Chino Delighted to Be Back

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA, March 14th.- He was so happy to be back on the field of play that, today, Lucas Zelarayán couldn’t stop smiling and in a press conference he described the life lesson he experienced during his five-month absence owing to an injury.

“What makes me happiest is being free from pain and feeling physically strong,” said Chino, recalling the days in which the discomfort from his injuries prevented him from joining in the daily activities.

“Most of all, I’m delighted to be back. It was a long, challenging and unfortunate time, in which I suffered a lot, but thanks to my family, friends, teammates, coaches, medical staff, I recovered well and was able to get back on my feet,” explained the midfielder.

The Argentine highlighted the warm welcome he received from the fans when he trod on the pitch in the Universitario Stadium, having come on to replace Eduardo Vargas in the match against Houston Dynamo.

“I’m happy to have had a few minutes yesterday, grateful to the Tigres fans for such a warm welcome that I wasn’t expecting – it was amazing. I’m eager to play, I feel fine physically and I’m trying to get back on form 100%,” Chino commented.

Explanation of his injuries…

“It all started with a broken toe on my right foot in October; then inflammation of the nerve on the sole of my foot, which took nearly two months to heal; when I returned, I strained a muscle slightly and, since I’d just come back from two injuries, I didn’t wait long enough, I was so frustrated. Being absent and then trying to get back quickly isn’t a good idea.”

The team’s internal competition…

“I think this competition has always existed in the team. If there’s something that has always driven me to give my all in the training sessions, it’s feeling that I can play as a starter, that I can play in this team, which is what I think every morning, otherwise I’d have to stay at home.”

“That’s what always kept me going while I was injured, knowing that I’d recover and be able to play, so I get up and train to the best of my ability every day. Obviously, if it’s not my turn, I accept it and give my support wherever necessary. It’s a great group with a fantastic team spirit and I’m happy when my teammates do well; if they do well, I do well, everyone does well. So, I’m always willing when I’m given however many minutes and do my best for the team.”

High hopes for the Concacaf title…

“I don’t know if obligation is the right word, I think we have high hopes about winning the Concacaf Champions League, and that the team deserves it. We’ve been performing well, we’ve conceded a couple, it’s a tournament we all want to win – the fans, players, coaches, all of Tigres wants to win the Concacaf and the Liga.

“We want to reach the final of every tournament we compete in and win the championship. We didn’t win anything last year and it seemed to be our worst moment. Sometimes the team can’t win, that’s how football is, but we’d been winning for three years running, and had gotten used to that. I think that we’d set the bar very high and we want to get back up there, to a title and hopefully we’ll be champions in the Concacaf, which is something we’ve longed for and that the club hasn’t yet achieved.”