The Argentine midfielder of Rayo Vallecano, Óscar Trejo (EFE / Rodrigo Jiménez)
At 35 years old, Óscar Trejo (with an accent on the “o”, as he is known in Spain) is one of the great idols of Rayo Vallecano and its captain. As such, he was one of the 13 representatives in the historic Assembly of the Spanish Federation in which its president, Luis Rubiales, said up to five times “I will not resign” (although he later stepped aside). Identified with the Madrid workers’ club, he tells of his first steps in Boca Juniors, where they compared him to Carlos Tevez, his regret for his early departure and how his foundation helps many people with problems economical.
-You are one of the current idols of Rayo Vallecano, 35 years old and with a long history in Spanish football, but you always claim Santiago del Estero.
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-You have to remember where you came from and that was what allowed me to continue on my path since I left my province.
-You have four sisters and you started playing basketball, but you ended up playing soccer.
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-Yes, I started in a club in my city, Estrella Roja, near my house.
-And then, how did you end up ending up in Boca?
-The test was obtained for me by an uncle, who knew people there. I remember that they met us at a property in Laferrere in July, they told me it was in September and in January I started living in the pension.
Oscar Trejo followed by Rodrigo De Paul
-You will have met many boys who later became figures or were very popular.
-Yes of course. I remember Franco Cángele, Neri Cardozo, Ever Banega, Nicolás Gaitán, Gustavo Eberto, Matías Silvestre, Pablo Ledesma. Matías Donnet. I remember that he took the opportunity to watch the Primera’s training sessions and it was like living a dream. It seemed incredible to be there.
-Already in First Division, you had very good times, with Coco Basile as technical director.
-Yeah. In reality, I made my debut with “Chueco” Abel Alves, who was acting as an interim player, and soon Basile arrived and took me to the 2005 preseason. In the first training sessions I was nervous, but then, in the locker room, I met magnificent people that I tried to learn from.
-However, you didn’t leave Boca well at all.
-It isn’t true. Boca offered me a lower contract and I preferred to go to Mallorca and in Boca they said that there were problems with that contract because I was not free, but everything was legal. In any case, over the years, I was not well advised. I would have liked to continue in Boca.
-So in some way you regret it…
-Of that, yes, but of course, one sees it with the passage of time. They gave me bad advice and, at that time, I was very young and did not know many things about the contract, about the law. And you trusted the person next to you. I was 16-17 years old and I wanted to play and although I wanted to continue in Boca, it was very difficult to find a place on that team, which was champion.
Oscar Trejo marked by Nahuel Molina
-Did what happened to you change you as a player? Because today you are the representative of Rayo Vallecano in the Spanish football players’ union (AFE).
-Completely. The Argentine footballers of Mallorca opened my eyes and, from now on, I reread all the contracts. I matured a lot and learned.
-How were those beginnings in Mallorca?
-From January to May they were very hard because of that conflict with Boca. I wondered if I had done right or wrong in coming, but in the same debut I scored a goal 4 minutes after coming in, against Getafe.
-Very soon, to clear your doubts.
-Yes (laughs), and on top of that, I scored that goal against Pato Abbondanzieri, whom I knew from Boca. The problem is that I was planning to ask for a shirt for my dad when the game was over and I went with all the shame. But he gave me the shirt without any problem and told me to move on.
-Later, you had a long career in Spain.
-Yes, I went to Elche, to Rayo Vallecano, with which we were promoted in 2011, but then I had to be relegated with Sporting Gijón in 2012, I had a spell at Toulouse and I returned to Rayo and we were promoted again twice, in 2017 /18 and in 2020/21.
-So even though you played for other clubs, you are identified with Rayo Vallecano.
-Yes, it is the club that marked me and where I am happy. Here I grew as a player and as a person.
-You are the captain, being Argentine, which speaks a lot about your relationship with the club.
-Yes, it has been many years and in the end, what counts is the feeling of belonging and the unity of the people.
Trejo, in a clash against Barcelona (EFE/ Javier Lizón)
-In addition, Rayo Vallecano is a special club because it is located in a working-class neighborhood and its fans have a very particular ideology.
-Exactly. It is admirable that in a city like Madrid, where no less than Real, Atlético and even Getafe are located on the outskirts, Rayo can coexist with its idiosyncrasy and with the values defended by its fans, made up of workers, workers, and who found in First and with its own merit.
-Even, it has an aesthetic style of play and on a small court, which could be compared to Argentinos Juniors, perhaps…
-We always say it, that even the fields are similar. He reminds me a lot of them. Furthermore, high-quality people were arriving on the team and there is a project for the future, with a significant social mass, and who are no longer satisfied with not being relegated, but now want to be among the top ten in the league. We also have players from six or seven different national teams and that speaks well of the club and its project.
-Of course: you left Boca but you wear a white t-shirt with a red band.
-(laughs) You can’t imagine how they charged me in the first year, and on top of that here it was full of River supporters when Alejandro Chori Domínguez came to play, but I say that it looks more like the Peruvian team.
-You are very identified with the club and you are 35 years old. Are you thinking about your future when you leave the activity as a footballer, although today everything was extended and you can play for several more years?
-I enjoy everyday life and you never know how long I can last. One projects, but at least today I don’t see myself as a coach. Yes, I would like to be linked to the quarry, to the technical office, because I like to see players, what type of player they are looking for, because I also know the profile of this club.
-Do you follow the Argentine tournaments?
-I read the news, but it’s hard for me to watch it because of the time difference.
-Did you enjoy the last World Cup…
-Very much. The boys deserve what is happening to them, and so does (Lionel) Scaloni, whom I have known since my days in Mallorca. One imagined that they were on the verge of doing something big, but this was incredible, with three consecutive titles: Copa América, Finalissima and World Cup.
-Were you able to talk to him after the title?
-No, because I imagined that his phone was exploding and I didn’t want to bother him, but I hope I can find him to congratulate him for all the good things he did and the joy he gave us.
Kun Agüero before Oscar Trejo’s mark. REUTERS/Sergio Perez
-Before we were talking about your captaincy in Rayo and your representation of the team before the AFE, the union. That catapulted you to be one of those who could participate in the recent Assembly of the Spanish Federation (RFEF) in which president Luis Rubiales said five times that he was not going to resign, although later he did…
-Yes, through the AFE there are thirteen players who make up the Assembly, but those of First and Second met and decided not to attend because we were against everything that happened between Rubiales and Jenni Hermoso during the awards ceremony for the Women’s World Cup in Australia. What happened is regrettable and we support our fellow soccer players in their fight and their claims.
-So you are the only Argentine who participates in the Assembly of the Spanish Federation among all the representatives…
-Yes, the only one.
-You have a foundation that supports many people with problems.
-That’s right, it’s called “Chocota Trejo” and now we are looking for the right place to get back to work because the bad thing is the distance. I always say that football allows me to help the people in my neighborhood. The idea started in 2012/13 and we had to do a lot of paperwork, stamps, get the registration, but then we were able to do a lot, especially thanks to the help of so many people from Argentine football and abroad, colleagues, friends. We organize matches in exchange for non-perishable food, supplies or clothing. People like Scaloni himself, Mouche, Prato, “Laucha” Acosta, Maxi López, people from Spain, France came. We left it a couple of years ago, but we’ll get back to it.