Tomás Bascón has fulfilled his dream and has joined the first team of The Strongest, one of Bolivia’s most celebrated clubs.
Tomás Bascon is an old-fashioned battering ram. His range makes his natural habitat the penalty area, where the Bolivian striker tries to “go for the goal in any way possible”. He began to do so at the age of seven in his grandfather’s team, and continues to do so today at The Strongest, a century-old club and one of the most successful in the Andean country.
Answer.- My grandfather was my coach and still is my mentor and manager. Until I was 15 I played for his team, Club Ramiro Blacut. Then I made the leap to Spain with Marcet, where I did the Professional Program for three years.
Q.- How did you come up with the idea of crossing the pond to train in Spain?
A.- With my grandfather we were always looking for ways to improve my level. Researching in the Internet we found the Marcet High Performance courses and we found out about the methodology of this Academy. That is how I ended up signing up for a summer course. They were two very intense weeks, which allowed me to learn a lot and opened the doors to the Professional Program.
Q.- What did you learn during those three years in Marcet?
A.- A lot… On a sporting level, as well as on an academic and personal one. I matured little by little, in all senses. What I stressed about the most was coming from a more physical football would I be able to adapt.In Barcelona they taught me a much more tactical way of playing. I learned to position myself with and without the ball, to put pressure on the opponent, to move the ball correctly. They also taught me to see the sport in different ways, with a broader and more professional perspective.
Q.- In what way?
A.- I didn’t have a good attitude on the field before. I didn’t know how to behave like a first- rate player. At Marcet I worked a lot on sports psychology and that changed me completely and for the better. I had coaches of a very high level that helped me to progress on a daily basis. And the best thing of all is that later I could develop and put into practice all that I had learned in high level games and tournaments.
“Being part of this historic club is an honor and a privilege, as well as a pleasure and a pride”
Q.- And how did you grow up on a personal level?
A.- Today’s Thomas is very different from the one three years ago. Now I consider myself a more complete person, more humble and hardworking. Because in the end Marcet is not only about football, it goes much further than that.
Q.- After your first year in Barcelona you received a call from the U17 Bolivian National Team. Two years later, you signed with The Strongest. How did you achieve this?
A.- Being the club from my city, I was always in contact with them, even before I travelled to Spain. However, it wasn’t until I returned to Bolivia that The Strongest‘s technical director decided to try me out with the first team, because he knew I had spent three years training in Spain. That’s how we came to an agreement.
Q.- How was the reaction?
A.- For me it was an immense joy, because it is something that I dreamt of since I was a child and that carries a lot of sacrifice behind it. Being part of this historic club is an honor and a privilege, as well as a pleasure and a pride. It involves a lot of responsibility, work, dedication and commitment. And besides, everything has just begun, and there’s still a lot of work to do.
Q.- So, what’s left?
A.- My priority right now is my performance at my new club. I want to give myself completely to the institution. Marcet taught me that you can be a good player and a good student at the same time, so in the future I also want to study a university degree. But right now I’m focused on my work, which is football.