BRIAN SCIARETTA - Friday, April 29, 2011
After suffering an injury to his ankle last month, Diego Chavarri is back in action for Sporting Cristal and looking to help his club begin climbing up the Peruvian Primera Division standings.

Chavarri, 22, began the season strongly for Sporting Cristal emerging as one of the club's top offensive weapons and one of the more promising young players in the league. In his first four games, he scored two highlight-reel goals including one against arch-rival Alianza Lima.

On March 20th, Chavarri suffered a sprained ankle in a game against Cienciano. While he has been able to play in the last two games coming off the bench, he is still not completely pain free but the situation is improving.

"I'm feeling good - thank God," Chavarri told YA from Lima. "I have a little pain in my ankle, but I can still play. The doctors said the pain will disappear. I think I'm on my way to be ready and being 100 percent."

During Chavarri's absence, Sporting Cristal have struggled and have fallen out of the top ten in the league. Head coach Guillermo Rivarola was fired last week and was replaced by Juan Reynoso.

Chavarri's first impressions of Reynoso have been positive and he is confident that his coaching philosophy will fit his style of play.

"Coach Reynoso works very well with us," Chavarri said of his new coach. "He has a different tactical view. He works more with quick ball passing and one touch play. He wants us to play the ball fast. It is maybe more similar to the way I like to play."

"I think Juan tries to make us be more aggressive - to get the ball back, and then press the other team," Chavarri explained. "But Rivarola is a good coach too. I learned a lot from him."

So far this season Chavarri has played different positions up and down each wing. He is very aggressive moving forward and this has seen him settling down in the midfield where he switches between the left and right side often during the same game.

"I'm playing mostly like a midfielder now," The New York City native described of his style. "I like to play wing positions. I feel comfortable and with more spaces and time to pass the ball or to run to the goal. I really don't have any problems with either the left or right side."

When Chavarri switches between the right and left sides, he usually likes to move forward into the attack in different ways. While is right foot is strongest, he is able to use both feet effectively as evident by him using both his left foot and right foot to hit had driving shots on both of his goals this season.

"If I play on the left side, I just go to the diagonal and make a play toward goal or shoot," Chavarri discussed. "If I play on the right side, I can do the same or go to the end line and cross the ball to the forwards. I'm always looking for the opportunities to strike and score."

"I have the ability to use both feet but the right one is my better. I do think now, all players have to use both."

With Chavarri's play this season, rumors have begun to surface about him potentially being on the move to Europe. Most recently, the press in both Peru and Holland have begun issue reports that Eredivisie club Vitesse are going to make a push to acquire him in the summer transfer window.

Like most young players in South America, Chavarri would like to have the opportunity to move overseas to Europe at some point in his career. He is aware of the rumor to Vitesse but doesn't know how serious the interest is at the moment.

"I was hearing some things about that," Chavarri said of the Vitesse rumors. " And I was reading some news about it too in the newspapers. But I didn't talk with people of Vitesse. Like all players, I would like to go to [Europe at some point]. But there's nothing serious yet."

Whether or not it is Vitesse in the near future, Chavarri remains hopeful about a move to Europe in the future.

"The possibility sounds good," Chavarri concluded. "I would like so much to play in Europe. It is my dream and the goal I have wanted to reach ever since I was a kid."

For now, Chavarri remains firmly committed to Sporting Cristal and helping his club reestablish itself as one of the most powerful teams in Peru.

This Sunday, Chavarri and Sporting Cristal will host cross-town rival Universitario de Deportes at Estadio San Martin de Porres.

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