We often see South Americans giving interviews about their time at Newcastle United a couple of decades ago, as the likes of Mirandinha, Faustino Asprilla and Nolberto Solaño are often found recalling some memories from English football for local outlets.
Now it’s time for Clarence Acuña to talk about his years with the Magpies.
Speaking to Red Gol, he remembered his arrival at the club, claiming he didn’t receive a very warm welcome from his teammates.
“When I arrived, they called me to play right away against the West Ham of Javier Margas. After the talk of the game, I appear on the list as ‘Acuna’, because there is no ‘ñ’ there. ‘What am I doing there’, I said”.
“No one greeted me or anything, I just went to play. I remember that Solano was told something in English and he said to me, ‘Play well and give me the ball’, the bastard (laughs)”.
“The game ended and I got the best out of the pitch, in our goal I stole the ball and the equaliser came out. Then they went to interview me and then my teammates greeted me and told me ‘good game'”.
Even though South Americans often struggle with their adaptation to the Premier League, Acuña claims this shouldn’t be a problem to any of them, since being prepared is part of their jobs.
“When you sometimes talk about how you have to adapt, the weather, the field or your family, nah. I’m hired and paid to play well on the first day and I must be prepared to play the first game well.”
Newcastle signed Acuña on a €1.5m deal from Universidad de Chile in 2001. He had 46 appearances for the Magpies, and ended up being released by the club in 2004.
The former Chile international then went onto play for Rosario, Palestino, Española, Cobreloa and La Serena until retiring in 2010.