Pedro Aquino, the steering wheel of the peruvian team came this season to the mighty America from Mexico after being champion last season with León. So, with all that ‘backpack’ of reaching a top team, the former Sporting Cristal did not give up and little by little he earned a place in the eleven of Professor Jorge Solari, where he has already played 14 games with the ‘Águilas’ for Liga MX: 12 as a starter and 2 entered as a spare part.
Thus, Pedro Aquino pauses after America’s training to chat with Trade about his moment in ‘Las Águilas’ after advance to Concachampions semifinals and the goals you have in the MX League.
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—Congratulations on qualifying for the Concachampions semifinals, how was that celebration after that achievement?
We are happy because we were able to get the result in our favor to be able to advance to the semifinals of Concachampions and also happy for what is coming for us, which is to face the Liguilla.
– And what expectations do you have for the Liguilla?
In fact I am calm. I am taking it very humbly. If I came from championing with León, but it would also be nice to be champion with America, the biggest team in Mexico. Now, in the MX League you don’t have to have a margin of error to win the games.
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“Did you talk to Andy Polo after the Portland Timbers game?”
Yes, before the game I greeted him and talked a bit with him. After the game I greeted him and nothing else.
“How do you feel about this moment you have in America?”
I try to work, to make an effort every day to be able to have continuity with the club. It has not been easy at all, but the adaptation was quick and it did not cost me so much. Now, we hope to continue like this, along the same path, following the confidence of Professor Solari and working that that is what characterizes me.
—What instructions does Professor Santiago Solari give you so that you can execute on the playing field?
He asks me to stay ahead of the centrals and to cover when I have to. Piede play forward. He likes a lot that one plays forwards and it is what is helping me a lot.
– Was it difficult to adapt to the European methodology of Santiago Solari?
Sometimes when you get to a team you don’t know what the teacher wants for you. One wonders: What does he want from you? What function should you have? And you have to adapt as quickly as possible to have that continuity of games that I am now having.
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“Do you remember the first conversation you had with Santiago Solari?”
He asked me where I felt most comfortable, what my role was, because he still didn’t know me well. I remember him asking me other questions: “Let’s see what would happen if they are attacking for the band, what would you have to do?” I told him that I had to get inside the centrals.
“I imagine he did it to find out your ability to have a good game reading.”
In fact, yes. With those questions he got all the information about my game reading.
– Do you now consider yourself a more complete player since you have added presence to the defensive aspect in attack?
In fact, now I feel like a more complete player. When you add a goal, it helps a lot and makes me a more complete player.
READ MORE: Pedro Aquino is the third most expensive footballer in Peru
—Even on several dates, have you been chosen in the ideal eleven of the Liga MX?
These achievements are based on work and all the effort that I have been making. So, things are being harvested. Now, as I told you, I have added the goal and the truth is helping me a lot.
“How do you handle the pressure of wearing the America shirt?”
I came to a big club, a club that is obliged to win every game and win. I felt pressure everywhere: from Lobos BUAP to now. In the dressing room there is always pressure for matches: you have to win. If you don’t have pressure from the club, you have pressure yourself because you want to do things well and win.
—How is your relationship with ‘Memo’ Ochoa?
Super good. The truth is I did not know him, but now that I know him he is a very simple, humble and hard-working person.
– Is the objective of playing in Europe still intact?
In fact, I think that my agent, my family and I made a good decision because getting to America is not easy and I think that here is the springboard to be able to emigrate. In all, today, I am happy in America, I feel happy and I know that I can achieve more things. I go for those goals and I will do things well here in America and then emigrate elsewhere.
READ MORE: Pedro Aquino: “I don’t feel like the best midfielder in Liga MX”
—I imagine it was difficult to adapt to the Mexican League, what was the key to playing consecutively these five years?
The work and perseverance that I have always had. Working well on a daily basis has been essential so that things have turned out well for me both personally and in football terms.
– Did you imagine quickly gaining the acceptance of the fan of America?
You already know how it is. When you do things right, everyone is right with you and when you do things wrong, the opposite happens. I try to be cool and not believe anything. I try to take it very easy. You feel happy and it’s okay, but you have to take it very calmly.
—Finally, the qualifying dates against Colombia, at home, and Ecuador, visiting, are already known, what are your expectations for those matches with the Peruvian team?
The truth is that they will be very complicated matches, such as qualifying matches. In fact, I spoke with Ricardo Gareca, but internal things. All good and we hope to win those games, because we no longer have a margin of error.
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