Pacific Football Club’s newest signing Alexander ‘Makelele’ Gonzalez arrived on Vancouver Island last weekend and joined his new club for his first full training session on Monday afternoon. The 24-year-old defensive midfielder adds experience to a young Pacific squad as the team enters the second half of the Canadian Premier League’s Spring season.
González has only been in Canada for a few days but is eager to get started on the next chapter of his career. He will travel with the team to Calgary as they get set to play in the second leg of the Canadian Championship against Cavalry FC (9:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. MT, OneSoccer).
“The first day that I arrived the boys treated me really well,” said Gonzalez. “You can see that they are good guys, hard workers, a young team that includes Victor [Blasco] and Ben [Fisk] that are helping me as they speak Spanish. My English is not too good, but I hope to be speaking soon and to enjoy it. I’m really happy, they have given me a warm welcome and I hope to pay them back by playing good soccer.”
The defensive midfielder comes to PFC with 80 appearances across the top divisions in Panama, Venezuela and Colombia as well as experience in the CONCACAF Champions League. Most recently, Gonzalez amassed 2,633 minutes across 31 appearances in the 2018-19 season with Panamanian side C.D. Plaza Amador.
Gonzalez’s nickname ‘Makelele’ is taken from famous French defensive midfielder Claude Makelele. A World Cup winner, Makelele helped define and popularize the role of a deep-lying, defence-first midfielder, sometimes referred to hell
“I’m ready [for the Canadian Premier League season],” stated González. “My team was eliminated a week ago. I played every game and then this opportunity arose and I hope to take full advantage – to use my experience and to finish as champions with Pacific FC.”
Despite never having been to Canada, González knows about the beauty and culture of Vancouver Island.
“The truth is, a friend of mine and compatriot from Panama named Blas Perez [former Vancouver Whitecap, Panama international] used to live here,” explained Gonzalez. “He told me good things about this place. Roberto Brown as well, a player that was with Montreal Impact for a long time, told me that this was a calm place where the people are very respectful, where everything is done well, so I’m happy.
“The little that I found out, is that it is a beautiful place to live and I hope to take full advantage of this opportunity and stay here for many years to come.”