Exclusive: Ignacio De Leon on settling at Tranmere Rovers and Love for Futsal

By Joel Lampkin

Tranmere Rovers futsal may have shared the spoils with Salisbury but there was much more to be excited about as new signing Ignacio De Leon starred in the fixture.

The Uruguayan reflected on his new team after arriving on Thursday and said there was plenty to be positive about at Prenton Park.

There was much that attracted the 35-year-old to the North West of England including his current manager and opportunity to relive a childhood dream.


He said: “To be honest as a kid I always used to play on Championship manager, and I like to play as the team in the lower leagues in England and I always remember Tranmere Rovers.”

“I live near Prenton Park so I can train everyday and use the gym, for me it is a dream.”

De Leon has worked with manager Damon Shaw in the past and his close relationship with him was enough incentive to attract him to the club.

With a young squad on offer Shaw will see his latest acquisition as a leader in the side and someone with whom his youthful starlets can learn from.

He continued: “I used to work with Damon at Borough, three or four years ago, and he told me he is the coach of Tranmere Rovers and I say oh yeah I used to play at Prenton Park on the video game.”

“This year he told me if I want to play here, I say yeah of course and here I am”

Rovers are yet to win a fixture in the Super League despite their 2-2 draw with Salisbury on Sunday but Nacho can see plenty of reasons to be positive regarding his teammates in the eleven remaining fixtures of the season.

He said: “First of all I would like to avoid relegation because I know that is important for the club. Then I will try to do my best to teach the youngsters.”

“I was impressed in the first training [session] because they were very good technically, maybe they have to learn more technically but it is a very young side and I see in the future that they will be very, very good players.”

His career has taken him far and wide across the globe in an attempt to keep improving his talent which has ultimately led him to his current destination in Birkenhead.

With a career spanning back until the early 2000’s futsal has been an intense passion for the no.7 and even as he ages he still maintains his love for the sport.

He said: “I start playing Futsal at 20-years-old before I played futsal I played football and then I moved to futsal when I moved to Montevideo because I moved from a small town called Dolores where futsal was not very popular.

“I started playing it in the third division in Uruguay for a team called Pheonix, then I moved to another team and then I was in the National team as well.

“Now it is about fifteen years playing futsal and I love it!”

Ignacio De Leon and Falcao

With a career spanning so long it is only natural for him to have squared off against some of the best players the sport has to offer and his experience with the legendary Falcao is something he reflects fondly on with pride.

He said “I played two times with him, the first time in USA in an exhibition match and then I played last year but it was only Soccer seven(s) with the national team, it was an exhibition also but he played with us.

“He is the best player.”


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