Bautista (left) and Juan (right) always carried the blue and white flag, especially in the heart
The Barros Schelotto dynasty is still present in today’s football, this time through two of his nephews. Bautista Barros Schelotto and Juan Cataldi are professional players looking to make a name for themselves and succeed in their soccer careers.
Bautista is 22 years old and made his gymnastics debut during the last edition of the Copa Argentina, in a 5-0 victory against Dock Sud. In August of last year, he signed his first contract with the Lobo until December 2024. Today he is waiting for offers to go out on loan and gain experience at another club.
Juan made his debut at the Tripero in 2018, also for Copa Argentina. Given the lack of minutes, category 98 ‘was loaned to Bolívar in 2020 to have continuity. When he returned in the middle of 2021 and learned that he would not be taken into account, he terminated his contract (it ended in June this year) in order to join OF Ierapetra FC, a team that plays in the second division of Greece and that he shares with 11 Argentines.
Both started their football lives at the age of 4, how could it be otherwise, at the Club Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, that team so loved by grandfather Hugo (former president of the institution in the 1980s), from Pablo (Baptiste’s father), Carolina (Juan’s mother), and his twin uncles Guillermo and Gustavo, two glories of history Tripera.
— How do you describe yourself footballingly?
Juan: All my life I played midfielder, shooting more to be offensive. However, you understand that you have to help the team in the position that the coach asks you to. Here I have come to play four at the request of the coach.
Bautista: I characterize myself for always being on the right wing. There was a time when I was in the middle, but my grandfather told me to stay on the side because of my style. I am more offensive, but without neglecting the space I leave.
— What role model do you have in your position?
Juan: Iniesta always seemed like a magnificent player to me, I also liked the style of Gago and Kaká. I try to learn from their movements, what they have said in interviews, get the best out of each one to apply to my game.
Bautista: I prefer the Dani Alves who won everything at Barcelona. From what I’ve seen, I feel like it was the best without a doubt.
Juan playing for OF Ierapetra FC, the team is around the middle of the Zone B table
— How complicated is the road to first?
Juan: The inferior process is relative, there are many times when you play and others when you don’t. There was a long time when I competed in Metro, I had to wait until seventh to be able to do it in AFA. It depends a lot on the coaches and the early maturation that some players have.
Bautista: It happened to me that I went up from sixth to reserve, but there were a few years where I trained with them and competed more with my category. Just in fourth I managed to settle down more, it was the time when my debut took place. Everything depended on the continuity that I had at that time, since the coach cared that I was well before making me play without football rhythm.
– How is the bond with the twins?
Juan: Although we have a family group, they are always up to date, they know when I have a game, if I played, they ask me how I am. It’s a constant back and forth.
Bautista: They are quite present with us, they send me a message every other day to see if a loan possibility appeared and they motivate me to continue giving everything in each training session.
—What did you think about your arrival in the Paraguayan team?
Juan: Gustavo had already been a field assistant in Paraguayan teams, so they already had a reference from them. Hopefully they can qualify for the World Cup, it’s not easy but it’s not impossible either.
Bautista: The truth is that I didn’t expect them in a national team at this age, but I did expect them to be in demand because of their career and achievements. I’m not surprised at the work they’re going to do, but I know they do it with knowledge, so I hope they do great.
Juan had the particular chance to play a few minutes against Boca led by Guillermo and Gustavo in the 2018-19 Super League. “It was a strange feeling, the teams were entering the field and they made a gesture around my neck, as if to say that they were going to kill me ha. I remember it as a nice experience where each one had to defend what was theirs”.
— What do they represent for you?
Juan: They are two more guys, obviously they have a whole journey and it goes hand in hand with us because they are in our same world. In any case, football is experienced intensely by the whole family, we play 6v6 or 8v8 matches to die for, they are fun and unforgettable moments that are repeated year after year.
Bautista: One does not make a difference since for all they are the same, our relatives. We support each other a lot for everything they represent in football, but even they show that they are two more, they don’t feel superior to anyone.
Bautista on his debut on 03/23/2021 at Temperley. He entered to play the entire second half
— Diego Armando Maradona directing Gymnastics..
Juan: I experienced it four or five months before the pandemic. Seeing him walk into the locker room gave you a unique vibe that I never felt in my life. I was normalizing it over time, but I left Gymnastics and realized that it is not normal for Maradona to be your coach, it was a very nice feeling.
Bautista: I had to join Diego in the last stage, so I didn’t get to enjoy it as much as other players. Anyway, the madness of feeling it in the Lobo, seeing the love that our fans and rivals gave him, without a doubt it was something unique.
Regarding his current visit to Greece, Cataldi stated: “It is a very nice experience to be on the island of Crete, especially being with Argentine colleagues. In addition, he confessed that “people are very warm, one can leave something on the street and know that nothing is going to happen.”
“The good thing is that it is not so necessary to speak Greek, most of them communicate in English, the coach speaks Spanish. I know how to say the basic greetings and give certain orders on the pitch”, said Juan.
Bautista is in a different stage, where he is looking for filming and experience to establish himself in first class: “I train every day, it motivates me to see my parents going to work from 6 in the morning. Basically I say: ‘You get up and go to play football, today you have to go kill yourself on the pitch’”.
— Do you have alternative plans to football?
Juan: I had no news about my first contract, so I decided to start a career. Just when I did it, it coincided with the fact that they called me to train in first class, I attended college for 5 months with tight times and it became unsustainable. Today, I have other activities that help me learn and clear my mind of this world.
Bautista: You have to be prepared because life goes beyond football. I study the English language, which helps me to continue training my mind and forget about sports a bit. While it’s what I’m passionate about, sometimes you’re at 2,000 an hour and that doesn’t make sense.
Diego Maradona with Guillermo and Gustavo. Bautista is the boy on the left and Juan is the one in the middle.
— What is Gymnastics for you?
Juan: Everything, one may not realize it right away, but it’s almost 20 years of shared experiences, good and bad moments, alone, with friends. As a fan, I am left with the happiness we experienced when we qualified for the final of the Copa Argentina. I did not have to go to the bench of substitutes, but I was in the audience of the Minella where I lived it with all the Tripero people.
Bautista: Gymnastics educated us as people, it instilled in us respect, camaraderie, it gave us friends that endure to this day and, above all, the great possibility of being professional players. As a fan, I remember the promotion of 2009 with Niell’s goals, the classic we won in 2010, the caravan for the final in Mendoza, nobody is going to erase everything I lived with Lobo.
Regarding the relationship between them, both agreed that “saying something specific is lying. We did everything together, going to school, English, swimming, training in the club, etc. He is a cousin, but I consider him like a brother, we had good and bad times in all aspects, but the bond is always there.
— To close, what personal goals do you have?
Juan: I would like to build a nice career, play many games, get up every day and want to train and play. Not everything happens to become a millionaire, I seek to set goals and be able to achieve them. It’s true that football takes away a lot of things, but it also gives you others, so you also have to enjoy them because we’re living off what we like.
Bautista: I’m looking to add as many games in the first division to start making a name for myself and see how far I can climb, both in the league and in divisions. I want to improve myself as a player and person, every day that I get up is another opportunity to show how professional I am.
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