Earlier than the 2020/21 season, few outdoors of Spain had heard of a younger midfielder by the title of Gonzalo Villar, who had been kicking round within the Spanish second tier with Elche.
Roma took an opportunity on the teenager in January 2020, parting with the perfect a part of €5m to signal Villar, and he has already managed to make that seem like a discount by blossoming into an important a part of I Giallorossi’s midfield.
He is been making an actual impression with Spain’s under-21s, so here is every part you’ll want to learn about Villar.
As a Spanish midfielder, it ought to come as no shock to listen to that Villar thrives on dictating play along with his passes.
“I like to carry the ball, after I move it my hope is that I get it again rapidly in order that I can swap the play to the opposite aspect of the pitch,” he advised Il Tempo. “I’m in an enormous membership so after all the accountability is gigantic, nevertheless it doesn’t weigh on me an excessive amount of.
“The reality is I’m extra bothered about passing. It’s only a factor I’ve within me. If I see a teammate open to obtain the ball, I don’t shoot on aim. But it surely’s true that, now and again, I ought to be extra egotistical.”
One of many largest surprises of Villar’s time in Rome is his emergence as a defensive drive. He is even been in comparison with Daniele De Rossi, though he usually tries to distance himself from that.
“I have been engaged on that,” he stated of his tackling means. “As a reserve or in youth soccer, I defended little or no. It was at all times my associate in a double pivot who did the soiled work.
“Then you definately realise that may’t be the case in skilled soccer, particularly within the place I am enjoying in.
“The gymnasium helps me. I’m extra ready to win duels, to leap head first or to go to floor, which I like loads. It is making me far more full.”
A mix of self-confidence and a love of messing round on social media noticed Villar ship out a tweet calling for Spain supervisor Luis Enrique to activate the TV and take a look at his highlights.
Villar has since deleted the put up, however he revealed that it wasn’t him who made the choice to take it down.
“That was simply me enjoying round,” he stated. “I’m a man who at all times likes to snicker, I like cracking jokes in life and making mild of issues. When it’s time to work, OK. But it surely’s not attainable to at all times be critical.
“I’ve to say that tweet was appreciated by many, however my social media supervisor wasn’t too completely satisfied about it.”
What’s that? A Spanish midfielder who idolises Andres Iniesta? I am shocked.
“It was at all times Andres Iniesta,” he advised the Roma web site. “I grew up watching Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona after they had been dominating in Spain and Europe, and as I midfielder, Iniesta was the one I had my eye on most.
“Even now, earlier than or after matches I like to observe movies of him and different stars like [Zinedine] Zidane and Xavi on YouTube.”
If we put collectively all of the items we have realized about Villar to this point, you possibly can most likely work out that Villar’s dream participant is a mixture of Iniesta and Sergio Busquets.
“[I really liked] Iniesta, however I additionally appreciated Busquets loads, he is likely one of the finest within the historical past of soccer within the pivot place,” he advised La Gazzetta dello Sport. “The thought is to be a mix of the 2, relying on what the group wants.”
Whereas his Iniesta/Busquets hybrid nonetheless has some work to do, Villar takes inspiration from Villarreal’s Dani Parejo and Barcelona’s Frenkie De Jong.
He advised Miguel Quintana: “I watch Dani Parejo or Frenkie De Jong. I desire to have the ball at my toes loads to make the ultimate play of the sport. It’s what Parejo does.
“If Parejo is dangerous, the group is dangerous. I inform myself ‘Gonzalo, if the group is dangerous, it is your fault’.”
Villar is fairly energetic on social media, the place he loves posting concerning the college diploma he research alongside enjoying.
When he is not coaching, the Spaniard spends his time learning Enterprise Administration and Administration on the Universidad Catolica San Antonio de Murcia.
His research have even earned him the nickname ‘The Professor’.
In January 2019, Villar suffered a nasty knee harm which finally pressured him to endure surgical procedure.
Villar and the medical employees at his membership, Elche, did all they might to try to preserve him from needing an operation, however after pure therapy did not work, they had been left with no alternative however to go underneath the knife. He missed the perfect a part of three months.
“An athlete can not take into consideration what they’ve missed,” he advised Diario Franjiverde. “Accidents occur in soccer. The secret’s to sort out them with mindset. Face difficulties as they arrive, as a result of there might be extra, each in soccer and in life.”
Villar by no means really featured in a aggressive sport for Valencia, however he did make his unofficial debut in a pleasant in Might 2018 in opposition to Al-Nassr in Saudi Arabia.
It was a fairly boring sport, with neither aspect really managing to attain, however that wasn’t essential because the match gave Villar the prospect to play in opposition to some all-time greats.
On the Al-Nassr aspect that day had been Ronaldinho, Alessandro Del Piero, Hernan Crespo and Deco. Not dangerous.
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