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Watch: Former Floriana player-coach Chiesa relishing opportunity at Ecuador national team

Three seasons ago, he was celebrating his first and only trophy in his short stint as a coach.

Nicolas Chiesa had just taken over at Floriana and guided them to a Super Cup victory over Hibernians back in December 2017.

Nicolas Chiesa posing with the BOV Super Cup won in 2017.

Come three years later, the former Floriana captain and coach is now part of the Ecuador national team staff, in a rather different role.

In fact, scouting and analyzing the Ecuadorian players featuring in Europe is Chiesa’s main task in order to provide a technical report to coach Gustavo Alfaro, formerly of Boca Juniors.

“Gustavo Alfaro, who was at the helm of Boca Juniors while I was working there, contacted me to join his staff and now I help him with my technical reports about the Europe-based players,” Chiesa told Times of Malta.

“I am in constant touch with the technical staff in order to provide them my analysis in preparation for the upcoming commitments, which right now see us involved in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.”

Usually, Chiesa’s job would take him to several places across Europe to scout players but due to the coronavirus restrictions, the former Floriana player is now making use of online platforms where he can analyse and gather data and information about the players he is monitoring.

Ecuador has been the revelation of the South American World Cup qualifiers so far as they won three of their opening four games of the campaign.

Their positive streak included a victory over Uruguay, a hard-fought 3-2 win at the heights of La Paz in Bolivia, and a 6-1 rout of Colombia.

“When you are committed to a project, you are expecting positive results and I am glad that the staff’s work has paid off in this opening part of the qualifiers,” Chiesa explained.

“There is an interesting mix of young talents and experienced players who are helping this national team to progress.

“For example, I feel that even against Argentina we could have won because despite losing 1-0, their only chance was the penalty kick they converted to beat us.”

Nicolas Chiesa (bottom right) with the Ecuador national team.

Asked about the coronavirus situation, Chiesa pointed out that despite they are managing to honour their fixtures, playing without fans does reduce a bit of the motivation in particular in South America where the supporters are known for their passionate tifo.

Argentina pride, Maradona memory

As Argentine, Chiesa was proud to face Argentina in the opening World Cup qualifier where he could observe Lionel Messi closely as well.

“We all know about the difficult situation between Lionel Messi and Barcelona right now,” he explained.

“However, when we faced them, I saw a happy Messi and that means that nonetheless, at Argentina he always feels at home and gives his utmost when representing his country.”

A young Nicolas Chiesa (right) next to Diego Maradona.

Asked about his memories of the late Diego Maradona, Chiesa recalled his youth days when he used to wake up early to watch Napoli play on the television.

“I also had the pleasure to be a ball boy during one of his Boca Juniors games, against Argentinos Juniors where he had crossed paths with his nephew Daniel Lopez Maradona,” Chiesa pointed out.

Nicolas Chiesa (right) behind Diego Maradona who is hugging his nephew, Sergio Daniel Lopez Maradona at Boca Juniors vs Argentinos Juniors.

“Having worked at Boca Juniors, I could feel that even just his name would bring smiles all over the place – his larger-than-life personality and charisma will never be forgotten at the Bombonera.”

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