Pele or Maradona? “Maradona”. Leo Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo? “Messi”. Well, the answers must give you an indication that they come from an Argentine. Yes, from Oscar Aquino, the general coordinator of the Boca Junior Football Schools in India.
Oscar is in the city to oversee their junior programme. He is a registered trainer with the Argentine Football Association and has a Bachelor of Sport degree from the University of Salvador. Oscar has been a youth team coach at Boca Juniors for over 30 years and developed some of the best known players in the world. He currently serves as one of the general coordinators of the Boca Juniors Football Schools globally.
Argentine superstars like Juan Sebastian Veron, Juan Riquelme, Palermo, Carlos Tevez, Barros Schelotto among others have benefited from his guidance at Boca before they ventured into the pro world of soccer.
Oscar is a much travelled coach and has been overseen programmes on soccer training, physical training, youth work and many other topics and has also authored a book called “DEP System: dynamics, elasticity and plasticity for High Performance Football”. In an exclusive chat with Express, Oscar who speaks Spanish, spoke through an interpreter on how football has developed over the years and the potential in India. Excerpts:
On modern trends in the game
Well, the most striking feature is that today a large number of players emerge by the time they are 17 or 18. That’s because they have a good grooming background. Within the next six or seven years, they develop into top class stars.
On this being a South American phenomenon
No, no this is the case in most countries in the world.
On Boca Juniors’ plans in India
We are here to stay and have long term plans. Short measures don’t work in the game. So we want to support players at the grassroots by providing the best of facilities for training and development. Boca Juniors is an international brand and we want youngsters to benefit from it.
On Boca’s plans to form a club in India
Well, right now as I said, we are looking at the grassroots. Maybe sometime in future we might want to have a team as it will help our own trainees.
On Indian football as a whole
India was once a big name in Asia. I think they have fallen behind a little. Most nations today start talent hunting from the age of six and seven. Once that is done, sustained coaching and exposure make them quality players. India must concentrate on youth development and can improve soon if they do so.
On his visit to India
This is my first visit to India. I find that the people here are very helpful and willing to learn. I am really happy that I came down.