Offensive: Nicolás is a striker who likes physical contact but he isn’t forced to play inside penalty area. He remains an agile “number 9”, who looks often for one-two passes with his team-mates. Nicolás is ready to receive companions’ deep passes or to head the ball as a classic center forward. Sometimes he transforms into a assist-mann, even in Belgium Nicolás doesn’t work a lot on it. As Nicolás did with free kicks, one of Nicolás’s “label” before his move to Europe.
Defensive: Nicolás is a fighter, he doesn’t save his energy to recover the ball, even if sometimes he did too hard tackles. Castillo has good aerial ability, especially in pace kicks.
“Call me “El Zlatan”. Everything started there. From that jokingly request.
Nicolás turns 4, but football is already a fundament element of his life. Those afternoons spent on the streets with his barrio’s friends, most of them older than him, those evenings spent watching real football stars on TV. He has a weakness for Argentinian football but especially for a tall man called Ibrahimovic. He has a weakness for Zlatan’s insolence and for Ibra’s acrobatic moves. Nicolás tried to repeat them on Huamachuco 1, northern suburb of Santiago de Chile, under control of Diego, the eldest of his brothers. Diego was also the man, who brought Nicolas to Universidad Catolica, one of the “queens” of Chilean football. For Nico, as he is called by his parents, “U”’s shirt is like a second skin. He played there for 14 years marking time with goal. One of the greatest moments was U17 Chilean title, in that season he was also named “best player of UC youth academy” and Nico joined first team squad by Marco Antonio Figueroa‘s will. Then he was the coach of the team beloved by Los Rencatólica, a group of Universidad Catolica’s fans. Among their members there was Omar Mora, Nicolás’s maternal grandfather, who had died before his grandson entrance in the club (for this reason Nico points at the sky after every goal). Nicolás made his debut with Universidad Catolica in 2010 in a Chilean Cup match. His turning point of his career was just a bit later: first professional contract, he had hands in 2012 Copa Sudamericana campaign, stopped by São Paulo FC (Nicolás scored the only Chilean goal), vice top goalscorer during 2013 South American Youth Football Championship (he was inducted also in the Top11 of the tournament) and a great FIFA U-20 World Cup with Chile junior team, where Nicolás scored four goals and his side lost 4-3 to Ghana after overtime in the quarterfinals. A big disappointment assimilated thanks to a call from Europe, from Belgian side Club Brugge. For “El Zlatan” it’s time to go forward. Nicolás’s experience in Belgium is a mix of stunning and featureless moments. For example he has shown a great feeling with goal (13 goals in 39 matches) and also few predisposition to learn new tactics and to test new movements in roder to complete his formation. On this last weakness Preud’homme (Ougrée, 1959), Blauw en Zwart coach, insisted over and over again, he suggested also to sell him during winter transfer window, also due to Obbi Oulare‘s growth (Waregem 1996), Nicolás accepted the offer made by German club Mainz. “It’s one step forward for my career” said Chilean player on his first press conference. It would happen the opposite. Damage to his right knee ligaments and bye bye Germany. On June 2015 Nicolás came back to Belgium. 27 minutes on the pitch and too much pain. Now he has the great occasion to play in Italy at Frosinone. Dreaming goals and a celebration shouting “Call me El Zlatan”.
As time goes on, Nicolás has weakened his rebel spirit, that mood he had when Nicolas lived at Casa Cruzada (home of Universidad Catolica‘s youth academy) and cause troubles to Rodrigo Astudillo, head of “U academy. Now Nico conserves only a bit of electricity but the desire to play in Spain or in Italy (as his idol Ibrahimovic). To achieve this goal he has become more faithful to rules and responsability of a professional player.
Pro and cons
UP: powerful, sense of goal, elevation, technical skills, personality
DOWN: he lacks discipline