if the coach asks me to, I’ll give my best if I have to play at full-back,” Hincapié emphasised.
Centre-back or full-back, what is clear is that at the age of 20, Piero Hincapie has knocked down the door at Bayer Leverkusen and is already an established and highly-rated player in German football. A teenager who follows the mantra given to him by his coach in Ecuador, which allows him to play his best football and improve day by day: “Enjoy himself on the pitch”.
scoutedftbl.com
We’d like to extend a huge thank you to Piero for his time, and Bayer Leverkusen for their access. If you wish to report any of these quotes in any external platform, please credit Scouted Football and include a link to the original page.
 
Almost every shot in this video is saved by a prem keeper
He hits the target though, we are getting closer lol. Thought he might be loaned out to start with. We will see he could be a work in progress and for £10 m not a major gamble.
By the way have u seen Bissouma shooting.
 
He hits the target though, we are getting closer lol. Thought he might be loaned out to start with. We will see he could be a work in progress and for £10 m not a major gamble.
By the way have u seen Bissouma shooting.
Luckily Biss won’t have to shoot. Seems like this lad is another signing of potential over the real deal. It’s worked loads for Albion but solving that striker problem I think you will need to invest in proven PL ability. Might not be in reach but thinking Toney, Ings etc
 
Luckily Biss won’t have to shoot. Seems like this lad is another signing of potential over the real deal. It’s worked loads for Albion but solving that striker problem I think you will need to invest in proven PL ability. Might not be in reach but thinking Toney, Ings etc
Deniz Undav hopefully will be the striker we need. We have a pay structure that includes wages and transfer fee unfortunatly the ones u mentioned might not fit into that.
 
Not every "wunderkind" makes it...


Hachim Mastour, who was once hailed as 'the best 14-year-old footballer in the world', signs for Moroccan second division side aged 24... after spending his youth career at AC Milan and performing tricks with Neymar​

  • Hachim Mastour will play for Moroccan second tier side Renaissance Zemamra
  • The midfielder was once hailed as 'the best 14-year-old footballer in the world'
  • Mastour was on the youth books at AC Milan, but was a free agent since last year
By SAMUEL DRAPER FOR MAILONLINE

PUBLISHED: 14:51 BST, 28 June 2022 | UPDATED: 15:04 BST, 28 June 2022

Hachim Mastour, a former teenage YouTube sensation and AC Milan youth player, has signed for a Moroccan second division team aged 24.

Renaissance Club Athletic Zemamra, also known as Nadhat Zemamra, confirmed the signing of the infamous attacking midfielder on their official Twitter account.

In 2012, he was labelled 'the best 14-year-old footballer in the world' by Goal, in a YouTube video seen by almost six million people. However, the Italian-born freestyler has failed to live up to the early hype surrounding him.

Goal had previously revealed Mastour's difficult path through the football world, which has seen him playing in five different countries with very little to show for it.

He was tipped as a future star, after a video of his scoring ability at the Ielasi Memorial youth tournament went viral.

AC Milan acquired his services as a 14-year-old from Reggiana, beating rival youth teams from Barcelona, Manchester City and Real Madrid. He was named on the first-team bench a year later, but never played for the Italian giants.


59624063-10960985-image-a-25_1656424221605.jpg

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At the height of his viral early fame, Mastour featured in a skills video alongside Neymar

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View gallery
At the height of his viral early fame, Mastour featured in a skills video alongside Neymar
Mastour, who also featured in a freestyle video alongside Neymar, made his international debut for Morocco aged just 16, opting to play for the north African nation because of his parents' nationality.

However, he played just one minute of an African Cup of Nations qualifier in June 2015, and has not featured for the national side since.

Not everybody approved of his stylish tricks and viral videos. In 2018, Sportsmail reported that Mastour was threatened with abuse by former AC Milan manager Gennaro Gattuso for uploading clips of his freestyle skills online.

He also struggled during loan spells in Spain with Malaga, and with Dutch side Zwolle, before being released by AC Milan in 2018. He joined Greek side Lamia before returning to Reggina, where he started his career.


Mastour scored his first professional goal in January 2021 in a 5-1 defeat, whilst out on loan to Capri in Italy's Serie C.

Sportbible revealed last summer that he was without a club after being released by Reggina. It is only now that his plan to turn out for Renaissance Zemamra has materialised.

The club finished fourth in this season's Botola Pro 2 Inwi, meaning they will continue to be in Morocco's second tier when the next campaign begins this summer.

It remains to be seen whether Zemamra's Stade Muncipal will become the stadium where Mastour's early hype will finally come good on the professional stage.
 

Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have ended their non-aggression pact at youth level, as MARCA explained in a report on June 7.

The verbal agreement, one reached by the clubs' presidents and one that remained in force for more than 15 years, saw both clubs refrain from trying to sign talents in the opposite's academies.

The first signing that could hail a new dawn is that of Jesus Fortea, a right-back born in 2007 who is currently in the Cadete category at Atletico Madrid. He could now wear the white shirt three years after his signing from Levante.

A fortnight ago, a meeting took place between Real Madrid and the player's representatives in which the finer points of a future deal were established.

At that meeting, the Real Madrid board was informed that, as a result of the good understanding, there would be a conversation between the youngster and Atletico during the week just ended. At the meeting, held on Saturday, Atletico were informed that Fortea does not want to continue his career with the club.

The reaction at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano was one of disappointment and frustration, as they are resigned to losing one of the most outstanding gems in their squad.

Toni Munoz, one of the youngster's agents and someone whose relationship with the Atletico Madrid board is delicate, played an instrumental role in transfer.

That is why Atleti expect a negative outcome, which could be accompanied by other upsets in the same direction.

Alongside Spain youth international Fortea, there could be three or four other moves between the academies, with Nacho Alameda, the midfielder and captain of Alevin A, another possible target, although Atletico are confident that they can manoeuvre to truncate this attempt.

Outsiders from Spain are not wasting any time, either. Bayern Munich have been trying to tempt Javier Fernandez, another promising midfielder.

At Real Madrid, meanwhile, they remain calm. They don't think Atletico Madrid will be able to sign top talents from La Fabrica and they are focused on carrying out these processes in the best way possible, meaning with payments.

Only time will tell just how significant the repercussions are of the breaking of the non-aggression pact.
 
Just link the website you're posting all this shit from instead of regurgitating articles on players I doubt you've ever watched.
I rather advise you to stop reading this thread if it gets you in such a bad mood :D You've obviously not understood the purpose of this thread. And throwing shit is your only contribution to this thread. And for your information, I won't follow your advice.
 

At just 16, Karamoko Dembele was tipped to 'revolutionise football' alongside Ansu Fati and was likened to Lionel Messi... Three years on he's joining France's 11th-best team - so where did it go wrong?​

  • At 16, Karamoko Dembele was tipped to 'revolutionise football' with Celtic
  • The winger burst onto the scene as a 13-year-old and was likened to Lionel Messi
  • Six years on after exploding into the global spotlight, his Celtic deal expired
  • After signing for Brest this week, his once bright future is now an uncertain one
By BRIAN MARJORIBANKS FOR THE SCOTTISH DAILY MAIL

PUBLISHED: 16:16 BST, 6 July 2022 | UPDATED: 16:16 BST, 6 July 2022

 



AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH​

Piero Hincapié​

  • Date of Birth: 09/01/2002
  • Nationality: Ecuadorian
  • Position: Centre-back
  • Height: 1.84 metres
  • Preferred foot: Left

Manuel Domínguez speaks exclusively to highly-rated Bayer Leverkusen defender Piero Hincapié about Ecuador, Independiente del Valle, adaptaing to Germany, plus his style, idols and dreams.

In 2022, everything in football happens faster than ever before. In the last century, we rarely saw players that, at 20 years of age, had established themselves amongst the elite of European football. Even less so if they needed to cross the Atlantic.

Nowadays, promising players from South America make the leap at a younger age and clubs and national teams begin to invest much earlier in those young prospects they believe are destined to become football stars.

That’s exactly what Piero Hincapié – born in Esmeraldas, a small coastal city on the northern tip of Ecuador – thinks when asked about his last year: “Even I can’t believe it’s been going so fast”.

A product of the esteemed Independiente del Valle youth academy, it has taken him less than a year to leave his country, explode in Argentinian football, establish himself as a regular for Ecuador at the Copa América, and announce himself as one of the breakout stars in the Bundesliga – all achieved within 12 months.

2022 has started well for him, too. He has settled in Gerardo Seoane’s starting line-up, one of the best Bayer Leverkusen teams of recent years, one that is likely to qualify for the Champions League. He is also firmly established in the Ecuador national team that is on course to reach the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Copa América revelation and World Cup dreams​


It is difficult to understand the current success of the 20-year-old without highlighting the work done with the national team by Argentine coach, Gustavo Alfaro. A winner of every title in his native country, including a Superliga with Boca Juniors in 2019, Alfaro decided in 2020 to take charge of one of the most promising generations of Ecuadorian football.
The likes of Piero Hincapié, Moisés Caicedo, Alan Franco and Gonzalo Plata – all products of the Independiente del Valle academy, no less – convinced Alfaro to shape a youth team with one dream in mind: to qualify for Qatar.
“He always tells us that he is not afraid to use young players and that shows us a lot of confidence and forces us to give 100%,” Hincapié says about his national team’s coach.

The results are living up to that dream, so far. With two rounds of qualifiers to go, Ecuador are third in the CONMEBOL region, only trailing the superpowers that are Brazil and Argentina. Their fate is in their own hands; they control their own dream as they try to qualify for this year’s World Cup.

Uruguay, Chile and Colombia, historic traditional powerhouses of South American football, have not been able to better the performances of an Ecuador side that, owing largely to its young talent, has proved to be one of the most attractive teams in any association over the last 15 months. Piero Hincapié’s importance to the team became vital after he made his debut in the Copa América, something he himself describes as the greatest moment of his entire career.

“I was already in the dressing room and the coach told me that I was going to play. I didn’t believe it,” he said during our call. “I had been on the bench in the previous knockout games so I didn’t imagine I was going to start at the Copa América.

“He told me to enjoy it, to make the most of the experience I was going to have because it was something very nice. At the time it was a shock for me but at the same time it was the best memory I’ve had in my career.”

Starting every match of the tournament, Hincapié established himself as one of the best defenders during the group stage. It was only in a 3-0 defeat to eventual winners Argentina that things did not quite go to plan.

“Everything went wrong against them. The day after that red card, I was hurt. Really sad. However, it’s something you have to take in the best possible way. At the end of the day, a red card is part of football. I am not – and will not be – the last player to be sent off in a match,” Hincapié asserts.

He also emphasised the value of the support he received from family and former team-mates in order to get him through the bad moment: “Your family supports you and makes you realise all the good things. They and God helped me a lot after that. In the end, it’s a learning process and I’m a very young boy. With this kind of situation you have to keep learning.”

Now that the Copa América is long over, and with the crucial March fixtures on the horizon, Hincapié is only thinking about qualifying for the World Cup. “Right now, apart from Bayer, I’m only thinking about the two games in March to qualify for the World Cup. It’s in our hands and we’re really looking forward to it. It’s a dream”.

Bayer Leverkusen's call and adapting to Germany​


Not long after his first taste of senior international football, Hincapié and his club CA Talleres, whom he joined in August 2020, began to receive interest from several European clubs. At 19 years of age, Hincapié was seen by many not just as a promising future prospect, but as a player that could help them in the immediate term too.
“One day, my agent told me that Bayer [Leverkusen] were interested and we arranged a video call. They presented the project to me and explained what they were looking for with me.
“I asked for some time to think about it, and to discuss it with my family. I wanted to make the leap to Europe, I wasn’t afraid, but it was an experience in a very different country and with the language problem, it wasn’t easy”, Hincapié explains. He also highlighted the strong commitment of Die Werkself to acquire his services.

“From the cooks to the team-mates, even those who prepare the pitch – everyone treats you very well and I’m very happy here, as if I were a son to them and that’s why I think my adaptation has gone very well. I’m very happy

The coexistence of so many South American players in the squad was one of the key factors he assessed when considering Leverkusen’s proposal: “You notice that it is a club with a lot of South Americans and that means that if they go there and stay for many years [in the case of Chilean Charles Aránguiz and Argentine Lucas Alario] it is because they have to do things well”, he said.


“From the cooks to the team-mates, even those who prepare the pitch – everyone treats you very well and I’m very happy here, as if I were a son to them and that’s why I think my adaptation has gone very well. I’m very happy,” Hincapié says, as he extolls the “family” virtues of the club.


Beyond the day-to-day work with the squad, the cold weather and the language barrier are two obstacles that Hincapié does not forget: “Brother, the worst thing here is the cold (laughs). At the beginning I was also a bit shy with the language, but, little by little, I’m getting used to it. Everyone, even those who don’t speak Spanish, try to approach me. I don’t understand all the words, but well [I will], step by step”.

In terms of football, Hincapié has had to play in a league like the Bundesliga to understand the significant differences between the two continents: “The biggest change I notice is in the intensity. Here you score three goals and the team wants to keep attacking. ‘Come on, come on, come on!’ There is no pause,” he explains. “In South America, if you have a lead, you relax. Here we score three goals and they ask you to score ten.”

Independiente del Valle, Carles Puyol, and his style​


If there is one thing that defines Hincapié’s game, despite being a centre-back, it is his willingness to get forward. He is a left-sided centre-back with an attacking inclination that likes to present as an outlet for the ball, something that comes naturally to him after his years in Ecuador.
Trained in the extremely successful academy of up-and-coming club Independiente del Valle, the most prolific academy in Ecuador currently, if there is one thing that is worked on there, it is the love of the ball: “In terms of football, the IDV school is always a lot of ball and little running in pre-season”, he chuckles.
In addition, his months at CA Talleres, with Medina as head coach, and especially his beginnings in football have shaped the eye-catching centre-back that Hincapié has become.

“I’ve always liked to play with the ball. When I started as a kid I played much more offensively, as a winger. I used to score a lot of goals. I was like Neymar, I didn’t dribble as much as him but I was a great goalscorer. I even took free kicks! Maybe that’s why I’m now a centre-back who likes to go forward,” Hincapié laughs.

“When we travelled by bus for seven or eight hours to play Independiente del Valle, I watched a lot of videos of Carles Puyol and Sergio Ramos.”

Hincapié has always had a keen eye for Spanish centre-backs. His idol is no other than Barcelona legend, Carles Puyol. “On Fridays, when we travelled by bus for seven or eight hours to play for Independiente del Valle, I watched a lot of videos of Puyol and Sergio Ramos,” he remembers.
“I watched the videos so I wouldn’t get bored on the bus and that’s when I realised that I really liked Puyol. He had a special way of playing, perhaps less technical than Ramos, but he was a leader and captain. One of the best centre-backs I’ve ever seen.”

Hincapié also reserved praise for another young South American centre-back who is making a name for himself: Cristian “Cuti” Romero: “My brother tells me I’m a lot like him, I like him a lot”.

With Leverkusen, Hincapié alternates between centre-back and full-back, although he has no doubts that his best position is in the centre of defence.

“It’s the position I feel most comfortable in. I can give order to my team-mates and that’s something I like. It also gives me an outlet when it comes to playing the ball, much more than at full-back, always going back and forth,” he said. “When I play as a centre-back and move to full-back it’s very difficult for me to adapt. It’s very different to play facing the pitch than playing on the wing.”
“I haven’t done badly at full-back but I like playing at centre-back, although if the coach asks me to, I’ll give my best if I have to play at full-back,” Hincapié emphasised.
Centre-back or full-back, what is clear is that at the age of 20, Piero Hincapie has knocked down the door at Bayer Leverkusen and is already an established and highly-rated player in German football. A teenager who follows the mantra given to him by his coach in Ecuador, which allows him to play his best football and improve day by day: “Enjoy himself on the pitch”.
scoutedftbl.com
We’d like to extend a huge thank you to Piero for his time, and Bayer Leverkusen for their access. If you wish to report any of these quotes in any external platform, please credit Scouted Football and include a link to the original page.
Fuck me
 
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