During the last four weeks or so, Uruguayan football has been in spotlight for many reasons, not least because of their impressive performances in South Africa.

Across football, the scouting search light will no doubt attempt to find every whiff of talent, now this South American Republic can claim "top-dog" status once again over their close neighbours.

The Reds snare their man in capturing (Uruguayan International) Diego Arismendi, on a season long loan via Stoke City.

OnThePontyEnd turned to our friend, the former Barnsley FC defender, Mateo Corbo, to learn a little bit more about our new arrival and his fellow countryman.

OTPE: What are your opinions on the news regarding Diego Arismendi and how do you think he will adjust to football in the English Championship?

MC: I think he's a great player, who has much the style of (Gus) Poyet I think he will do very well. He is the type of player suited to English Football.

OTPE: Could you elaborate please? Some people are concerned with his temperament and that discipline could be a problem. Do you agree?

MC: You will not have any problem, he plays with an attitude which is typical for a Uruguayan. He will contribute everything he has, leaving nothing in order to win each game for the team and his team mates, that's my opinion. He can be depended upon in the difficult games, I have no doubt about that, he will sacrifice everything for the victory.

For those readers who may not recall Mateo's career with Reds, the period involved major shifts in the club heirarchy and declining fortunes on and off the pitch. Making just 18 appearances for Barnsley FC between 2000-2002, he never gained the opportunity to shine through the changes, but perhaps it's better that he describes this himself.

OTPE: You began your career playing for River Plate. Some of the greatest players in Uruguay's history have played there. How were you introduced to the club and can you describe your experience as a young player at his first club?

MC: I started playing very young at River Plate, there I climbed up to the first team. Thankfully during the years I was there I did very well, we had a group barbaro (wild time as a team). I have very fond memories.

OTPE: From there you moved to Spain briefly with Real Oviedo. Why did you move to Europe at such an early stage of your football career?

MC: It was very tempting to go play in Spain, with so many good players already there that I knew or had played against, I also knew that I'd learn a lot. I took it as a learning experience, it was the right move at the time.

OTPE: In 2000, you signed for Barnsley FC, then under the management of Dave Bassett. Were any other clubs also trying to secure your services at the time?

MC: I can't recall if there were, but to play English football was a dream come true.

OTPE: Can you describe your experiences of joining the squad under Dave Bassett. The good and the bad?

MC: With Dave Bassett it was all wonderful, I am grateful to him. We should have achieved more for him. The coaches were really good and it showed that he had lots of knowledge.

OTPE: Shortly in to your career with Barnsley, Nigel Spackman took over as manager at a time when the team was struggling. Was it difficult adjusting to to the changes?

MC: Regarding Nigel Spackman, I can only say it was the worst thing that happened to me in football. I don't know why, but when he arrived at the club I did not stand a chance. I wanted to remain longer at Barnsley.

OTPE: Towards the end of your career, a further managerial change occured when Steve Parkin became the Barnsley boss. What was the mood around the dressing room after so many changes?

MC: It wasn't great for me, I felt I could have offered more. Everyone was angry, not with the club or the fans, but we had a coach who didn't contribute anything. It was a disaster.

OTPE: Although you were technically very talented, you were also known as a tough tackling player, was this justified? How would you prefer people to remember Mateo Corbo the player?

MC: As a player who gave everything for the club and for the fans. I would like to thank them for the respect they showed me. That is important to me and I will not forget you. I keep a nice memory in my heart.

OTPE: Do you have any fond memories of your time at Barnsley FC.

Certainly, but I would refer back to the days with Dave Bassett again.

OTPE: What will Mateo Corbo do in the future? What are your plans?

MC: I have my business related to marketing of petroleum products, and so far .. so good. I'm going to keep going with this.

I would like to thank Mateo for taking the time to answer some of the questions that were put to him over the last couple of days. On behalf of OnThePontyEnd, I would also be delighted to feedback any comments or contributions from you the readers of this post.
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Ian Wilkinson

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Anonymous said...

Good interview, how did you manage to make contact and get a reply from him?

Trade secret ;-)