Alejandro Chumacero 22 Midfielder Sport Recife Bolivia
2013 has been…
Interesting. Now we appreciate a lot of you reading this will not be across Bolivian domestic football so perhaps a little background would help at this point. At 22 Alejandro Chumacero is at the upper boundary for entry into the 100, but in reality his career started back in 2007 when he was given a first team debut at the tender age of just 15. He is a combative modern deep-lying midfielder, the type that used to be classed as a ‘DM’ but who in reality contributes an enormous amount in attack. He is a Bastian Schweinsteiger-type player, ironic as if his football career ends prematurely he could genuinely find work as a Bastian Schweinsteiger lookalike.
At this point he is by far one of the most experienced players on this list having racked up over 200 first team appearances and now well into double figures for his national team. For so many of these reports we’re talking about kids just beginning their careers with fifty or less first team games, here is a player well into his career and not far off being fully-formed.
Having come through the ranks at The Strongest to become a first team regular as a teenager, he became somewhat of a symbol for the club, a figurehead around and on which much hope was placed. The national team called and he answered (well worth YouTubing his equaliser against Peru if you get a minute) and all seemed to be going rather well. He even found a scoring touch in his last season with The Strongest and got into double figures for the first time in his career.
Then in the summer came a slightly protracted move to Brazil’s second tier with Sport Recife for a complicated fee based, as ever, around percentages of ownership. He was immediately welcomed to his new club by the fans but has yet to find his best form or settle into a run of games in his natural position. Due to a combination of form and injury, he has spent most of his time on the bench but in interviews he remains overwhelmingly positive and knows he will get his chance.
The initial excitement at his new club was tempered by an injury and then a slightly rushed recovery. Most of his time on the pitch has come as a substitute, always difficult when trying to establish yourself. He is now working his way to full fitness and after a so-so start should push on. At his old club he was a solid, hardworking and consistent performer, there is no reason why once settled he won’t be exactly the same here. Various interviews and TV pieces give hope for the future as he has talked about loving his new surroundings and his desire to learn Portuguese as quickly as possible, so a sensible head on those Schweiny-esque shoulders too it seems.
At the time of writing his new club are pushing for promotion back to Brazil’s top division and that would represent a big step for a player who has progressed well so far but struggled a little since the move. Will he become one of the world’s top ten players? Almost certainly not, but he will be neat and tidy, hard-working and chip in with the odd goal now and then. We set the bar high these days, a first team player at 15 is enough to stir even the laziest of scouts into action, but this is a good player who may not be writing world football headlines for years to come, but just might have a very nice career out of the game anyway.
"Bit of a funny start with his new club, stop-start to say the least, but he will push his way into their first team. If he does find himself in the top tier next season he may well struggle initially, but give him time and he'll be making the odd lung-busting run, chipping in with a goal or two and never dropping below a 6 out of 10 in no time" - David Hartrick, IBWM
C The move has materialised, a solid if not spectacular future awaits