of what to expect from an unknown figure.
What happened next is what many in the world of sports journalism would define as a "watershed moment".
The diminutive midfielder, a certain Juan Fernando Quintero, smashed a beautiful curling effort with deadly accuracy into the Rossublu net, celebrating emphatically as shocked Bologna fans looked on. With one swift flick of his left foot, the 19 year-old Colombian had announced his arrival in Serie A.
It is this incredible ability to amaze that earned Quintero a moniker in his homeland that is truly indicative of how he is regarded: La Nueva Promesa- The New Promise. At such a young age, he has become the symbolic leader of a new generation of Colombian football, and has been tipped for greatness both by those in his country of origin and football enthusiasts around Europe.
Quintero arrived in Pescara on loan in July of 2012, the Delfini having been promoted to Serie A for the impending campaign, yet smarting from the loss of key players Ciro Immobile, Lorenzo Insigne, and Marco Verratti as well as beloved coach Zdenek Zeman over the summer. Whilst the attacking midfielder maintained a low profile throughout Italy at this point, it would not be long before others would begin to take notice of his seemingly unlimited prospect.
In his native Colombia, Quintero spent his youth career at Envigado FC in the same academy that produced fellow Serie A players Fredy Guarin and Dorlan Pabon. La Nueva Promesa was so prolific in his performances that he was promoted to the senior squad in 2009 at only age 16, making his debut in a league match against Deportivo Pasto. The plucky teenager soon became a first team regular, dazzling fans with a vast assemblage of footwork belying his years, and displaying excellent vision and playmaking aptitude in possession. In his 2 complete seasons with the metropolitan Medellin side, Quintero was a major protagonist in guiding El Equipo Naranja from bottom of the standings to a respectable mid-table finish.
Naturally, Quintero's performances drew interest from the heavyweights of Colombian football, and in January 2012 he completed a switch to Medellin urban giants Atletico Nacional. The miniature midfielder made an immediate impact with his new club, appearing in 15 matches for El Verde and leading the side to a fourth place finish in the league. His efforts were rewarded with a call up to Colombia's senior set-up in June for World Cup qualifiers with Peru and Ecuador, though Quintero would have to wait until September to make his full international debut against Uruguay in a resounding 4-0 Colombia victory.
Just 6 matches into his Serie A adventure and still aged only 19, La Nueva Promesa now stands at a crossroads in his career. His wonderful performances in the throes of a new-look Pescara that face the daunting task of beating the drop have alerted the powers of world football to his presence, but at such a raw stage in a player's development, Quintero has plenty of strides left to make in reaching his full potential. Undoubtedly, the consistency with which he is able to maintain such success will be essential towards the ultimate prosperity of his footballing tenure.
Quintero incontrovertibly has the talent to be world-class. His pace, dribbling, vision, and passing are the pillars of his game, creating a versatile and multi-faceted midfielder that can threaten opposing defenses from various angles, and in addition inspire attacking greatness in teammates. The young age at which Quintero began playing first-team football also gives him a distinct advantage in experience over those at a similar career stage, whilst such a feat is in turn a testament to the boundless skill set he has honed thus far, and can further continue to refine.
So early on a player of marvelous class, it remains to be seen where Quintero will go, and what accomplishments the young Colombian will achieve. So much history is yet to be written.
In this time of uncertainty for Quintero, however, one thing is for sure.
If the rest of the ride is anything like that free-kick in Bologna, it sure will be a pleasure to watch.