The story of Guillermo Burgos (45) is enough for a series or a movie. In 2001, recently graduated in Physical Education, he traveled to Andorra for a family matter and stayed forever. There, he played soccer in the local league, played in the Europa League and later became the first Chilean goalkeeper to compete in the Champions League. With Unió Esportiva Sant Julià he played the preliminary phase against Levski Sofia from Bulgaria, in the 2008-2009 edition.
“Half of my suitcase was football clothes and the other was normal clothes. I ended up staying 12 years. I played football and then I got the title of UEFA coach”, Burgos account, in dialogue with AS.
“Then I returned to Chile and was working as a goalkeeper coach at Deportes Temuco. I was there for five years, but now I have been back in Andorra for five more. I am working with the women’s teams and also as part of the coaching staff of a team, UE Santa Coloma. We dispute the present Conference League”, points out the former goalkeeper.
– Lost against a team from Iceland in the Conference League. How was that?
– We lost the first leg 1-0 in Andorra and in the second leg we were winning by the minimum, but towards the end of the first half they tied us. At the beginning of the second half there was a penalty and our defender was sent off. The game is finished there. We finished 4-1. We were 10 against 11 Vikings, real animals (laughs).
– How do you remember your experience in the Champions League?
– It is a very nice memory, a unique experience. I was the first Chilean goalkeeper to play in the Champions League, even before Claudio Bravo, the best goalkeeper in our history. The differences with the other teams were enormous, but experience is valued. The previous week we experienced it in an incredible way or when the music played before the match… At that time, the footballers in Andorra also worked and had to ask permission to go play, so the differences with teams from other countries were tremendous. Today, most of the teams are professionals and not so much because of the money, but because of the dedication that is given to them.
– What could I say about Andorra?
– Andorra is a small country between Spain and France, in the middle of the Pyrenees. There are 80,000 inhabitants and most of us are foreigners: Spanish, Portuguese, French, Argentines, Chileans, etc. It is very quiet. In November the ski season opens and many more Chileans come to work there.
– How is the day to day?
– Day to day is very quiet and very safe. There is a lot of work, people have a good time. In summer it is very hot and in winter it is very cold. The official language is Catalan, but everyone understands Spanish. There are three educational systems: Andorran (in the Catalan language), Spanish and French. Leaving school, our son will speak those three languages plus Portuguese for a classmate and English, which modern generations learn faster.
– On his return to Chile he was working at Deportes Temuco…
– Yes, I was in the minor series and suddenly I went to the first team. With Luis Landeros we got promoted to First Division in 2016. It was a nice experience.
– And why did you decide to return to Andorra again?
– The tranquility of being able to work and study in what one wants is priceless. Also, I made my life and my career in Andorra. They offered me good opportunities and with my family we decided to take them.
– So, now you stay forever in Andorra?
– One never knows, especially after a pandemic or a war like the one in Russia and Ukraine, but for now we are calm. I am fine, my wife has a good job and my son is growing well.
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