At the age of 34, Chilean right-back Mauricio Isla, ex-Flamengo, was presented this Thursday as a new addition to Universidad Católica, one of Chile’s top teams and current national champion.
Mauricio Isla, ex-Flamengo, is presented at the Universidad Católica — Photo: Twitter/Universidad Católica
Although he was trained in the club’s youth divisions, curiously Isla never played professionally for the Cruzados. At the age of 19, he transferred to Italy’s Udinese before playing for Católica’s first team.
– I am very happy to return home after so many years – said the player in his official presentation.
One of the main names of the Chilean team that won the Copa América twice in 2015 and 2016, Isla played for 13 years in Europe, with stints at Juventus, Olympique de Marseille and Fenerbahçe, among other clubs.
In 2020, he left the Turkish club to play for Flamengo, the first South American team to defend as a professional. By coincidence, this year he faced Universidad Católica in the first phase of the Libertadores, and scored, against one of the Chilean team’s goals in the 3-2 defeat in Santiago, on April 28, for the third round of Group H. , he mentioned the affection of the fans when he played in the country.
– I got emotional, because I didn’t think I would get so much affection from the fans. It was exciting to return to the stadium and to the club that formed me, it was important for me – he said.
With no space at Flamengo this year, Isla terminated his contract last week and agreed to his return to Chilean football. As Católica was third in their Libertadores group, they will play in the round of 16 of the Copa Sudamericana against São Paulo. The first leg will be on June 30th, in Santiago, and the return will be on July 7th.