He came to Marcet to make the jump to professional football and now he’s playing with footballers that have competed in World Cups.
Juan Chang has just signed for Canterbury United FC and isn’t able to hide his happiness: “Thanks to god, I now have the chance to play in New Zealand’s Premier League. I’m eternally grateful to Fundación and J. Marcet for propelling me into world football. Without a doubt, if I didn’t have help from either, I wouldn’t be here now”.
Juan started playing at the age of 13 in Guatemala. When he was 16 he came to Barcelona for the first time, to take part in the Academies’ World Cup of Football. An experience that he still considers essential, due to it helping him immensely to leave extra prepared for the USA, where the Central American forward went to play in University league and in the First Division of the NCAA.
After going back to Guatemala to play for Antigua GFC and Aurora FC, Juan then decided to come back to Fundación Marcet to play for Tecnofútbol. “It was a phase in which I gained a lot of personal knowledge as a footballer”, recalls the talented Central American forward. “Fundación Marcet helped me so much as they opened my mind and taught me what was necessary in order to move up the ladder of world football”.
With his lesson Learnt, it wasn’t long before various clubs started to notice Juan. In the end he opted for New Zealand. “At the beginning I got signed by a club in the second division. Thanks to god, I got the opportunity to play 17 games and I scored 13 goals, propelling me into the minds of various clubs in the top division, until Canterbury United decided to sign me”.
Football in New Zealand has been a pleasant surprise for the Guatemalan forward. “Their game is very technical. In my team there are 5 players from the New Zealand national squad that have been involved in World Cups. The football played is very high paced, demanding and a very tactically centred. In the league there are a lot of good clubs like Auckland City, who finished third in the FIFA Club World Cup last year, in which Real Madrid won”.
Already settled in the southern country, Juan combined his career as a soccer player with that of a coach. The Guatemalan striker obtained important awards. In 2019 and 2020 he was named ‘Coach of the Year’ in women’s football. Not only that. Juan also managed to be named ‘Latino of the year’ in New Zealand. “I did not believe it. I feel very blessed and very proud,” the forward told the press of his native country.
This is how the young Guatemalan travelled around the world until he landed on the antipode of Barcelona, the city that changed his life forever. “To have been at Marcet, with all sincerity, was spectacular. Being in your country one doesn’t really know the level, qualities or what it represents to be able to play football around the world”, Juan tells us, who’s started his latest football adventure with the same enthusiasm as the kid who won the World Cup over 10 years ago. os.