The intrepid Juan Castillo has made his name as a goalkeeper thanks to his superb reflexes, agility, and composure with the ball at his feet.
The Montevideo-born custodian, who is nicknamed Muralla (The Wall) in honour of his shot-stopping skills, came up through the youth ranks at Defensor Sporting, making his debut with La Viola at the age of 21. After moving to Huracan Buceo and then back to Defensor, Castillo stepped into the big time when he signed for Penarol in 2006.
His performances with El Carbonero did not go unnoticed by Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez, who took Castillo to the 2007 Copa America as Fabian Carini’s understudy. It was not until September that year that he made his international debut, keeping a clean sheet in a goalless draw with South Africa in Johannesburg.
Though he started the recent FIFA World Cup™ qualifying campaign as No2 to Carini, it came as no surprise when Tabarez handed him a start in the 1-1 draw with Venezuela in the Uruguayan capital. By this time a Botafogo player, Castillo donned the gloves in Uruguay’s next six qualifiers before being sidelined with an injury in early 2009.
After restoring Castillo to the No1 jersey in June, Tabarez then dropped him three games later, coinciding with his demotion to the bench at Botafogo. Now with Deportivo Cali in Colombia, The Wall is working hard to recover his very best form and become Los Charrúas’ first choice again.