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Colombia Selection: Alexei Rojas Fedorushchenko player profile South American Sub 20 | Colombia selection

The South American Sub 20 will start this Thursday and Colombia, as the host country, will seek to make not only the best presentation, but also keep the title at home, also, achieving the quota for the World Cup in the category.

One of the players called by Héctor Cárdenas was Alexei Rojas Fedorushchenko. Born in England, to a Colombian father and a Russian mother. Trained at the Arsenal academy, he chose his path at the National Team level some time ago. His roots in Colombia not only take him from his father’s side, his happiness in looking for the ball and wearing the tricolor.

Russia and England tempted him to take another course, but Alexei was always clear: his desire was to play for Colombia.

Fernando Rojas, his father, has not only been his guide in a long-term career, but also the one in charge of directing and focusing him, always with his feet on the ground. He left Colombia in 1986, venturing into new challenges towards the United States.

Love came into his life, when he went to Greece, where he met Alexei’s mother. A life decision led him to live in England, where Alexei was born, in 2005. It is no coincidence, his father, a fan of Independiente Santa Fe, and he, an Arsenal player, united by a ball and the red and white of both squads.

The London club opened the doors to Alexei some time ago and now, they see him as a ‘diamond’ as Arteta has him in mind to train with the first team and the world champion himself Per Mertesacker, director of the club’s youth academies , He confessed to his father that the club wants him to grow up there and reach the professional level of Arsenal.

The emotion of a father is to see a son fulfill his dreams and be happy. For this reason, he headed for his homeland, to see his son happy with him. Don Fernando spoke with FUTBOLRED about his son’s career, about the South American, the interest of Italian and Russian clubs, as well as the path traveled so far.

What has been your influence on Alexei’s career since football?

England is a very soccer country, you see it every day. Not only of the Premier, the Championship, of the other five divisions that there are, at all times it is football. My influence was to train him, as soon as I realized that he wanted to play and be a goalkeeper, I went to find him a team, to play as a child and already be training him outside of training.

Regarding Colombian soccer, I always told him that I am a fan and I am still from Santa Fe. He remembers it and finds it curious because today he is playing for Arsenal, relating the history of the Santa Fe uniform with that of Arsenal.

I always told him that I am a fan and I am still from Santa Fe. He remembers it and finds it curious because today he is playing for Arsenal, relating the history of the uniform.

What is the main difference between an archer who has been trained in the British school compared to what can happen in South America?

The structure of football in England is well set up, developed. Children have the option to play in each neighborhood. Every city and neighborhood has more than two leagues, everyone can enjoy it. The courts are first class, the coaches well prepared. They are generally boys who played soccer and did not continue their career due to injuries and are dedicated to training.

There is commitment in the community to promote soccer. That is important for them to develop well. In Latin America we lack that, they start playing soccer in the street, some at school and others in an academy, which charges them to play and in some cases it is expensive for families to afford that luxury. The opportunities are fewer in South America for them to develop.

How was Alexei’s arrival at Arsenal?

He has been working on his passion, his reality, being an archer since he was four years old. He never considered being a field player, I tried to convince him, but he didn’t want to. He would train with his team, then train him and get him any opportunity to train with instructors who knew much more, there we were. Every day, at night, on weekends.

He is 17 years old, for 13 years he has been working to be an archer. That trajectory has been long, where he played with the college, district team. We rehearsed with several clubs, when there was an opportunity to go to trials, with Watford, Norwich. He was fortunate to be invited to train with the development center with Chelsea for almost three years, he made a lot of progress. When he was 13 years old, he trained with the 16 year olds and was the best of the group..

At that time, Arsenal invited him to some tests. A scout from the club sees it, invites it and signs it after a week of observing it.

Do you see arrival in the Arsenal first team close?

Not soon, but not very far. In fact, it gives me happiness, much more than pride, happiness, to see him do what makes him happy, play soccer, that’s his happiness. Alexei is 17 years old and started his two-year scholarship contract with the club last year. He is in the Under 17 category, but he has not played any game with his category and is a starter with the Under 18.

He was close to making his debut with the Under 21s, but unfortunately due to the low temperatures in December, the matches were canceled because the pitches froze. He is ready to debut in that category.
He has already trained several times with the first team, with Mikel Arteta and Iñaki Caña, who is the goalkeeping coach. He trains twice, in the morning with the Sub 18 and in the afternoon with the Sub 21.

His projection at Arsenal is quite good. In fact, a few weeks ago I had a meeting with the director of the academy, he is Per Mertesakcer. He personally told me that they already see Alexei on his way to the first team. A sign of that are the invitations to train. It won’t debut for five or six months, but it will take its time and it’s on its way.

A few weeks ago I had a meeting with Per Mertesakcer. He personally told me that they already see Alexei on his way to the first team.

What has Alexei told you about training with the first team?

That is happiness for a boy of that age, seeing himself training under the direction of Arteta, seeing himself playing with Martinelli, Saka, Odegaard, Gabriel Jesus and all the other stars. It’s fantastic for him, he feels fantastic and he likes the level of football.

He tells me that every time he plays with them, he feels good. He trains with the senior categories and when they give him the opportunity to practice with the first team.

What sensations does it generate for you as a Colombian to see you so deeply rooted in the Colombian National Team?

It is positive and we have worked for years. As a Colombian I feel proud, I want him to play for Colombia. But the most important thing is that he wants to play for Colombia, he had the chance to play for England and Russia and he chose Colombia.

He feels much better in the Colombian culture. He is doing the best he can, at the highest level and that is what he is used to. It is not a problem for him to compete with older boys.

He had the chance to play for England and Russia and chose Colombia.

What do you think will be the main lesson for Alexei in the South American Sub 20?

It is experience, it is a great opportunity for any boy to participate in a tournament of this importance. He gains a lot of experience by coming here, training has enriched him. Every time he comes back to England he has learned something new, he comes back stronger, he looks and feels stronger and the coaches have said, he comes back with confidence.

What he has learned in England he also brings here. He is supremely satisfied and will learn to accumulate that experience. We are confident that if he is given the chance to play, he will do a great job. He is mentally and physically ready, he is a supremely mature boy. He studies the game every day and has great wealth in his footwork, decision making. We trust in that chance and that he does his best.

Every time he comes back to England he has learned something new, he comes back stronger, he looks and feels stronger and the coaches have said, he comes back with confidence.

How do you see Alexei in one or two years’ time?

We see him as one of Arsenal’s first team goalkeepers or on loan to play with another team in the Premier, Championship. Even one of the objectives is to take him to play in Germany or Spain, because they are places that offer things to goalkeepers, they are good schools. It is something that we have discussed with Arsenal.

In the meeting with Mertesakcer, he told me “no Fernando, I don’t think it’s necessary to take it to Germany or Spain. Here at Arsenal we have the best facilities in the world, we want him to use them, the coaching staff to learn or mature‘” and I said “if it is to take him to Spain, Arteta and Iñaki are Spanish. If it’s for Germany, I’m German, I can helpI really liked getting that answer.

I think that in two years we are thinking that he can with the first team or at another club, either on loan and as a starter.

Mertesakcer said: I don’t think it’s necessary to take it to Germany or Spain. Here at Arsenal we have the best facilities in the world, we want you to use them

Is there any approach with European clubs?

There have been. It’s premature. A couple of Italian clubs, who were asking. The answer was, he is 16-17 years old and how do you think I am going to send him to Italy to play for a team like that?. He needs more time with Arsenal, who are giving him that chance, you can’t waste those resources.

Being there is having won the lottery, you cannot be ungrateful, like making the decision because they will put you to play. In fact, there was an insistent approach from Spartak Moscow, they contacted us before the war in Ukraine started and they told me “we want to buy Alexei. Talk to Arsenal and ask them how much they want” I told them no, it’s not for sale.

They knowing that my wife is Russian, They told him that they were buying him and putting him to play with the first team at once, to make his debut. we said no. Soccer is delicate in decision-making, it can mean failure.
My mission as a father is to protect him, guide him on the best possible path, thinking long term. Many talented players have been seen getting on the wrong bus and making the wrong decision.
What need is there to leave England? It is where the best football is played, the best clubs, the best facilities. I think it would be a bad decision and that I made the best decision for him at that time.

Sergio Cortes
Editorial FUTBOLRED
@seracoca_95

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