Omar Ocampos is the centre-back for the Tigres, the very team that saw his own grandfather to a championship title in Mexico.
Omar Ocampos has a passion for football which is practically engraved in his DNA. “My grandfather was a professional player and became Mexican league champion with Cruz Azul and Tigres. When I was a kid I just fell in love with the sport,” recalls the Tigres centre-back, a big lad with a powerful kick for the Monterrey team where his grandfather once played.
Q.- How did you end up signing for this club? How did they find you?
R.- Back in 2014. They saw me play a few games and invited me to practice. Only thing was that, at the time, they didn’t have a team of my age-group so that meant training with the older kids for the first six months or so.
Q.- How did you find out you were being signed?
R.- My Mum and Dad told me. They said they’d spoken to them for consent given I was underage. They were fine with the whole thing and that’s pretty much how I got started with my favourite club.
“In Barcelona it was practically non-stop, BUT I liked IT so much that leaving didn’t even cross my mind.”
Q.- Before Tigres signed you, you’d been to Marcet a couple of times. How did you find out about us?
R.- It was my mom who proposed I spend a summer in Barcelona for an intensive course. I remember being told that is was going to be hard work and that I had to be one-hundred percent sure I wanted to do it. My first time at the academy was back in 2010. I spent two months in Barcelona and it was practically non-stop.
Q.- Was it as hard as your Mother made it out to be?
R.- They were very intense sessions. I remember that I first arrived at Marcet for half seven and left at six in the evening and it was like that Monday through to Sunday for 20 days straight before I got a day off. The thing is, I liked being a Marcet so much that leaving didn’t even cross my mind. I was just set on making the most of the opportunity of training at the academy.
Q.- I imagine then, that you were there to make progress…
R.- I was six years old my first time there and I wasn’t entirely sold on football quite yet. However, four years later I returned and I knew exactly what I was there for: individual technique and discipline.
“Marcet was the first place I was told that I COULD BE a defender, something that worked well for me”
Q.- And it helped?
R.- It helped me a lot. Marcet was the first place I was told that I had the qualities of a defender. At first, I refused to accept it because I was a lot more interested in playing midfield. In the end, I realised it was something that worked well for me. I was good at, and actually enjoyed. So much so, that now I’m the Tigres centre-back.
Q.- What are your goals now?