June 23, 2024

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The story of a Uruguayan goalkeeper playing in the Club World Cup

The story of a Uruguayan goalkeeper playing in the Club World Cup

The 2023 Club World Cup kicks off this December 12 in Saudi ArabiaA 30-year-old Uruguayan goalkeeper will lead the way for Oceania champions New Zealand side Auckland City.

About Sebastian SigandaAn unknown name in Uruguayan football, he never played for any club and started his career in the country he immigrated to 7 years ago.

Born in Soriano’s department, Jose Enrique Rodo, he played in his hometown’s Fraternidad, then in the University League, before moving to New Zealand in 2016 to try his luck.

He started working as a Kiwi baker and despite the grueling working days, he never gave up on football. He constantly sought out amateur teams to have fun.

In 2017 he joined Waiheke United, a team based on an island paradise and fielding a squad consisting of Argentine, Uruguayan and Chilean players.

The team progressed through the divisions until reaching the First Division and in 2022 they faced Auckland City twice.

Chikanda, 30 years old, had such a good performance that they were interested in him.

“In March this year, the Spanish coach and goalkeeping coach invited me to visit Auckland. I told them that I would like to stay on Waiheke Island, but that I have no problem taking the boat to practice every day. I was finally able to sign in June,” the goalkeeper told TN.

The reason the goalkeeper doesn’t want to move to Auckland is because of his job: he has to take care of a fancy mansion.Carrying out maintenance work.

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“It’s crazy how many millionaires there are on the island,” he told TN. “It is a very touristic place, and the houses are alone all year round. I have my house for rent, but I am in charge of a mansion. The owner lives there, but he travels a lot, and when he is away, I take care of the dog, work in the garden, do repairs. And doing general maintenance,” he explained.

Against Marcelo Gallardo’s team

Siganda left Waiheke Island to play in the Club World Cup with his new team, which will debut against Saudi Arabia’s powerful Al Ittihad side, led by Argentine Marcelo Gallardo and featuring ex-Real Madrid Karim Benzema.

The performance will be held on Tuesday at 3:00 PM.

For Penarol fan Siganda, meeting Gallardo would be a dream come true. “I’m glad he came to Al Ittihad because I haven’t trained for a long time. To be able to meet him on the court was something I didn’t expect, it was a dream,” he said. “I’m definitely going to say hello. We have an Argentinian player (Emiliano Tate) in the team and we have a Spanish coaching staff. There are very few of us who speak the same language, so I will definitely get close,” he added.

Additionally, he said he gets “goosebumps” when thinking about the possibility of facing Karim Benzema or N’Kolo Kante. “They’re players I’ve seen on TV and it’s going to be incredible to share a pitch with them. It hasn’t sunk in until this moment, but I know it’s going to be an experience to add and learn,” he said.

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Tsikanda admits they are not key favorites as they are semi-professional in Auckland city. “We know there are many figures on the other side and Gallardo. They are a working group in football. The goal is to get past this first phase: we know we have the weapons to harm them and we are working very hard,” he added.

The goalkeeper knows he is easy to play as he has recently joined a team that is a starting goalkeeper and has youth players under the age of 20.

His contract runs until the end of the year, but he is expected to stay at the club next season.

“I thought I’d already passed the train in football. “Everyone says it’s a once-in-a-lifetime thing, but it’s not,” he said.