Miguel Martín earns himself a scholarship to study in the USA, where he’ll combine a sports career with academia.

Miguel Martín lleva una vida de trotamundos. Nació en Venezuela, pero pronto tuvo que mudarse a México, donde empezó a enamorarse del fútbol. Después fue el turno de Brasil, Arabia Saudí y España. En Barcelona Miguel se formó durante un año en la Academia de Alto Rendimiento Marcet con el objetivo de obtener una beca para estudiar en EEUU, país al que llegó al comienzo de este curso.

Miguel Martín hasn’t been a stranger to travel. He was born in Venezuela, but soon had to move to Mexico, where he fell in love with football. Then it was Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Spain. In Barcelona, Miguel trained at the Marcet’s High Performance Academy for a year with the aim of obtaining a scholarship to study in the USA.

“I’m in West Virginia, at Wheeling Jesuit University (WJU),” the Venezuelan striker explains. “Football was fundamental to earning the scholarship, which is why my coach showed me this project. Now, I’m playing in my University’s first team, in the Mountain East Conference (MEC), NCAA.”

Question.- Why did you want to study in the US?

Answer.- I did the baccalaureate through the American system and I wanted to get involved with a career without having to give up football. American universities provide the opportunity to combine both. For example, I only have classes in the morning, since I need afternoons free for training. Here the advantage is that the academic schedules are adapted to sports schedules.

“In marcet I learned that you have to work hard and fight for what you want”

Q.- You’re used to travelling. How was acclimatizing to life in the US?

R.- Adapting wasn’t an issue. My teammates welcomed me as a member of the family. I know they’re there for anything.

Q.- What is association football like in the US? Is it different to European football?

R.- Physical training here is very similar to what I did at Marcet. Football is very tactical and very physical at the same time. The style of play itself may be different, but my team is very diverse and that helps.

Q.- Do you think that, here in Europe, we’ve got a misunderstood preconception of ‘soccer’?

R.- I think so. Actually here the league is very competitive. The presence of players from all over the world is doing a lot for ‘soccer’.

Miguel Martín durante un partido con el equipo de la Wheeling Jesuit University.
Miguel Martín playing a soccer match for the Wheeling Jesuit University.

Q.- You came to the US after a season at Marcet. What did you learn in Barcelona?

R.- Many things. I learned to play faster with the ball, to position myself better on the pitch… Above all, I learned that you have to work hard and fight for what you want.

Q.- What projects do you have in mind? What steps do you want to take in the future?

R.- My first goal is still to get to professional football, so I hope to perform well for my college team. At the same time I want to have a ‘plan B’ and prepare myself academically. The degree here at WJU is four years, so I think I’ll be staying here ’til I finish.

 

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