Carlos Soler, football player for a Game Boy

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In exchange for a game console, his grandfather convinced him to play and with him he celebrated the 2019 Cup title in Villamarín

Carlos Soler (Valencia, January 2, 1997) always has his grandfather Rafael as a reference. The mirror to look into. During the eternal wait from the dressing room tunnel for the first whistle of the last Copa del Rey final between Valencia and Betis, the PSG footballer had the bitter feeling that he would not find him in the stands of La Cartuja.

In 2019 (against Barça), he was able to celebrate the title on the field of Villamarín with his grandfather holding hands. You will never forget it. Because Rafael was the one who made him a footballer. He pushed him to do this. How? Well, like most kids with a price. She seduced him by buying a Game Boy in exchange for joining the Bonrepòs i Mirambell gym. A success. Soler quickly attracted attention and Valencia took him with him.

And when it looked like he was going to be a one club man, discrepancies in the contract extension with the Mestalla club led him to accept PSG’s offer to share a team with none other than Messi, Neymar and Mbappe. His slanted eyes inevitably led to his affectionate nickname of ‘el chino’ and his goals in the Prebenjamín category made him known to all teams of the First Division: «He was a pure striker and when we started playing tournaments, all teams knew him and they asked about him,” recalled Raúl Martínez, one of his coaches at the Academy.

Nico Estévez, who came to train the first team and now manages MLS FC Dallas, was one of the coaches who moved him to the field. And in midfield he found the best godfather a Valencian player could have, Rubén Baraja. When Soler played for Juvenil B as a midfielder, the legend encouraged him through a message to put the 8 on his back. A number that didn’t weigh him, nor did the 10 he inherited from Dani Parejo.

His figures are cruel. He has scored 845 goals in all categories of the black and white academy since joining at the age of seven. Prandelli made his first-team debut against Real Sociedad on 10 December 2016 in Anoeta. David Silva was his childhood idol, although he was also influenced by other footballers such as Johan Cruyff, on and off the pitch.

Concerned about social problems, he has not hesitated to join the foundation of the Dutch legend to build a football field in one of the most deprived areas of Valencia, so that children can find a way to escape through of sports. It is also not surprising to see him promoting the adoption of abandoned dogs. In Valencia he lived in the Ruzafa neighborhood and family has always been one of his main pillars. It was common to see his father on trips to the painting ‘Ché’, journeys he made in his own vehicle to accommodate his son.

In Valencia he was the second captain after Gayà. Negotiations on an extension dragged on. Closer one day, further away the next, there seemed to be no end to the soap opera. Until the summer market approached and PSG tempted him. The Mestalla club made one last attempt to keep one of its flagships, but it was too late. The player had decided to pack his bags for Paris. For 18 million euros, a football star who had won a place for herself in Luis Enrique’s team went to the city of love. He was not a starter at the premiere of La Roja. He came off for Pedri in the second half, but contributed to the win against Costa Rica with the sixth goal.

Source: La Verdad

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