Unknown facets of Ricardo Ciciliano’s first steps in football

I met Ricardo Ciciliano in 1990, in the children’s Atlantic team directed by Carlos Bolívar. He played for the School on 24 de Soledad. From the Atlantic Team (national champion, in 1992, with Javier Castell) she went on to the Colombian pre-youth team (South American champion in the coffee region), directed by Basilí González.

So he had been working with us for three years (Julio Romero, Jesús Candanoza, Valmiro De león and this server) at Apuestas La Fortuna. I sensed something special about him, a certain halo of crack, a disposition for work that was not common in our environment. We insisted on polishing it: orientation to his parents (Ricardo and Asalia Bustillo), hours and hours of talks so that he could observe beyond his nose, correction of technical gestures in a progressive way, even if some people told me why wasting time with that pelao .

How many times did we get up early to train him because, for study reasons, he could only do it at that time of the morning; How many times was it necessary to “fight” to keep him in the starting team (both in La Fortuna and in the Liceo Soledad) because then, he began to grow and he became clumsy and uncoordinated and the fans pressed for us to remove him. Even, to heal ourselves, we put him as a goalkeeper, although he did not want to, in the last phase of the intercollegiate tournament, with great success, and even, being a professional, with Millionaires, once they expelled his goalkeeper, he dared to catch the arch and covered the prison to Jaime Castrillón, from Medellín.

Although the early years had certain technical deficiencies but an enormous capacity to learn daily, he made his movements and his location his best weapon. It was detected that he was a “white dog”, before the tough game he disappeared from the game; Jesús Candanoza took the trouble to teach him to protect the ball and to put his body in, with such success that it not only influenced his technical part but also his character, and turned him into a type of strong and charming temperament. “Cici” ended up being a leader, sometimes with a difficult relationship because he didn’t keep anything, because of his convictions that he enriched with his permanent education. After his retirement, we celebrated his entrepreneurship, both in his drugstores and in his Academy and with enormous potential to lead professional soccer.

In conclusion, I can say that it was my first concrete project in amateur football, the first player who came to professional football after personal and sporting support, who knew how to listen and who taught me, with his transformation, to look beyond the obvious. .

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