Colon's rival in the South American final stands out for his huge network of schools in Ecuador, a model property and the ability to train soccer players, on and off the court.
"It is not just a team, it is an institution that promotes athletes and especially people of good for society". This is how Independiente del Valle is defined, which will seek the first international title in its history in the final of the Copa Sudamericana against Colon. But Behind their sporting achievements there are no coincidences, but a huge job of training players through the gigantic network of 30 soccer schools spread throughout Ecuador and a Model High Performance Center.
Jose Teran founded the institution in Sangolqui on March 1, 1958 and was inspired by his namesake Avellaneda, so in the beginning he wore red. Who at that time added his name to the club (he had it until 2014) died in 1975 and failed to see the glory era. Just arrived at Primera in 2010 and, despite having no titles, reached its maximum achievement in 2016 when was runner-up of the Libertadores after eliminating River in the round of 16 and Boca in semis, neither more nor less than in the Monumental and La Bombonera.
Not satisfied with that, those directed by the Spanish Miguel Angel Ramirez, with a past in Qatar – a fundamental word in history – arrived until the continental definition. On the way they left a giant from Brazil like Corinthians and the Argentine Independent who 60 years ago inspired their name. All this with an added value that demonstrates the fruit of the work in the bases: nine of the 21 men used in the tournament left there.
One of those nine is Alejandro Cabeza, the scorer of Independiente del Valle in the South American with four shouts, but there are also four other pieces that were headlines on the day of the classification forged in the house: Precious Angelo, Anthony Landazuri, Jhon Jairo Sanchez Y Alan Franco. Fruits of an institution that was responsible for educating them, feeding them and giving them a place to live.
But, What does Qatar have to do with all this? The answer is called Aspire Academy, with which the Rayados have a reciprocity agreement, with visits and different exchanges. Ramirez, the DT, arrived there after six years and said: "The Ecuadorian player is talented, with an impressive physical profile, but there is more talent than habit. I believe that they must also order their lives, so that they can exponentiate all the physical and technical qualities they possess".
That work in inferiors with more than 150 boys, in addition to women's teams, goes beyond what happens on the grass, where the good results stand out from the Sub-12 onwards. On the property they have accommodation, gym, games room, dining room and the main thing is the study, which allows them to get out of there – to the court or to life – with the title of technical baccalaureate in sports, a valuable tool for those who arrive and those who do not.