Amaranto Perea, from selling ice cream to success in world football: this is his story


If there is a player who has left the door open for the new generations in European football, it is Luis Amaranto Perea. The center-back who for many years was part of the Colombian National Team and was a partner in the rear with Mario Alberto Yepes, another benchmark of the Tricolor.

Perea, with a rather serious and poised profile, never stopped showing his confidence on the field, which led him to be referenced in world football by big clubs that decided to use his services. Boca Juniors and Atlético Madrid are the teams that definitively marked the career of the successful central coffee grower.

He was with the Argentine team between 2003 and 2004, there he managed to play around 30 commitments in which he could not score a goal, but he was able to lift one of the most important trophies in the world. It was the Intercontinental Cup that the ‘xeneize’ team faced against the almighty Milan of Italy, a feat that went down in history with their participation, in turn they were champions of the Copa Libertadores and Liga Argentina.

Amaranth Perea in the Intercontinental Cup – Photo: Getty Images

After happy slogans, he left for Spanish football to stay eight years in the ranks of Atlético de Madrid, a team that welcomed him and kept him from 2004 to 2012, reaching more than 300 games and four titles.

The end of his sports career took place in Mexico with Cruz Azul, two seasons he stayed there where he completed 78 games that helped him add more than 500 commitments between the clubs he played, in addition to more than 70 games with the Colombian National Team. .

A knee injury caused the magic of the Colombian central defender to begin to be impaired in 2015 until he decided to step aside to dedicate himself to technical management, where he has been in charge of clubs such as Leones and Junior de Barranquilla in the FPC.

The Colombian Amaranto Perea and the Uruguayan Forlan.
The Colombian Amaranto Perea and the Uruguayan Forlan. – Photo: Juan Carlos Sierra

That part of successes, before had a chapter of resilience for Amaranto Perea, a part of his life that he himself has wanted to make public and of which he does not feel ashamed, on the contrary, he is very proud and takes the opportunity to clear up doubts about some who relate it in an erroneous way: “My story has always been distorted: that I sold popsicles because I was starving… I never had luxuries, but I had enough for what I needed thanks to my father.”

“My classmates trained in the league teams and sold ice cream, I asked them what that was like, they explained what it was like and I went to sell the ice cream at the door of a school. I remember that the first day I had 7,000 pesos left, then I began to pick up the pace a bit in the way of selling and then I had 15,000 ″ left on another day, he added on the particular case.

Regarding his dreams as a child, in a conversation he had with Alfonso Ramírez Jaramillo in Cápsulas Carreño, he expressed: “I always wanted to be a footballer and I was clear that I was not going to get anywhere in Urabá, so I decided to try my luck in Medellín.”

The story of the former Colombian defender also revealed that he also sold churros, cheese sticks, bringing lunches, among other things. In a clear way, he emphasized that his childhood story was never as they wanted to portray it, since his departure from Currulao, a district that is part of the municipality of Turbo, where he was born, he only sought in Medellín the possibility of expanding his possibilities to achieve the dream of playing football.

Deportivo Antioquia of the Primera B gave him the opportunity to try out to start showing his talent, while at the same time working in a shoe factory; There he was emerging until he managed to get a place in 1999 to try out with Independiente Medellín, where he managed to debut, play professionally and even become champion of the Colombian tournament in 2002.