Kevin Vidaña is a football globetrotter. The Spanish coach has had extensive experience on the bench in our country, but in recent years he has not stopped. China and Chile, before; and now EcuadorThey have welcomed him with open arms. Kevin he is a coach with a very marked idea of the game and wherever he goes, he tries to instill his football knowledge in his team based on his intentions; and even He has published a book in which he expresses his ideas. Their squads are characterized by being great lovers of possession, just like Xavi’s Barça.
This is not the first time that Kevin has spoken with AS. a few years ago told how COVID-19 lived in Chinawhen in our country it was still seen as something distant. He spent three years in the Asian country, aboard the Guizhou Fengyun, fourth division team. The Coronavirus, as in all countries, was evident in the country and had an impact on the team. “The pandemic affected the project in China and it was no longer going to be as strong. The reason is that I felt that I had completed a cycle. The expectations or pretensions that we had with the club were no longer what they told me at first. We had a sports city in mind, with a lot of money, a project to promote soon, but the pandemic prevented it. COVID killed the football project. I returned to Spain without a team”, Kevin comments for AS.
He did not have to wait for his return to the bench. In less than three months a new opportunity arose. On this occasion, in Chile: “After two or three months I got the opportunity to work in the Provincial Ranco, of the third division of Chile. Thanks to Daniel Olcina, a former player who was at Valencia in the First Division and who is now a coach. He recommended me to the president of Provincial Ranco and got an interview with me. Once I met with the president, the signing took place. I stayed for a season and it was spectacular. We made a countercultural game, different from what had been seen in Chile. We did it with good performance, with the tenth budget we were third and we disputed the promotion phase to the Second Professional Division, we were one game away from promotion. With a style of play very similar to that of Spain in the World Cup, with a purposeful game, taking care of the ball, dismantling the simplistic view that football has had for a long time, where tall, strong players have been prioritized. In Chile we showed that with short players, slow, but fast in the head, performance is achieved. We played spectacularly. We played a game where in every game our possession was 70% to 80%. We made 600 passes per game.”
Since it’s not in Kevin’s DNA to stop, After leaving Chile, he only had to wait a month for a new offer to arrive. a new country awaited his arrival, this time Kevin landed in Ecuador: “In February of this year the possibility arose of coming to Ecuador, to the Club Halley Divino Niño. After several meetings with the board we were convinced between the two. I have been here since March 26. Right now we are in preseason. The competition starts on June 5. We are in the third category. It is a category that is actually professional, with a work visa as a football coach. Everything is well professionalized.”
Club Halley Divino Niño is a newly created club. In Ecuador, El Divino Niño is known for being one of the leading teams in another sport, futsal: “When they present me the project I find it very interesting because of the similarities between both sports. The idea of the game that I feel has to do with Barça or the Spanish National Team, with players like Silva or Cazorla. That football has a lot to do with futsal. To take care of the ball, to think quickly in short spaces. It caught my attention and I decided to come. In the first team we have players selected with Ecuador in futsal and we have transferred them to football. We have two with the absolute and two with the U-20. Right now we are in the third category of Ecuador. The futsal team is in First Division. They are a reference in this sport. Many Divino Niño players are in the selection. They decided to buy a team, Club Halley, now Club Halley Divino Niño to compete in soccer. They are investing heavily. There are chances to go up.”
Starting from scratch is never easy, but Kevin is not afraid of challenges and his motivation is maximum: “The team bought the place and it is done completely again. There are 12 players selected from all over Ecuador and the other 12 are players from the town, from Jipijapa. Everything is new. Even the Jipijapa players were not the ones at Club Halley. The club was born with me. We want to be a futsal team on a large pitch. Let the ball circulate quickly, take care of yourself… There is a lot of relationship between football and futsal. As for the objective, here they are aware that it is the first year. We want to get through the first phase, first there is the group phase and then the knockout phase. We want to reach the final phase of promotion, play it. You have to be competitive but with your feet on the ground. We are not one of the greats in the category. There are clubs that fill the field with 10,000 spectators. Here I am very happy. It has surprised me. Ecuador is the country where I feel most comfortable in terms of quality of life.”
The truth is that Kevin exports a new game idea to these countries. An idea, which on the other hand usually costs to be accepted from the beginning: “What we have done in China, Chile and Ecuador is not easy, because they already have an established culture and it clashes. It is not easy to make players believe that kind of game. It’s a ball-centric idea. Football has the same internal logic in all countries and in all places there are players to play what we want. Here football is felt more directly. As for aesthetics, it’s not to make it pretty, I just think it’s the most profitable. Take the ball from behind, give it a sense. I have never had any problems in every country I have been to. I have had ideal players to teach them my game idea. I could have had more problems with the environment, at first, but as I say, the results rule and if you get good results, everything is good. But I have not had any problem to carry out my game idea”.
As we said at the beginning of the article, Kevin has written a book, titled Barca with Xavi, who, by the way, wrote it before the coach’s arrival at the Blaugrana team: “The book was published on May 31 last year. Profits go to MuaSolidariswhich fights against childhood cancer. I wrote it in the last year in China, before I was coach of Barça. The book talks about the club’s game philosophy, which is synonymous with Xavi’s game as a player and as a coach. Everything is linked. There is information about his stay at Al Sadd, there is an analysis of the team, methodology. The signing of him by Barça was sung. It is a book that makes you think, proposes different ideas. The book came to Xavi through David Fra, a member of his coaching staff.”