Roberto Wong, the Tico who was captain of the Buenos Aires soccer team in his days as a player, took advantage of the scholarships awarded by the National Soccer Federation to improve himself as a professional. His wish in the present, as a coach is to see his team again in the First division. The former player and coach, Roberto Wong, will face the final of the Closing Tournament against Guanacasteca, with the illusion of taking El Puerto to the First Division.
As captain of Puntarenas FC, Roberto Wong Ordeñana had to lift the trophy as champion of the defunct Uncaf Cup in 2006, the most important sporting moment for the club in its history. Now, 15 years later, as coach of the Buenos Aires team, he seeks to return part of that glory, by playing the final of the Closing Tournament of the “Liga de Ascenso” against Guanacasteca, starting this Sunday at 11 a.m. m., at the Chorotega stadium in Nicoya.
The “Chuchequeros” have the mission of winning this first series of two games, to force a national final. Otherwise, Guanacastecos will get their ticket to the highest category, after winning the 2020 “Apertura” title.
“This is a process that I know well, where the key was the union of the group with very young boys, who have a deeply rooted Buenos Aires identity and the commitment to take the series forward. Likewise, we have players who came to reinforce the team, such as Argentine goalkeeper Carlos Díaz, who motivate and give confidence to their teammates,” said Wong.
Four college degrees
Roberto does not hide that beyond football, studying is one of his great passions. Taking advantage of the scholarships granted by the clubs, not only not one career was forged but up to four, even with their specialties.
The Porteño is a technician in criminology, sports management, has a bachelor’s degree in banking and finance, a degree in business administration, a bachelor’s degree in physical education, a degree in teaching and also has an a license as a soccer coach.
“I started studying when I played for Municipal Puntarenas (2004). I went at a slow pace and for a while I stagnated, but then got on my feet, because I knew that it was important to take advantage of the time and scholarships that the teams grant. Now my goal is to study law. It is good that players can take advantage of scholarships and have a career thinking about the future, because football is not forever,” said Wong.
Roberto, who works as an inspector in the Municipality of Puntarenas, has had to captain the Buenos Aires ship in the worst storms, so he hopes to get it afloat once more and that the team reaches a good result on this occasion. After losing the 2006 Promotion League final as a player to Municipal Liberia, Wong has had the responsibility of taking over the team four times, after the departure of the starting coach.
“This is the fourth time that I have to lead the team. The first time we were out of the second phase by a point; later we lost to “Consultantes”, in the quarterfinals, on penalties; and the previous tournament we were out of the second phase by one goal. Now we are in the final, so we believe that the process is going well and the boys have that Buenos Aires identity that characterizes them for their courage, commitment and effort on the field ”, admitted Wong.
A driving force
Roberto, who even asked for vacation days to be able to train in a double session, is clear that the social and economic situation in the province is very complicated, so a team in the First Division would help to reactivate the economy once the fans they can go back to the stadiums.
“We play more than soccer here. Promotion is very important for the province, because commerce will be activated on weekends and will help to strengthen our town, with which young people who are in bad steps will have a motivation to turn their eyes to sport and at the same time the economy will improve, something that all of us from Buenos Aires really need”, said Wong.
The strategist confessed that losing the first game of the semifinals in the Lito Pérez 2-3, against Carmelita, was like a slap for the squad, which reacted by winning 5-0 on the road and gained greater confidence.
“We are aware that we have to go game by game. We are focused on getting through the first series of 180 minutes. We know Guanacasteca very well, we share a group and now the objective is to focus on asserting our strengths, in addition to not making the same mistakes in front of our adversary, because we know that in the past we lost due to specific errors and we should not repeat them”, added Wong .