Do you ever have one of those days where you are browsing the football scores, or surfing through your favourite video game, and you come across a player and find yourself thinking: “wow, what a career this guy has had!” or “how have I never heard of this guy before?”.
Well that’s what happened to me recently when I spotted the name Juan Eduardo Lescano on Football Manager 2016, plying his trade for FNL club Yenisey Krasnoyarsk. The first thought was, especially as a follower of Russian football, how come I’ve not heard of him?
Obviously the first thing I did was to find out a bit more about him, and checked all the details Football Manager had on him. A 23 year old striker from Argentina who, at 6’2, seemed like he would suit the physicality of the FNL. The next step was to check his history, and this is where I really became intrigued.
At the age of just 23, Lescano had played for six different clubs in six different countries, including European giants Liverpool and Real Madrid. So how had he ended up playing for tiny Yenisey in the Russian 2nd Division? I had to find out more.
A quick Twitter searched yielded positive results, and Juan was more than happy to answer a few questions for us, over what we’re sure was a welcome Winter break:
1) You moved to Liverpool and Real Madrid while still a teenager, how did that come about?
JL: It happened suddenly, it was a great time in my career, but because I didn’t have a European passport, I couldn’t get a work permit and I wasn’t able to continue there, but everything happens for a reason.
2) You had very brief spells with Al Ahli (KSA) and FC Lugano (Switzerland), why were you at those clubs for such a short period of time?
JL: I was with Al Ahli for a short period of time due to the foreign player limitations in force; in Lugano it was again due to issues related to my work permit.
3) What were your thoughts before joining Yenisey?
JL: I was expecting a league very different from what I was used to. It would be a new challenge in my career.
4) How did you get in touch with the club?
JL: My agent’s wife is Russian, from Krasnoyarsk (where Yenisey are based), and for that reason, I came here.
5) Did you know anything about Yenisey or Russia before moving here?
JL: I only knew it was very cold here, nothing else.
6) Why did you choose Russia?
JL: Because my agent told me good things about the club.
7) How do you communicate with your teammates and coaches?
JL: It was difficult to communicate at first, I spoke English with some of my teammates and with several others I didn’t speak at all.
8) What has been your biggest surprise about moving to Russia?
JL: There has been no surprises so far.
9) How would you rate the level of Russian football compared to what you were used to before, and is it better or worse than you expected?
JL: It is a different style of football, it cannot be compared with what I played before. It is simply different and difficult to play in the FNL.
10) How are your dealing with the Russian cold?
JL: I deal well with the cold, I never leave home!
We’d like to thank Juan for sparing some time to answer these questions for us, and we wish him the very best of luck for the rest of the season. You can follow Juan on Twitter @ktu10.
Author: David Sansun
Arsenal and Rubin Kazan fan. Possibly too optimistic for Russian football which means I’m left disappointed a lot.