Former FC Barcelona youth academy product and standout Whitecap Victor Blasco is returning to professional soccer with the Canadian Premier League’s Pacific FC, returning to the West Coast where he made a name for himself as a rising talent in the region.
The 24-year-old arrived in Canada six years ago with an offer to play for NCAA side Simon Fraser University under current FC Cincinnati head coach Alan Koch.
“I’ve always played football, since I was three, four years old,” explained Blasco. “I was always with a ball.”
Born in the city of Mallorca, an island off the coast of Barcelona in Spain, Blasco was scouted to play for FC Barcelona’s world renowned academy, ‘La Masia’ at the age of eight years old.
Barcelona is one of the top teams in the world featuring some of the world’s greatest talent. Their academy has produced some of the greatest players ever to grace the field, including the likes of Lionel Messi, Xavi, Andrés Iniesta, and many more.
“It was everything at the time, it was playing for Barca, it was right when Ronaldinho came,” stated Blasco. “We used to train by Camp Nou.”
Camp Nou is FC Barcelona’s historic stadium that holds just under 100,000 spectators, making it the largest stadium in Spain and Europe.
“It was everyone’s dream, it was a very cool experience,” added Blasco. “I got to learn a lot, play and meet a lot of people that nowadays are very well known.”
Following a few seasons in ‘La Masia’, Blasco moved onto two more impressive academies over the coming years, Cornellà and Mallorca, that produced the likes of Barcelona and Spain international Jordi Alba, as well as fellow Spanish international Marcos Asensio who plays for Barcelona’s rivals Real Madrid C.F.
“At a point when I was 18 years old, Alan Koch came,” said Blasco. “He gave me a full scholarship at SFU, which at the time was huge because Spain was in a big crisis, I didn’t speak any English at all. My family knew it was a good chance for me to go play in the MLS and to learn a new culture, which was incredible.”
For schooling reasons Blasco joined Island side, Vancouver Island University (VIU) Mariners. In his first season on the Island, Blasco was named PACWEST Rookie of the Year, 1st team All-star, Player of the Year, CCAA All-Canadian while scoring an impressive 12 goals in 13 appearances.
Following his first year in his new home, Blasco was quite surprised by what he found in his new surroundings.
“I was quite impressed because obviously in Spain fùtbol is everything,” stated Blasco. “When I came here, I didn’t know much about Canada. I knew they liked hockey. But I saw a lot of people that were very passionate about soccer.”
Blasco’s first year performance turned heads around the country, Whitecaps 2, coached by Koch brought in Blasco. His first professional opportunity, Blasco continued to impress notching four crucial goals with six assists in 24 appearances.
“I ended very strong getting the chance to train with the first team and I was almost there,” said Blasco. “But when you are far from your family, by yourself you begin to think you’re something, you’re immature, you make mistakes.”
In 2016, Blasco joined VIU. He would go on to compete on the Island in the VISL and in Vancouver’s VMSL for three seasons. He was then approached by Pacific FC’s management.
“They were convinced that I could do well,” explained Blasco. “I think it was also the meetings where they saw that my head was right and that I really want this. This is an amazing chance for me, an amazing opportunity that I couldn’t ever think in my life, that after three years I could play professional football again.”
The creative winger will be joining an attacking group that includes Canadian internationals Marcus Haber and Ben Fisk, as well as Terran Campbell.
“This is something very special to me, I’m feeling very good and very excited,” said Blasco. “I think that a lot of people are going to be expecting a lot from me, when I left the Whitecaps people were questioning why. I just want to tell them that I will give it my all, and I hope that they can enjoy me.”
ABOUT PACIFIC FOOTBALL CLUB
Founded in 2018, Pacific Football Club brings professional football to Vancouver Island. Playing out of a renovated, 6000-seat Westhills Stadium in Langford, the club will provide an outlet for young Canadian soccer players to realize their dreams of playing at the professional level. Fans will be able to enjoy the thrilling, fast-paced sporting atmosphere associated with the sport when the Canadian Premier League season kicks off in April 2019.
For season ticket information: https://pacificfc.canpl.ca/pacific-football-club-ticketing
ABOUT THE CANADIAN PREMIER LEAGUE
Canadian Premier League (CPL) is Canada’s professional men’s soccer league set to debut on April 27, 2019. Playing in world-class and unique venues, and partnering with strong community-led ownership groups, the CPL is a league for Canadians by Canadians that will bring professional soccer to communities coast-to-coast.