Sergio Bareiro is a 21-year-old striker from Paraguay who currently plays for Club General Diaz de Luque. He played in the youth academy of General Diaz until moving to Huachipato FC in 2017. In Chile, he could not impress and he moved back to General Diaz in January 2019. There, he made 27 appearances in the first season, while having seven appearances in the 2020 season. He only scored six goals in 34 matches and was part of the Paraguay under 23 squad in the Pre Olympics Tournament earlier this year.
General Diaz play in a 4-4-2 out of possession and a 4-5-1 formation in possession. They often struggle to build it out from the back which forces them to play quite direct. The club from Luque are currently sitting in tenth place in a league where there are only twelve teams. Sergio Bareiro’s role is to hold up play, waiting for support of his teammates, while also being allowed to make runs in behind. In this analysis, I will break down his (varying) role at General Diaz and determine his strengths and weaknesses, while also making a prediction about his potential.
When General Diaz play in a 4-5-1, Sergio Bareiro mostly operates in the central zones, awaiting the ball. He waits until General Diaz to move up to the opposition half, before he gets involved. When the ball is on the opposition half, Sergio Bareiro will either drop deeper to move between the lines or sneak away from his opponent while drifting wide. During the times that he drops deeper, he will look to link-up with his teammates as he likes to play through passes.
This is something that he does well. Sergio Bareiro is able to play first time through passes with both his left and right foot. He plays a lot of accurate first time through passes and can reach his teammates in space well. In other situations, Sergio Bareiro likes to try to sneak away from his opponent while drifting wide. He will then start sprinting into space and make a run into the box. The striker often gets into space when doing this, but his runs are not that effective at times.
He does not get into positions where he could get reached easily as he often moves to the opposite direction to where the ball goes. I think he should try to make a run in between the two central defenders in these situation more often instead of making a run where he does not get reached often. In all matches I watched he did this and I can’t recall seeing him receive the ball when he drifted wide. Sergio Bareiro could be way more efficient and get into scoring positions if he would make more runs centrally instead of drifting wide.
One would argue that he does this to be able to surprise the opponent in the box and get in front of him last second. However, when he would make a run centrally to then eventually make a fake run on the outside to then go on the inside, he would be way more efficient. He showed this ability a few times, where he would use his good agility to first make a fake run between the two central defenders to then come in front of one of the central defenders out wide and create a chance for himself.
Doing this, in combination with making runs more often in central zones when General Diaz are attempting a counter-attack, would make him much more effective in the final third and get him into more scoring positions, such as against Cerro Porteño when he scored. Drifting wide to support the build-up and to hold up play is good, and he should do this more often as mentioned in one of the following paragraph, but when there is a 2v3 situation for example, he should stay somewhat centrally and use his acceleration and other qualities to make a run between the two central defenders or between the central defender and full-back as this could get him into scoring position more often.
An example of when he did stay centrally in a counter attack could be seen against Cerro Porteño when he missed a big chance early in the first half. As you can see in the images down below, Sergio Bareiro first looks like he will make a run between the two central defenders in, but then anticipates that the ball is somewhat short and uses his good acceleration and changes of directions to get in front of the experienced Amorebieta to get into scoring position. This is one of the type of runs that he should make more often.
There are times where Sergio Bareiro receives a long pass. The Paraguayan striker is capable of getting his first touch right, but often does not make the right decisions when he receives a long pass. In some situations, he would choose to attempt a dribble while there is no support from his teammates. Sergio Bareiro sometimes uses his body efficiently to hold off his opponent as he puts his body between the ball and the opponent, while also using his pace and agility to get away from his opponent. However, there are some situations as well where he does not do this at all and loses the ball quite simple.
Also, when General Diaz get put under pressure on their own half, he could try to drift wide more often to support his teammates as they often clear it down the line without anyone of General Diaz being on the end of the clearance. Sergio Bareiro could anticipate on this and drift wide, either trying to touch the ball or beating his opponent by pace. The Paraguayan striker often struggles to get on the ball a lot when playing against better sides. He does not get a lot of touches in these matches as General Diaz generally clear the ball often or fail to build it out from the back.
During the moments that Sergio Bareiro does get on the ball and has some space, he can show his ability on the ball. The striker has good dribbling ability, as he controls the ball well when he dribbles, he has good changes of directions in combination with good agility and has good acceleration and pace to keep away from his opponents. He can play well in the tight spaces and is able to play himself out of pressure well when he gets support from his teammates.
The young Paraguayan striker does not have the best long passing technique and gets his long passes wrong occasionally. He should try to ‘slice’ the ball more often and try cross passes, which could increase his accuracy when he plays long passes and tries to switch play. Sergio Bareiro also should try to keep his long passes lower as he always puts a lot of height on the ball when he tries to switch play. Sergio Bareiro’s short passing is quite good and his first touch passes are very good as he controls the ball well.
Sergio Bareiro can sometimes seem a bit lazy, but also frustrated, when General Diaz are put under pressure or when the opponents are building it out from the back. This happens mostly near the end of the first half, as he coaches his teammates and cuts passing lanes well during the beginning of the match and looks switched on. He can then use his good acceleration and coaching ability in these situations to put pressure on the opponent efficiently. However, as mentioned, he seems to be only doing this in the first 20/25 minutes.
The Paraguayan striker has a good build that allows him to be quick and agile, while also being quite strong on the ball. He is quite athletic and this is shown in aerial duels, as he has good jumping ability and wins quite some duels. The striker has good heading ability, he got into good positions in the box and managed to aim his headers quite well. Bareiro does not always seems determined to get everything out of his footballing career, but with the right guidance he could become a good striker.
Sergio Bareiro is a player that still has a lot of things he needs to work on, but I think that he could become a very dangerous striker with the right guidance. He could fit well as a lone striker in a 4-3-3 in the future, with left-footed left wingers and right-footed right wingers who can put in crosses well. The Paraguayan striker has the ability to get into space in the box and can use his good agility, timing and acceleration to come in front of his opponent at the right time. He has good heading ability and is able to finish off a chance.
The 21-year-old needs to improve on his decision-making when he needs to hold up play near the halfway line and needs to improve on his runs when his team start a counter attack. He has the acceleration, pace, ball control and dribbling ability to be able to make runs in behind and be dangerous with it. If he can learn to time his runs well and make more runs in central zones, he could become a really dangerous striker that poses a threat for a lot of teams.
I can definitely see him fitting in counter-attacking teams with the above described characteristics, as I think that he has quite some potential that could possibly get wasted if he continues like this or makes the wrong decision in terms of his career. He should take his time this summer to find clubs that have a good technical staff and a playing style that suits him. He has a lot of ability on the ball and I can certainly see him making it into the MLS in his career.
I chose for a different style of writing this time and focused on what Bareiro could do better and how he could improve this. Let me know if you liked it and any feedback is appreciated.