Road to Chile 2015: Pedro Franco

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Updated: June 16, 2015

According to VAVEL:

Pedro Camilo Franco Ulloa was born on 23rd of April of 1991 in the capital of Colombia, Bogota. Right now, he’s one of center backs with the highest value in the European market after having a great season with Besiktas JK in the league and UEFA Europa League.

He is the son of Marta Inés Ulloa and Walter Franco and they taught Pedro how to love football. The young Pedro have gained his love for the blues and whites, Millonarios. He played on a football team at his school. He was playing as forward and played a friendly match against Millonarios’ youth team of the same category. After his decent game vs Millonarios, he became part of Millonarios’ youth academy.

Pedro’s father passed away right before the 2011 FIFA U20 World Cup started. That caused him to become a better player. Pedro Franco is perhaps the best defender from Bogota in the past two decades. Jose Pekerman has called him up many times after the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He may have the chance to defend the Yellow, Blue, and Red in the 2015 Copa America.

Career

In 2000, Pedro Franco started playing for Millonarios in the youth academy and from there he started developing. At that time, the coaches of the academy were Nilton Bernal and Cerveleon Cuesta. They started helping Pedro to improve his attributes. He won few national titles with the youth academy team.

In 2009, he was under 18 and he was eligible to play professionally with the first team. He debuted professionally in a preseason friendly match vs Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Portoviejo in Ecuador. Pedro Franco’s dream came true because he was playing for his childhood team.

The center back learned a lot of things throughout his experiences in the youth academy, friendly matches, and official matches. On 24th of October of 2009, he scored his first goal as a professional player against Independiente Medellin at home, El Campin. The game ended a 3 nil win for Millonarios.

From there the Bogotano have been playing consistently for Millonarios. In 2011, Richard Pàez gained full confidence in him and made him a starting player with the other center back, Alejandro Cichero. Both of them helped Millonarios win the league cup in 2011.

In 2012, Pedro became a permanent starting center back and also became captain for some games. Hernán Torres had a lot of confidence in him. In that year, Pedro helped Millonarios win the league title and ending the 24 years drought. He scored one of the goals in the penalty shoot out.

Millonarios Campeon 2012

Pedro Franco left to Europe after the 2013 Copa Libertadores and signed for Besiktas. This team was the team that had the most interest in Pedro. The Black Eagles bought him for 2.400.000 Euros and gave him a contract to keep him until 2018.

He had a rough start because he didn’t play much in the first half of the season. His quality and patience in his official debut led him to play more often in the second half of the season. He made 19 appearances in his first season in Europe and he also scored a goal.

The 2014-15 season, Besiktas performed well in the UEFA Europa League and they were eliminated in the quarterfinals. They managed to beat Liverpool and other teams. The team finished in 3rd place in the league. Pedro Franco made 34 appearances and Slaven Bilic had a lot of confidence in him throughout the season.

The Colombian National Football team

Eduardo Lara called up Pedro Franco for the mini training and for the South American Youth Football Championship in 2011. Lara had a lot of confidence in him and was amazed of his strong experience at the age of 20. With that quality, it made Pedro a definite starting center back for the U20 national team. He was named the captain for the 2011 FIFA U20 World Cup.

Pedro Franco Capitan

For those who remember, Pedro Franco scored this goal vs Costa Rica in the World Cup and it helped Colombia go through to the next round in the knockout stage.

In the senior national football team, Pekerman called him up for the first time on the 3rd of October of 2014 to play against El Salvador and Canada. Pedro has made 5 appearances since then for the national team. He was then called up to represent Colombia in the 2015 Copa America and help them to win the second trophy in their history.

GOOD LUCK PEDRO FRANCO!

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Alex Guerrero

Editor in Chief at Millonarios International
Born and raised on Long Island, New York. My goal is to work in the Sports Management/Business Administration area. I’m currently attending at Farmingdale State College. I’m majoring in Business Management. I already obtained my Associate’s Degree in Business Administration.
Alex Guerrero
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