Darío Melo (29 years old) is living happy days. The goalkeeper is one of the pillars of Union San Felipe, painting which is in third position of Ascension and with which he recorded the least beaten close of the contest in the first part of the year. As if that weren’t enough, the Quinta Normal native married Javiera Fredes just over a week ago. The good news doesn’t stop for him.
A few days after being the main figure of his club during the victory by the minimum count against Santiago Wanderers, Melo takes care of As. “I felt good. I was pretty calm. I think so, it could be called a rebirth, although I don’t think I’ve been dead either (laughs)”he begins by saying, in an interview where he assesses his present and reviews his stages in Colo Colo and Palestino, in addition to revealing what his future goals are.
– How are you taking the news of being Ascent’s least beaten keeper?
– Good. I don’t know if I’m the best goalkeeper in Ascent, I think there are several. The team also has a lot of responsibility to be in this position, because they have found a way to work. Everyone did their part.
– With this campaign, I imagine they’re already excited about going up…
– Yes of course. Everyone and us are also excited to be able to progress, because of the way the championship has gone. We had several games less and I think that if we had done better in the last two or three, we would already be second, further from everyone. But hey, it didn’t happen and here we are. We continue the fight.
– The DT of Unión San Felipe, Jonathan Orellana, lives his first experience at the head of a team in professionalism. How did that happen ?
– I think that, despite the fact that this is the first experience of the teacher, in everything he is very clear about what he wants, what he expects from the team on the field. He also has an advantage and that is that he had a team with several young players and they are always ready. Well, that’s a quality we should all have, but in this case he had a more portable team, to put it mildly.
– Do you feel among the most experienced?
– I have the impression that yes, in addition it is part of the position. The goalkeeper sees everything from behind, he is usually a leader on the field. I don’t know if I’m one of the oldest, but I have experience. If the team is doing badly, the responsibility always lies with the bigger one. On this occasion, we go through the beautiful ones, who are appreciated, but also the big ones have to put up with the ugly ones.
– Now comes a challenge like Universidad Católica in Copa Chile.
– Yes, it’s a good match, because it will allow us to see what we are destined for, if we can compete. It’s a totally different team to the one we’re used to facing in Ascent, coming back to the level they had a while ago and if you’re careless for 5 minutes they score 2 goals and the key is passed. You have to be one hundred percent focused.
– Do you think a game like this is a good showcase for you?
– The truth is that I don’t know if today I’m interested in positioning myself on the front page again. Obviously, if we pass the key, it will have repercussions and they will look at us with different eyes. But right now I’m more focused on keeping playing than trying to be a figure or stand out from the crowd.
– Do you think Unión San Felipe gave you some peace of mind to achieve exactly that goal in your game?
– Totally. It’s a club that gives you peace of mind so you can focus on the game because they’re not used to always fighting up front, it’s not a team that has that pressure to play. to be yes or yes first. It’s also not like Cobreloa, who was armed to go up and at first the results weren’t giving him, so they had a bad time. Today I am calm.
– Before San Felipe, he was at Deportes Concepción. The results were not given and, in addition, he left the team in the middle of the season. Did you take away anything positive from this experience?
– Everything leaves you with something. Beyond the results, I was with the ‘Shark’ Ramos and the technical staff to death. I only left for personal business. I was alone there in Concepción and my wife had left with my daughter who was four months old. Then I felt she was carrying all the weight. I commented this to ‘Tiburón’ and he said “wait for the first round to end”. So I did and then I quit. I made the decision I had to make, which was to take care of my family. Obviously when I left I didn’t expect to find myself with nothing, I wanted to see if there was an offer. In the end, it didn’t happen then, but later San Felipe did.
– With the good performances you’ve had lately, do you think you’ll come back to a big one?
– At my age, it would be good for me to go back to a big one. In San Felipe we do things well, we have the least beaten obstacle in the championship and that, as I said, is the credit of the whole team. And I’m not lying to you, I would like to play in the Premier League again, to feel that different adrenaline rush. But today, I am concerned about playing, above all. If it’s Primera B, let it be Primera B. If it’s in the first division too.
– Since we are talking about big teams. Was he left with a debt to Colo Colo?
– (Thinks) If I analyze my gait, it was pretty good. We discover situations along the way and say “I have nothing else to do here”. But I’m happy with my time there, I met very nice people who work at the club, I also have very good relations with some of my former team-mates. I was leaving Palestino, it turns out that Orion got injured and well, I had nothing, I was left without a club and the team I’ve always been a fan of called me… it was a source of pride. It’s a beautiful club, but it also has its dark side.
– About Palestino, you were a figure and a champion there. Do you follow the team?
– Yes, I watch the matches. Palestine is a beautiful club. Much of who I am today is thanks to them. I arrived at 13 and left at 25, it’s quite a career. I would like to come back one day… although I don’t know if with the president who is today (Jorge Uauy), because we have certain differences.
– Do you think maybe high expectations were created after your performance in the Red Sub 20 in 2013? Did it weigh on you at some point?
– Yes, I think that, if you tell me like that, it may have happened to me. I started very young in this field. Over time, you gain a maturity that you didn’t have before and you better understand how everything works.
– Now that the national team is undergoing a replacement process under the technical direction of Eduardo Berizzo, are you excited about a future call-up?
– What if I get excited? Sure. All players work for it. To return to the Red would be to be there again, on the podium. But it’s a matter of moments. And the tastes. Even if you have a great career, if the manager doesn’t like you, he won’t call you. If a nomination comes in the future, happy, but otherwise, too. I don’t live from it so… nothing, today I hope to continue as I am.
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