Name: Fidel Surname: Escobar Date of birth: 09/01/1995 Nationality: Panama Height: 181cm Weight: 74kg Best foot: Right 1° position: Central defender 2° position: Defensive playmaker 3° position: Right back Club: Sporting San Miguelito (Panama) Contract: Transfer fee: 300.000 Euro
History: Fidel Escobar is, without doubt, the best talent of Panamanian football and the best centre back of the Middle America. He made his debut in the first division of Panama when he was 18 years old (end of 2012), and he was signed under San Francisco. He played 16 games, scoring one goal in that second part of the regular season. During that season San Francisco reached the final, where the 18 years old Fidel Escobar played. The were defeated by Sporting San Miguelito, but Fidel's qualities started to be under the eyes all of Panamanian country. During the successive season he found again the final with San Francisco, loosing against Tauro F.C. At the end of the season 2013/14, he moved to Panama City, for play with Sporting San Miguelito. Again he reached the final of the tournament, this time he faced his former team, San Francisco. He played an amazing game, showing to all how a centre back can be dangerous for the opponents better than a striker. But despite of his great game, Sporting San Miguelito was defeated 0-1. We can easily say that he is not very lucky in the finals. But at the same time for the "Law of large numbers" it's very difficoult that he will lose again a final. Concerning his national team career, he recently made his debut with the senior National team. He also played, as captain with U17-U20-U23. He showed all his talent during the last U20 World Cup (2015) where he scored two goals in three games. In the game against Argentina, he scored one of the best three goals of the World Cup and he also served one assist. He made his debut in Senior National Team of Panama and was selected to be part of the list of player for 2016 Copa America.
Technical qualities: Fidel Escobar is a talented central defender, able to help the team defensively but also able to be the first playmaker and even the finisher of the team play. Starting from the defense he uses to run centrally, often after a won tackle, reaching to the goal zone. He is a tough marker, able to mark closely the opponent's striker in an high line defense, using his speed for stop the opponent's counter attack. At the same time he is able to play in a down line reargarde using his powerful jumping for clear his penalty area from the opponents cross, and using his great tackle timing when faced in the 1vs1 situations. He has amazing technical qualities that i'vent seen in many young centre back. He has a very accurate long range pass that allows him to find his teammates not only when they are unmarked on the opposite side of the pitch but also when they cut the opposite's defense finding a dangerous area of the pitch. He adds to this quality pass an incredible vision of the pitch that allows him to look every movment of his teammates. He has also a fantastic shooting coordination. He uses to score many goals from distance and from the middle of the opponents area. He is an accurate free kick/penalty kicker.
Mental qualities: He is an "arrogant" player, very confident and sure about his qualities. This is his force and his weaknees at the same time. He has no fear to made mistakes or try difficoult play. He is a natural born leader, he uses to spur his teammates with his words but mostly with his attitude and example on the pitch.
Physical qualities: He is not very tall for be a centre back, but his powerful legs allow him to big jump. He is fast and able to quick movment in the short spaces. He has strenght and physical balance.
Position: He is a centre back, good for an offensive game and at the same time for a defensive one. He has also the qualities for play in front of the defense, thanks to his vision of the game and to his long range passing quality. He played a couple of games as right back, he knew how to do it well. In my opinion he can be also a decisive striker for the last 5 minutes of a game where you are down.
Weaknesses: He has two important weaknesses and many years in front of him for improve in those aspects. 1) He uses to do hard tackle, being sure of his self he belives to find always the right timing for the tackle, but sometimes it can be, and it was, a problem for him. I think he will naturally improve in this aspect when he will move out of Panama finding an higher level of football. 2) He uses to manage the ball in situations where is better to do a quick pass. It is another problem connected to his "football arrogance". He uses to drive the ball, looking for the movment of his teammates, and when there aren't he uses to dribble the opponents striker in pressing on him. When it happens, not very often, it expose his team to big problems.