Javier Aquino, proof that dreams do come true

SAN NICOLÁS DE LOS GARZA | Tuesday, May 24, 2016.- Back in 1990, in San Francisco Ixhuatán, Oaxaca, with a population of just 4,000, Javier Ignacio Aquino Carmona was born. There, Aquino took his first steps, always surrounded by football. In that village, the custom was for children to inherit their parents’ trades and lives, but Javier had something very different in mind.

Aquino wanted to conquer the world, he didn’t view things in the same way as his friends, he dreamt of leaving the village one day to become the first professional footballer from that place. However, his friends tried to put a stop to his dreams, reminding him that nobody left San Francisco Ixhuatán, but he was inspired by all the praise he received when playing with a ball on a football field.

“When I was in my village, everyone one said how well I played and that I had the right qualities, though obviously people didn’t believe, because back there in the village I have seen highly talented people but they always want to stay there, work there, raise a family there, fulfill a cycle there, and I had to break away from this pattern that I could see and get away, … leave my family,” the player from Oaxaca explained.

He thanks a higher being for his talents as a footballer, but also acknowledges his father, who always did everything possible to instill in him a love for this sport, forming as many teams of children as he could so that he and his brother could play with the ball and prepare for their future.

Javier never forgets his roots; they are with him in every answer he gives. He is grateful to his parents for their support, but he also fondly remembers his friends, the people who surrounded him and the environment that made him become what he is today.

“Going back to my village is a fantastic experience; people make me feel so welcome. I’m the only player from there and who has reached the First Division. They truly give me the warmest of welcomes, especially the children. I love being an example for them, being someone who they can admire, because when I was little and lived there, I looked up to people and wanted to be like my idols. Now I have the opportunity to be someone for that village and going there and remembering my childhood makes me so happy,” expressed the now feline player.

Aquino was born in a year of social change that marked the history of the world. In 1990, the South African leader, Mandela, was freed after 27 years of incarceration; the Chilean military regime of Augusto Pinochet came to an end; Iraq invaded Kuwait triggering the Gulf War; and East and West Germany were reunified, among many other events.

“I’m surprised to learn that. I was lucky to be born in that year. We can’t choose, but God put me there and maybe that’s why I have such a strong personality and when I come up against something unexpected, I am able to cope,” he proudly said, with a smile on his face.

He debuted in the First Division on July 23, 2010, playing for Cruz Azul, and the Oaxacan fully recalls that day as one of the happiest in his life, since it was when he realized that dreams can come true and that leaving his village had been worth it. He showed everyone that you can aspire to being a First Division player.

Today, six years on from that moment, after playing for Cruz Azul, Villarreal and Rayo Vallecano, he considers that at Tigres he has become much more mature and feels that he is a more all-round player with the necessary experience to provide a diversity of performances.

“It’s different because when I was at Cruz Azul, I had just turned 20 and now my five years of experience are reflected on the pitch. You are no longer in such a hurry, when you are young you want to eat up the pitch and now you have to be intelligent, stop and look for the teammates who are in the best position,” Aquino commented regarding his evolution.

Finally, he recognized that he always believed the right-hand side was the best position for him in his career, because that is where he started and developed, but, currently, the Tigres manager, Ricardo Ferretti, decided to place him on the left and his performance has been very high. Now he’s not sure which is his favorite side.

“When I played on the right, I always thought that that was the best position for me. I liked playing on the right, crossing the ball, and I always identified with that position.  And now I’m here, ‘Tuca’ changed me to the left-hand side and I’ve come to like it, so I’m not sure which side I prefer,” he recalled.

Aquino’s Stats

171,41064719576.8%181.9 k . m.11.6 k. m.25420

Nomenclature: GP.- Games Played; MP.- Minutes Played; CP.- Complete Passes; IP.- Incorrect Passes; PS.- Pass Success; DCT.- Distance Covered in the Tournament; DCPG.- Distance Covered Per Game in the Tournament; BR.- Balls Regained and FC.- Fouls Committed