Wednesday 24 May 2017, 03:53

Andrade driven by a sense of duty

  • Dylan Andrade captaining Honduras in Korea Republic

  • Explains how he hopes to provide for his family through football

  • The defender feels a strong bond with another 'family' as well: his team-mates

The words 'captain' and 'responsibility' go hand in hand. Football coaches know that better than anyone, which is why they tend to entrust the captain's armband to one of the oldest or most experienced members of their squad. Every now and again, however, a player bucks the trend – like Honduras U-20 defender Dylan Andrade. Born in 1998, the Catrachos skipper is a little younger than the rest of his team-mates, but he knows all about responsibility.

"My ultimate goal in football is to be able to keep my family safe from need," the 19-year-old explained to "Taking part in this World Cup, playing well here and then becoming professional are the steps that could help me achieve that goal one day. I come from a loving family, but a poor one. My dearest wish is to be able to provide them with a better life."

It is easy to take the youngster at his word after watching him compete for every ball against France. Honduras were unable to prevent defeat against the European champions, but Andrade did not shirk his responsibilities and his focus is very much on his team's next test. "We're obviously very disappointed," he said. "We weren't good enough, but nothing's finished yet. We have other games to play. We need to move forward and keep working. That's what I told my team-mates." Spoken like a true captain.

The No5 is no stranger to the role, having also worn the armband for Honduras at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile two years ago. "Yes, it's something I'm used to," he said. "It's both a source of pride and a responsibility. I have a duty to lead by example and be beyond reproach for my country and my team, just like I try to be for my family." Little surprise, then, that he is a big fan of former Barcelona skipper Carles Puyol. "I think I'm a bit like him," he added. "A warrior."

Country, team and family are recurring themes for Andrade, and they melt into one as he weighs up his side's strengths and weaknesses. "Overall, we're perhaps less disciplined than the European or South American teams, but we make up for that with our heart, and our determination to never give up," he said. "We're a genuine family, a tight-knit group. Our unity gives us our strength."

That winning formula is one Andrade first grew to appreciate as a child, and it was his father who planted the seeds by attending all his games from the day he first kicked a ball. "I was born and raised in Puerto Cortes, and I've played for my hometown club CD Platense since the start," he said. "My father has always been there to watch my performances. I owe him a huge amount. He's always been there for me, and it's largely thanks to him that I'm here today." Andrade's team-mates can be grateful as well, their talented captain having clearly inherited his father's sense of duty.