Franco Zanelatto joins Alianza Lima main team after passing through Marcet’s High-Performance Academy.
Franco Zanelatto has spent almost his entire sporting life in amongst the ranks of San Martin de Porres University (USMP). He began in the lower categories of the Peruvian club, climbed his way up to the main team, and has settled in the highest division of his home country. “Club officials contacted my parents and gave them the good news,” the Paraguayan winger recalls. “The truth is, I didn’t expect to make it to the main team at that time because I’d just come back from Barcelona.”
It was USMP‘s executives that decided to send him to Spain for a few months of training at Marcet’s High-Performance Academy. “I accepted the offer because I know that European football is better in pretty much every way,” explains Franco. “My goal was to learn and I feel like I made a lot of progress, especially improving my intensity and tactical knowledge.”
Improvements that gave immediate results, since the USMP decided to put the Paraguayan winger on their first team just after his time at Marcet: a time in which Franco left his comfort zone to get to know another type of football: “I found myself in a different environment, completely different to what I’m used to. My teammates there were from all over the world and I had experiences that I’ll never forget.”
“My favourite moments would have to be the matches that I played against great teams like Sevilla, Villarreal and Mallorca. Any player would jump at these kinds of opportunities, they’re ultimately experiences that change the way you see football,” says Franco who scored the final, tieing goal in his match against Mallorca.
The USMP winger is known for his speed. He gets on well with his colleagues and is always ready to challenge his rivals from either wing, left or right. He already proved his worth in the Peruvian First Division, where a new stage of his sporting career begun: “I’m looking forward to the experience with high hopes for a good challenge, but also with patience and a steady hand. I want to do everything as best I can and play as many games as is possible. In the end, I really want to help my family in every way I can and make them very happy.”
A goal fullfilled by Franco. His performance in the First Division has been so good that suitors have not been long in coming. So much so that Alianza Lima signed him in December of 2021 and decided to loan him to Alianza Atlético Sullana for one season. The reasons for that decision are detailed by the Peruvian press itself, which defines Franco as a “talented and promising player”, as well as a clear “bet on the future”.