The strong versions had been installed for months but the official words were missing. And Juan Fernando Quintero decided to put an end to all the mystery: “In the next few hours we will close everything with River Plate.” The words were launched in the middle of the press conference of the Colombian team, with which he is focused on the double date of the Qualifiers that is coming up.
El Millonario will thus materialize the return of a hero from the mythical Copa Libertadores final against Boca Juniors in 2018 and will add his fourth addition to this transfer market after the arrivals of Tomás Pochettino, Emanuel Mammana and Leandro González Pírez, who are already in the preseason that the squad carries out in San Martín de los Andes (Neuquén).
“We know about the current situation, I am now in the national team. But let people know, I think that surely in the next few hours we will close everything that is with River. It’s my team, it’s my preference. Regarding the other interests, thank everyone, it wasn’t just those two clubs, it was several. From the beginning my intention was to return to River. Hopefully God allows, and in these that come, we can be closing everything for when I finish here in the national team, go to the presentation with the team, get together and surely the next call will come from River”, sentenced the talented 28-year-old footballer who left to Shenzhen FC of China at the end of 2020 for a figure that surrounded the 10 million dollars.
The journalist’s question, which made him smile, had also mentioned two other entities that showed interest in hiring him: “Where is Reinaldo Rueda going to have to call you next time? From Argentina with River? Flamengo in Brazil? Or in Europe with Galatasaray?
Juanfer was left with the pass in his possession after the stay in Asian lands, but he will arrive with filming after playing 21 games and scoring 1 goal during 2021 in China: “I have just had a rhythm in China until January 4. I practically did not rest because I arrived with 36 hours of flight, I was one or two days in Colombia and I traveled to concentrate with the national team. I think my current situation is good, thinking both about this game and about what’s to come. I am very happy, enthusiastic about doing things well. Being in the national team is an honor.”
“I would tell the players that they have the opportunity to go to China, in my case I grew up a lot. I grew up in many aspects, I don’t think everything has been bad. I had a particular situation that everyone knows, but I would tell people that it is not a bad decision to go to China. In my case I was fortunate to grow in many aspects, especially in football because it is a different culture, a different type of personality. They are beautiful things that fill one with experience”, he highlighted about his recent stay.
Colombia is in fourth place in the South American Qualifiers with 17 points, occupying the last place in the direct qualification for Qatar 2022. On Friday, January 28, they will receive a direct rival such as Peru for the 15th date and then they will visit Argentina on Tuesday. February 1 for the 16th day.
River, for its part, will begin its participation in the Professional League Cup on the weekend of February 11 with a duel as a visitor against Unión de Santa Fe in one of the games that will open Zone A of the contest. “I had the opportunity to spend two and a half years at River, compete at a high level. We know how complex the global situation of the pandemic was, not just in China. Is worldwide. I had a particular situation, when making a decision I thought of what was best for me. You always want to be in the national team, but you can’t forget what’s going on at the club. They are moments, you have to respect River’s moment when he is there and obviously thinking that one can be called to the national team, “he said.
And he added: “But when it comes to being in the national team you also have to respect that moment. With experience, that leads us to think much more about what each person’s personal career is, but it was never based on using a club to come to the national team. I had the opportunity to come to the national team while in China and I think the level is shown by a personal one, I don’t think the leagues show it much. We know that River always fights for important things. I already had the opportunity to experience what the Mundo River is, what it is like on a day-to-day basis. And as a result of that, the affection, the respect that I have towards my teammates, towards the coaching staff. That is why I made the decision to go to River and thank them for that trust. I’m very happy. It has not been made official, but surely everything will be made official in a few days.