Juan David Fuentes, top scorer in the U14 Preference League, will wear the Barcelona shirt next season after shining in the ranks of Marcet.
Marisol still remembers the first time her son kicked a ball. “We were in Bogotá, sitting on the terrace of our house. The boy was a year and a half old. Suddenly he picked up a ball and kicked it with his left foot. The strength of the kick really caught my attention and I immediately thought that football would be his passion”. Thirteen years later, Juan David Fuentes scores goals under any circumstance and is about to become a player for FC Barcelona.
“He is a complete player, with many virtues“, comments Rubén Martí, coordinator of the youth categories at Marcet. “He’s fast, intense, he fills the spaces very well, he has a great individual technique, a spectacular left-footer… He’s a finisher and it doesn’t take much for him to set up chances. On top of that, he defends well. He’s a spectacular player, who always motivates the team. He’s an example and a natural leader“.
Juan David came to Marcet from the CEF Montcada. “I thought I was going to stay there forever,” recalls the player. “Then everything came to me suddenly… Last year I had a very good season. We won the League and I got 103 goals. I got calls from many main league teams, but I wanted to go back to Marcet to improve myself. It was what I was looking for, to be able to go out to a big team”.
A new position
The plan worked out perfect. When Juan David arrived, he was a left winger, but the coaches at Marcet discovered his enormous potential as a centre-forward. In his new position, he is leading a spectacular season and is now the top scorer in the League. Among his achievements are the four goals he scored against the U13 team of RCD Espanyol. Some actions that soon attracted the attention of the great clubs of Spain.
“Three months ago, Valencia called me“, says the striker. “I was very excited. It was the first time a team from LaLiga, and also with a good youth team, had called me. I went to see the facilities and I loved everything, but in the end I found out that FC Barcelona had also been interested in me”. For Juan David and his parents, Barcelona was the better option, because it did not force the boy to move to another city and to have to leave his family.
“It’s a great blessing that he’s in a team of that level, we didn’t expect it“, comments the mother of the striker in allusion to the economic sacrifices that they had to make so that Juan David could play football. After a few years in Colombia, where the boy was born, his family decided to move to Spain in 2008. “There were four of us, I was about to get pregnant and my husband earned €1,000 per month“, says Marisol. “Colombian friends of Juan David had to send him football boots so he could play. We all had to sacrifice things to support him. During the toughest years of the crisis we were living on €213 a month, but we never took him away from football. Thanks also to Marcet, which offered us a scholarship”.
Juan David’s adaptation to Barça was not a problem. The forward managed to show his great personality on and off the field. A personality that took him to the Spanish U-15 and the Colombian U-17 National Teams. In the future he will have to choose one of the two options. For now, he continues to apply his mantra in all the games he plays: “A lot of enthusiasm and effort”. Like the effort that his parents put in so that Juan David could realise one of his dreams: to be a player of FC Barcelona.