"Maybe none of them remember me, but I'm proud to have been at the start of the Golden Generation"

“I’m fine, calm down. At first it was a bit hard, because I didn’t plan to retire properly, but later, as the days go by, you start to assimilate and you see what to do along the way”. Three months after his farewell to professional football, Hugo Droguett (39) talks to AS. He does so from Temuco, where he is based, to take stock of his career. One that lasted over 20 years.

“Today I’m enjoying my family and going out a bit more, things I couldn’t do before because of concentrations and training., and I also started my football school,” says the former midfielder. Besides La Roja, UC, U, Tecos, Morelia, Cruz Azul, Deportivo Cali and Deportes Temuco were some of the clubs he defended.

– You said your career didn’t end in the best way. Why did it happen like this?

– I finished my contract at Deportes Temuco and I didn’t have the opportunity to continue. There was also no offer from another team, so the best thing to do was to hang up the boots. If that doesn’t happen anymore, it will be very difficult for today, in this transfer period, for the opposite to happen.

– How did they treat you at Deportes Temuco?

– I won’t refer to it. My contract ended, the club decided not to continue and that’s it.

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– Is everything going well in your relationship with Temuco?

– No, it’s just that I’m a worker. I don’t need to be tied…

– But good vibes, at least, with the people at the club.

– I have no relationship with any leader of any team in which I played. I’m one more worker and that’s how I’ve cashed my whole career.

“You always think ‘I could have done this or that’, but it would be very selfish to say I didn’t do what I wanted. I’m fine.”

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– Were you satisfied with what you did in football?

– Yes, you can always think “I could have done this or that”, but it would be very selfish to say that I didn’t do what I wanted. Everything I’ve done has been my own effort, so I can feel comfortable. As a band, it didn’t go the way I wanted, and personally, I achieved a lot of goals. I think I have fulfilled everything: I started in a big club (UC), I played in less important teams, I went to another big one (U), I went abroad and I played for my country’s national team.

– How did it end financially?

– More than anything, I was not ready to end my career as it was. So the ideal would have been to start playing and finish playing. The second part was not given to me, but the rest, all quiet. I didn’t want to do anything else, because I put all my energy into football. But in the rest, you have to see along the way where your life is going.

“I feel recognized by people.”

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– Do you feel recognized by the national media?

– For people, I think so. Through the media, I couldn’t tell you. I think so. You also call me for a reason. Granted, I could have been a lot more, but I’m not on everyone’s mind. I can’t criticize anyone either. What it is, it is, and I no longer think about it.

– Regarding your stay in Mexico, is it true that you were the most expensive player in the 2008 Draft?

– Shit (laughs), I don’t know if it’s the most expensive. It’s just that there were a lot of players, but because of what we were talking about… This time the transfer was three million dollars, from Tecos to Morelia. But all this money was taken by the club, even though I received a good salary in Morelia.

– How did you spend it there?

– Well, I’m very grateful for everything I experienced in Mexico. It could have been more, but hey. Football has those things that sometimes you can’t stand. I had a contract and everything, but I had to leave for X reasons.

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– In your career, you also played in South Korean football. What is the strangest or most curious thing you have seen? There is another culture.

– I never thought I would play in an environment like Asia, but I had the chance to also go to one of the big clubs and have an incredible time. It was an unforgettable experience, both for me and for my family. And then, customs… One day, without knowing it, obviously because of the language, because he had just arrived, he was on the bus for the stadium, he was calling his family. I spoke and all my classmates looked at me. I didn’t understand why. They also waved at me and I still didn’t understand, until they told me that in Korean culture, going to the stadium is absolute concentration. You can’t listen to music and you can’t talk on the phone until the game is over. When you are at home, you can do whatever you want. For me, it was a little shocking (laughs), but I understood.

– It was a ritual, so…

– Not rituals, but they are absolute concentration. Any detail that doesn’t match what they intended, in case it doesn’t turn out well later, they blame those things.

“The U gave me a quality jump.”

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– What was the best moment of your career?

– In Chile, definitely in the United States. It gave me a quality leap. He had played in Temuco, then he went to U de Conce, which was emerging very strongly with so little time in the first division, playing Libertadores. But playing in U was the icing on the cake. Achieving a big is not easy, when you come from teams that are not so relevant in the middle, and I think I did it the right way, playing very little. I only lasted a year, it could have been more, but hey… My performance took me to Mexico.

– And what was your biggest pain in football?

– In U, I also had the chance to play two finals, but, unfortunately, we could not win them.

– Sur le Rouge: you were selected and there you were able to share with Eduardo Berizzo. What did you think of your arrival in the national team?

– I was very little the same, in the first part only. Afterwards, it was difficult to predict everything he was going to do as a coach. Seems like a good choice to me, he knows the environment, mostly Golden Generation, and can translate his game idea with the players he wants to use in his system.

“Certainly, nobody remembers it, but it was a pride to have been at the beginning of the Golden Generation. I feel happiness”.

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– What does it generate for you to have shared with players who marked an era? The golden generation…

– It is a pride to have played with them, to have been at their beginnings. Surely, no one remembers, because they were still boys… Then time passed and I was not at that stage of success.

– Do you remember it with nostalgia now that you are retired?

– No, it’s the opposite. I feel happy and proud to have been part of the national team.

“I don’t know if the representatives do Chilean football so well.”

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– What would you think of Chilean football? How do you see it from the outside? Leaders, representatives, club level in international cups…

– Unfortunately, in Chile it is very difficult for us to be able to carry out a process. I don’t know if they aren’t (the conditions) or if they don’t really want it… The thing is that it’s expensive internationally. We were only able to reach a high level with the Golden Generation, with the U of Sampaoli, which comes closest to it. And with the question of the representatives, we can’t comment, but I don’t know if they do Chilean football so well.

– Have you worked with a representative in your career?

– At the time I had my representative. Well, before there weren’t as many as there are now. Of those I was able to meet, at my best moment, there must have been about 10 or less. Or more. Today, there are hundreds of them (laughs).

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