- I have learned many things that I didn’t know before
- I had always dreamed about playing in these types of tournaments
- For any Alajuelense player, facing Saprissa in a Clasico is special
MIAMI, Florida – As a 20-year-old, Liga Deportiva Alajuelense FW Jurguens Montenegro knows that there is still much to learn in his career.
Fortunately for the young attacker, he has a wealth of knowledge to tap into on the training field and in the locker room. All he has to do is turn his head and find such decorated veteran players like Bryan Ruiz and Johan Venegas at his side.
Add to the fact that he played alongside legendary Costa Rican FW Alvaro Saborio during the fall, one can understand that for Montenegro, each day with Alajuelense is like getting a master’s degree in football.
“I have learned a lot from players like Bryan, Saborio and now Johan. Bryan advises me on how to improve, same with Saborio and Johan. They all speak with me and that means a lot to me. I will always value the time I speak with them,” said Montenegro in an exclusive interview with Concacaf.com.
“I have learned many things that I didn’t know before. They tell me, ‘This is how you do something’ and they are always right. I had the humility, calm and patience to listen to them because ahead of me I know I have very experienced players that can help me, so all I try to do is to listen and try to show them what they have taught me,” added Montenegro.
The results certainly speak for themselves. Montenegro has proven to be a revelation in the 2020 Scotiabank Concacaf League for the Alajuelense attack, appearing in three matches and scoring the winning goal in the team’s 1-0 victory over Panama’s San Francisco in the Round of 16.
“I was very happy and very proud. I had always dreamed about playing in these types of tournaments and being able to play in them and score fills me with motivation and happiness, knowing that I contributed to the team with that goal and that the entire team gave a great effort. As forwards, goals are what we live for and that is how we always should come out to play,” said Montenegro.
After posting a 2-1 win over Nicaragua’s Real Esteli in the quarterfinals that earned Alajuelense a spot in the 2021 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League, Montenegro and company took on 2017 SCL champions CD Olimpia of Honduras in the semifinals.
In a battle of Central American heavyweights, Alajuelense would emerge victorious in a penalty shootout against a side that had just reached the semifinals of the 2020 SCCL.
“Olimpia is a good team that plays well. We had some chances at the beginning that we could not take advantage of, but we knew how to manage the game and we did well. That was important because Olimpia had come into the match playing well, but we are La Liga and we deserve to be where we are, and now we have to keep working and thinking about Saprissa which will be an important match,” said Montenegro.
Now up next for Alajuelense is their first ever SCL Final on Wednesday against long-time domestic rivals Deportivo Saprissa in a match that has the entire country and Central American region buzzing with excitement.
For any Alajuelense player, facing Saprissa in a Clasico is special. The fact that this Clasico will also be a Concacaf Final should make for an unforgettable moment.
“As they say, Clasicos are won, they aren’t played. This is a different Clasico and we have to come out and win it. We are confident and playing with a style of play that has brought us a lot of victories and many good matches. I know that it’s not easy to manage games at this level, but I think in the Final of the domestic league we were able to do that. I know that it is difficult to play a Final, but one has to go out and show oneself on the field,” concluded Montenegro.