From Kempes to Armani, the strong fact that the Matador and the goalkeeper have in common, 44 years later and on the eve of a World Cup

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FrancoArmani He landed at Doha International Airport, visited the University Training Center of the Qatari capital and walked the streets of the city in front of all his classmates. him, next to Lionel ScaloniThey arrived well ahead of the rest of the squad that will play in the World Cup. It was like this because the Casildense man is the only representative that Argentine football will have in its team in this World Cup. The equipment had never been so scarce.

In just over four decades the trend has changed diametrically: from a team with only one player playing abroad to one with only one player from the vernacular competition. The explanation is quite obvious. The doors of European football, once almost impassable, began to open for the Argentines starting from the 1980s and, above all, after the Bosman ruling, in 1995which facilitated the movement of men in shorts.

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Mario Alberto Kempes He was not only the goalscorer and figurehead of the team that gave Argentina their first world title in 1978, he was also the only one of the 22-man squad Cesare Luis Menotti who played in Europe: he did it in Valencia. Of the other 21, 20 represented local teams, while Alberto César Tarantini had parted ways with Boca in January 1978 and had not signed a contract with any club (after the World Cup, he moved to England’s Birmingham). Among the 20 there were five at River, four at Independiente, three at Huracán, three at Talleres de Córdoba, two at Racing, two at San Lorenzo and one at Newell’s.

For Spain 1982Menotti hardly changed the proportions: 18 of the 22 mentioned played in their home country, among themselves Diego Armando Maradona, who was to leave for Barcelona after the World Cup. Once again River were the club that contributed the most representations with seven. The four who took their game outside the borders were Osvaldo Ardiles (Tottenham), Jorge Valdano (Zaragoza), Daniel Bertoni (Fiorentina) and Patricio Hernández (Turin).

Menotti’s nemesis, Carlos Salvador Billardocalled on 15 men from the local tournament to make up the roster that would win the second World Cup in Mexico 1986. On that occasion: eight teams were represented: Independiente (four), River (three), Boca (two), Argentinos Juniors (two), Estudiantes (one), Vélez (one), Ferro (one) and Newell’s (one) . There hasn’t been such a variety of teams since Sweden in 1958. Of those who have played abroad, three have done so in Italy (including Maradona), two in Spain, one in Colombia and one in Mexico.

In the unforgettable meeting of Italy 1990For the first time there were more footballers who played abroad than those who played in Argentina. The original 22 members of the team have been joined by one more: the man from Santa Fe angel david commizzowho joined after the injury of Nery Pumpido in the match against the Soviet Union for the second round of group B. Of those 23, only nine worked in the country.

The most numerous foreign legion was that of those who played in Italy: there were seven, with Maradona, Claudio Caniggia and Pedro Troglio as the main exponents. In addition, two have done so in Spain, two in France, one in Germany, one in Mexico and one in Colombia. The latter would end up being key in that context: Sergio Goicocheawhich he saved in Millonarios de Bogotá.

In United States 1994, Alfio Basile proposed a parity scenario: 11 from domestic football and 11 from abroad. Among the locals, in addition to Maradona (briefly passed for Newell’s), Oscar Ruggeri (San Lorenzo) and a young Ariel Ortega, who already shone at the River, stand out, as well as the three goalkeepers of the squad: Goycochea (River), Luis Islas (Independent) and Norberto Scoponi (Newell’s). Among those from abroad, those from Italy continued to prevail (five) and two appeared who played in unusual destinations: Sergio Vázquez (Catholic University of Chile) and Ramón Ismael Medina Bello (Yokohama Marinos of Japan).

The Bosman law and a paradigm shift

On 15 December 1995, following a lawsuit brought by Belgian midfielder Jean-Marc Bosman, the Court of Justice of European Union issued a ruling that it considered illegal rules limiting the number of foreign players from EU countries who could be lined up in a European squad (until then only three were allowed). This has not only facilitated travel for Europeans, but has also multiplied the possibilities for those arriving from other corners of the planet. Since then, and with subsequent regulatory easing, the Old World it has become a much more accessible destination for Argentines.

This was already evident in the chosen one led by Daniel Walkway who participated in the France 1998 World Cup: Of the 22-man squad, only six have played in Argentina. The rest was distributed almost exclusively between Italy (11) and Spain (4). The only one who broke the rules was Nelson Vivas, from the Swiss Locarnese.

for the contest South Korea-Japan 2002, FIFA expanded each team’s roster to 23 players. In the envelope that Marcello Bielsa brought to East Asia were only two representatives of the vernacular contest: Ariel Ortega and Claudio Husaín, both from River. The top five European leagues contributed 19 teams (Italy predominated, with eight), Juan Pablo Sorín got his ticket thanks to his performance in the Brazilian Cruzeiro and Claudio Caniggia, in the throes of his career, for his work in the Scottish Glasgow Rangers .

In Germany 2006Lionel Messi’s first World Cup, nearly half of those chosen by Joseph Pekermann They played in Spain: in addition to Rosario’s man, 10 other men also played, including Juan Román Riquelme, Pablo Aimar, Maximiliano Rodríguez and Lionel Scaloni (he played all 120 minutes against Mexico in the round of 16). In total there were 20 working overseas. Together with them Roberto Abbondanzieri, Rodrigo Palacio (both from Boca) and Oscar Ustari (Independent).

In his role as coach, Diego Maradona regained space for local team players: brought six to South Africa 2010. Some had an important participation in the tournament, such as Juan Sebastián Verón (Estudiantes) and the young Nicolás Otamendi (Vélez); others did not add a single minute on the pitch, such as Ariel Garcé and Diego Pozo (both from Colón). The other 17 called up come from seven European leagues, among which Italy predominates (6).

Fernando Gago, Maximiliano Rodríguez and Agustín Orion were the only representatives of the national tournament in Brazil 2014. Nineteen of those from the European championships who made up the squad that led Argentina to a World Cup final after 24 years, always with the hegemony of those who played in Italy (7). From there came one of the great surprises, Hugo Campagnaro (Inter), starting on his debut against Bosnia Herzegovina. And from Mexico has arrived one of Alejandro Sabella’s fetish men during his cycle: defender José María Basanta (Monterrey).

Three continents were represented in the list chosen by George Sampaoli for the traumatic Russia 2018. As usual in the previous two decades, the European Championships set the tone: they were 17 out of six championships. Mexico scored through goalkeeper Nahuel Guzmán. And, as had happened in the United States in 1994 with Medina Bello, Asia also made its contribution: Javier Mascherano, who in January of that year had separated from Barcelona and had moved on to the Chinese side of Hebei Fortune.

The representatives of local football were Enzo Pérez (River), Maximiliano Meza (Independiente), Cristian Pavón (Boca) and Franco Armani (River). The goalkeeper, who started against Nigeria and France, will have a second chance to experience a World Cup from inside, this time in Qatar.

Source: Clarin

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