‘Europe was crucial for me’


Cristhian Abastoflor makes the Bolivian National Team and signs for a First Division club.

Cristhian Abastoflor couldn’t say exactly when he started to take an interest in football because his memory simply doesn’t go that far back. “I have videos of me kicking the ball around at the age of two,” says the Bolivian athlete. By the age of four, he’d already enrolled in a football academy. What he does remember, however, is his ever-growing passion for the sport: “Seeing my Mum, backpack in hand, ready to take me to practice after school was the best part of every day.”

Question.- How did you first find out about Marcet?

Answer.- Through a friend who was at the Academy at the time, a year before I went. All I wanted was to get started at fighting for my dream of making it to professional football.

Q.- You’re still somewhat too young to be certain if your professional aspirations will be fruitful, but for now you’ve already signed a contract with The Strongest and you’re training with the Bolivian National Team

A. – Having spent time in Europe has been crucial, mainly because it’s just come with so many opportunities. When I went back to my club at 17 years old, I started playing on the starting eleven. The Strongest is a First Division club so at the moment I’m playing on the bench, but at least it’s caught the attention of the National Team’s technical staff.

Cristhian Abastoiflor (primero por la izquierda) con la Selección boliviana Sub-18.
Cristhian Abastoflor (first on the left) with the Bolivian National Team.

Q.- What did you learn during your experience in Barcelona?

A.- I improved both physically and psychologically. I returned to my country with much more experience and much more confidence. I owe all of this to my coaches and to the sports psychologists who worked with me at Marcet.

Q.- Did you find a very different environment with regards to what you were used to back in Bolivia?

A. – The truth is I did. Everything felt new to me, especially how intense European football really is.

Cristhian Abastoflor durante una sesión de entrenamiento en la playa.
Cristhian Abastoflor during a beach training session in Barcelona.

Q.- What did you like most about your time at the Academy?

A.- Living, breathing, eating football twenty four hours a day. I feel like my colleagues’ support is something that really helped, given that everyone there is in a similar situation in terms of being far from their families. I spent Christmas with them and I feel like everyone had a really special bond after that.

Q.- How do you see your future?

A.- Now I’m focused on debuting professionally. I want to stay completely committed to training and becoming the best at what I do. I want to keep my place in my club and make it to the first team. I don’t want to push my studies to one side either: this year I started uni!



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