Ramón Fernández (37) has returned to Chile. After six months in Atlanta, in the Argentinian B Nacional, the midfielder joins the ranks of Deportes Iquique. The signature became official in the afternoon of this Saturday. “I always planned to return to the country”explains the student from La Plata in a conversation with AS.
“The history of Argentina was a change of scenery, which came from the hand of Walter Erviti, who called me. I really liked his idea of coaching and obviously the team already knew him. It is a club which is very organized and which wants to do things well to be promoted. It was the idea of leaving Chile and getting some fresh air after so many years”adds Fernández, whose last team in our country was O’Higgins.
– What caught your attention at Deportes Iquique? The club didn’t do very well in the first round of Ascension…
– I like it, it’s a nice club and it deserves to be in the first division. I like the idea of strengthening well to fight for the championship and to be able to go up. I really want it, they encouraged me a lot. I hope we can do well.
– O’Higgins didn’t contact you?
– No… I spoke with Pablo Calandria (the sporting director), but no… The return was difficult, but the love is there and I still watch O’Higgins.
– How did you feel in Atlanta?
– Very well, I was very happy. The decision (to come back) was made because they offered me an 18-month contract (in Iquique). Well, when Walter Erviti left Atlanta, I felt like I had nothing to do, because I more or less came up with the idea for him… And when Iquique’s offer came, we discussed it with the family and decided to come back.
– He speaks very well of Chile, which his family loves, and a few years ago he was also able to nationalize. What meaning does it give to the country?
– I have a barbaric affection for Chile. I have been there for many years and things have been going very well for me in football and in life. I have a Chilean daughter. The truth is that my children feel very good in the country, and I repeat: it has always been stipulated to live in Chile and work there tomorrow.
– You also played in U and Colo Colo. Where did he have a better time or was he more valued?
– In both clubs I had good times. In U I played a lot and in Colo Colo too, apart from the fact that in the last stage I had an injury that left me out for a while. In both cases, I have good memories, good friends, and I can’t say anything bad about any of them, or say where I did better… But obviously, the club at which I identifies me is O’Higgins, that’s where I’ve spent the most years. I really want the club.
– Do you feel like a reference for O’Higgins?
– No, it is put by the people, the city. I spent many years at the club, I have more than 200 games and I always tried to help in every process. And I’ll say it again: I like the club a lot, it’s the one I like the most in Chile and I always want it to do well. But I think those things are put on by the fans. I am one more player who tried to contribute to the club and who gave everything. I would have liked to be champion, but I couldn’t. It’s the pending account in O’Higgins. But I’m just another fan.
– Looking at your Instagram, there you have a rather striking photo, with your son and Messi. How do you remember this moment? I guess it was special.
– Yes, it was for a Chile-Argentina in Santiago, in a draw. I had the opportunity to pick up a friend, José Sosa, who was in the Argentine national team. I went to see him and he took me to the rooms. I took advantage of it and took a picture with Messi. My son was small. Well, we’re enjoying being for a while. But yes, of course. It’s always good and more with the best in the world, right?
– In your career you also played for Rijeka, Croatian football…
– Yes, I have very good memories of the city, of the club. It’s a very beautiful football, with very good players, who always try to play well. At that time I was the only foreigner (in the team) and they treated me very well. And I still have contact with people from there, from the club. My son Valentino, the eldest, was born in Croatia. It’s the best memory I have.
– Did you have to face an important player in Croatia?
– At that time there was Mandzukic, Modric. Kramaric, for example, came out of lower Rijeka. Pedro Morales was also at Dinamo Zagreb.
– What did you think of Eduardo Berizzo’s arrival at La Roja? You shared with him at O’Higgins.
– Good. I was very happy, because he is a great coach. He has a lot of ability for Chile to get what they need. This change, he can do it serenely. I have great confidence in him. I hope it’s going very well for you.
– Have you seen any of the games in Asia?
– Yes, I saw the first two games a bit (South Korea and Tunisia) and they have their mark, their idea, but it’s only just begun. For the renewal and the new names, Chile will have to go through an important process. But I repeat: I think Eduardo can do it, he is a great coach and he knows a lot. You don’t have to hurt Chile.
– And Martín Lasarte, who also directed it, but at the U. Why do you think it didn’t work in Chile?
– I don’t know, I couldn’t tell you. Martín grabbed a team that already had a previous process and tried to put it (in competition). Well, I think Chile is here at a time of generational change and that always takes time.
– How long do you plan to play football?
– I go there year after year. Now I have an 18 month contract in Iquique, I will discuss it well with the family, and it depends on how it is. The truth is that I feel very good physically… Going to Argentina has been very good for me, because you train in a different way, there is a different rhythm in the B Nacional and you play something different . I want to enjoy these last years, but I go there year after year. I want to play as much as possible.
– Where would you like to retire?
– If you give me the choice, I’d like to retire at O’Higgins. But hey, it’s not up to me either, it’s not something that keeps me up at night either. We never know the situations, the moments, and I don’t close myself to other teams either. So in that sense, I’m calm. I will watch year after year.
– And what would you like to do after leaving football?
– I will do the internship (coaching) in case I have to be in a coaching staff. I would like to. As a head coach, I don’t know, although obviously I don’t rule anything out… I would like to talk about football on TV, because now there are a lot of players giving their opinion and analyzing matches. That’s what I like a little more.
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