Ahead APOEL vs Lyon’s Champions League 2nd leg tie, we have re-posted this interview wtih Aldo Adorno for those who didn’t catch it the first tie round!
February 14th is a special day for many people, but for the players of APOEL FC, this year it has added significance. Thrylos (The Legend) have made history by becoming the first Cypriot club to qualify for the knockout phase of the Champions League. They did it in style, too, topping Group G with home wins over Zenit and Porto and avoiding defeat in their three away games. This Valentine’s day, APOEL go to France to face Lyon, their qualification for the knockout phase means that other than Oscar “Tacuara” Cardozo of Benfica there is another Paraguay Abroad in the last 16 of Europe’s premiere club competition, APOEL midfielder Aldo Adorno. He speaks exclusively to Paraguay Football about his life in Cyprus and hopes for the Champions League.
Name: Aldo Adorno
D.o.B: 8 April 1982
Place of Birth: Borja, Guaira, Paraguay
Position: Attacking Midfielder
Current Club: APOEL
Foreign Clubs: Irapuato, Cruz Azul Oaxaca (Mexico), Maccabi Tel Aviv (Israel), Almería, Baza (Spain), Paralimni, AEK Lanarca, Apollon (Cyprus)
Paraguayan Clubs: Sportivo Luqueño, Deportivo Recoleta, Sol de América
Height: 175 m
Weight: 82 kg
Aldo’s story is a fascinating one. This is his deubt season in the Champions League, and as you would expect from a team considered to be the underdogs in the tournament, he says they are just “taking it one game at a time”. The toughest rival so far has been Shakhtar Donetsk according to Aldo, “they have a lot of quality players” although he picked out Dani of Zenit as the best player he faced this season “he is really fast with the ball at his feet”.
Aldo always dreamed of reaching the heights of a competition like the Champions League, but for a long time it seemed a distant dream. The 29-year-old attacking midfielder had plied his trade in four countries before landing in Cyprus. It has not all been plain sailing. “The truth is I’ve had some tough times” concedes Aldo “I left Paraguay very young for Mexico” in fact he was just 18 years old and the transition to Mexico was tough for him, so he returned to Paraguay to play for Sol de America for a year, before getting the chance to play for Maccabi Tel Aviv. All in all 10 of the last 11 years have seen him play abroad and Aldo admits that this time of his career was “quite unstable”, but he was determined “I kept working hard…and now I’m seeing some of the fruit of so many years of sacrifice”
It was one of the coaches from his spell at Maccabi Tel Aviv that convinced him to make the move to Cyprus. Feeling more settled, his football improved, too, as he started playing and scoring regularly for Paralimni, AEK Larnaca and Apollon before getting his move to APOEL in 2011 and helping them into the history books.
So after 11 clubs in 5 different countries in 13 years, Aldo is finally settled. Why Cyprus though? He says “Cyprus and Paraguay are quite similar…At weekends we get together with friends and family to have Souvlaki, the Cypriot version of Asado”. He loves the Mediterranean diet of fish, vegetables and pasta, and although he does sometimes miss typical Paraguayan food, Aldo notes “I’m lucky, my wife is a great cook”. Speaking the lingo helps, too, “I speak the language, besides they speak a lot of English here and I’m comfortable with both languages”. Aldo explains that, like the Paraguayans, “the Cypriots are crazy about football and often approach me to ask for an autograph”. One big difference to Paraguay that Aldo does enjoy is “going to the beach which is nearby”, all in all he feels “very happy” on the island.
So what’s next for Aldo and family? He says that although he’s very happy in Cyprus for now, he “ would love to come back and play in Paraguay before retirement”. That’s probably still a few years down the line, but we think it would be great if another ‘Paraguay Abroad’ player can come home and receive the recognition from the Paraguayan public he deserves. Aldo, we salute you!
Tohoporâite ndéve, rejapo porâ!