Resolve and consistency


Juani O’Neill reaches the Puerto Rico National Team and signs for the Santa Clara Broncos, California.

Juan Ignacio O’Neill arrived in Barcelona in 2014, when he took advantage of the Easter holidays to see first-hand the Marcet High Performance Academy. In September of that year, the Puerto Rican player returned to Spain to reach the Professional Program (MPEP). After two seasons soaking up the Marcet methodology, Juani managed to be part of the squad of the Puerto Rico Under-20 National Team. That was only the beginning of a brilliant career, both sports and academic.

Juani stands out for being a disciplined, hard-working player. Qualities that soon led him to Recreativo de Huelva, a club then in the Spanish Second Division B. The Puerto Rican midfielder put everything he learned in Marcet into practice for the Huelva team. “For example,” Juani recalls, “knowing what my role was on the field and how to maintain resolve and consistency in my game.”

Juan Ignacio O'Neill con la Selección de Puerto Rico.
Juan Ignacio O’Neill playing for the Puerto Rico national team.

A text message was the reason for Juani to show up at the Recreativo’s tests. “I got nervous and excited at the same time, and I felt like all the hard work and sacrifices were starting to pay off.” Juani’s landing in Andalusia was very positive: “From the beginning everyone was friendly with me and made me feel at home”

After having enjoyed and learned from the Huelva team, the Puerto Rican midfielder did the same with Sabadell, where he could play in the División de Honor until an injury kept him off the pitch for months. Juani then decided to look to the United States.

Juani O'Neill durante un entrenamiento en la Academia Marcet.
Juani O’Neill durante un entrenamiento en la Academia Marcet.

“From then on, my sports career evolved a lot. I never thought that football would lead me to the path I am on right now, and I greatly appreciate it,” says this former Marcet player. Juani started at Assumption College, in Massachusetts, and later joined the ranks of the Broncos at Santa Clara University, in California. It was with this team that the midfielder was proclaimed champion of his conference in 2021, being one of the protagonists of that victory in Division 1.

Now Juani looks to the future, without forgetting the great results he also obtained with the Puerto Rico national team. “I’m doing very well, I am currently playing in the first team. Thank God we have started to get positive results in the games and I was also able to play my first World Cup qualifiers.”

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