Paraguay Football launches the first of a series of interviews starting with Inter Milan’s Rodrigo Alborno who wrote to us with frozen fingers from Italy that is suffering the big chill! Rodrigo is currently representing Inter Milan in the prestigious Coppa Carnevale tournament in Viareggio where he hopes to meet Paraguay representative Guaraní in the knockout stages.
Name: Rodrigo Alborno Ortega
D.o.B: 12 August 1993
Current club: Inter Milan, Italy
Position: Left back/Left midfield
Height: 1.83 metres
Paraguay club(s): Libertad
It has been a rapid rise to success for Rodrigo who was first spotted playing in a youth tournament for the Paraguayan national team in Peru, “It was one of the tours we made with the Under-20s…a spotter from Inter was there and since then they started to track me” Rodrigo tells Paraguay Football.
Right now Rodrigo lives with both his parents in Milan and is part of the ‘primavera’ squad, similar to ‘reserva’ in Paraguay. He has been taking advantage of European life and trying to visit as much of the continent as possible “since I got here I’ve travelled a lot through Europe” he explains “Germany, Holland, England, Portugal…I really like the European lifestyle”.
On the training ground Rodrigo is starting to form a bond with the Neroazzuri’s South American brigade “if I bump into [Javier] Zanetti, Ricky Alvarez, [Esteban] Cambiasso, [Ivan] Cordoba or [Diego] Forlan we always speak a bit”. However, the weather has been too cold yet for him to invite his teammates for a round of tereré “I’ll wait until the summer arrives” confirms Rodrigo.
The former Libertad man is not only playing as a full back but a midfielder too as Inter Milan’s coaches are looking to mould Rodrigo into a versatile all-rounder. “I like playing in both positions” asserts Rodrigo “I feel fine in both positions but if I had to choose between one or the other I’d stay as a midfielder because that is the position I always played”. His left-foot and preference to stay higher up the field hasn’t dampened the comparisons to the club’s longest serving player, ”they compare me a lot to Zanetti for our similar characteristics because we are always up and down [the pitch]”. Rodrigo is delighted by the praise “I’d like to be like him because, as everybody knows, he is an excellent footballer”
Rodrigo may not have started for the Inter Milan first team yet but he has already turned his attentions to the ultimate goal for any Paraguayan footballer. “I really would like to be in the senior national team, its something I’ve dreamt about since I was a little boy, I know that it all depends on me to make it a reality [getting into national team]” Rodrigo adds “I’m just going to keep working hard as I have been doing to earn a chance to be in the Paraguay national team”.
He will be happy to get a call up to get some sunshine, with Italy (like Europe) experiencing bitterly cold weather at the moment. “The thing that hits me most every day is the cold here because I’d never felt anything like it before, but I’ll just have to get used to playing games with frozen feet” jokes Rodrigo, good natured as ever.
You can all follow Rodrigo on Twitter @rodrigoalborno
An alternative version of this interview is available on Goal.com
By Ralph Hannah