With the media washed with Juan Quintero to Arsenal following the news that broke 2 nights ago that the club was interested in signing the Porto player, this article takes a look at five things to know about the mercurial talent from the remerging talent factory that is Colombia.
1. He has been compared to Lionel Messi
The 21 year old born on 18 January, 1993 broke through the ranks at Colombian side Envigado as a 16 year old, and due his natural left footedness, and playing style to that of the Argentine, he has drawn comparisons with Lionel Messi. Standing at 5ft 6in is one inch shorter than the four times Ballon’Or winner.
2. He was one of the stars of the Under 20 World Cup in Turkey 2013
He caught the eye at the U20 FIFA World Cup in Turkey where he scored three times, including a wonder strike against El Salvador that earned him the goal of the tournament. Describing his performance at the tournament, FIFA ambassador at the tournament, former Switzerland and Galatasaray striker Kubilay Turyilmaz said;
“He could go on to become a player on a par with Lionel Messi. The composure he displayed was unbelievable for such a young player. Without a doubt he will go n to become one of the stars of the game.”
Australian coach at the tournament, Paul added “It’s difficult to judge a player at this age and know if he’ll have a great career, but sometimes it’s just blindingly obvious when you see a future star.”
3. Went to Portugal via Italy
Having played at Colombian side Atletico Nacional went to Italy for £1.2 million for the 2012/2013 season. The 2013/2014 season was his first season for Porto, as he was signed from Italian side Pescara for €5 million after which a €40 million clause was subsequently inserted in his contract. He went on to make a total of 22 appearances for the Portuguese side last season.
4. National team set up
He had his first senior cap for Colombia in a World Cup qualifier in October, 2012 as an 18 year old. He scored his first goal for Colombia at the World Cup in Brazil when he scored against African side Ivory Coast in a group match.
5. Went through same club as James Rodriguez.
Juan Quintero came through the ranks at Envigado, the same club where James Rodriguez made his debut as a professional player. Juan Quintero played there until the joined fellow Colombian club Atletico Nacional, before moving to Europe.