Argentines abroad

Pablo Osvaldo had a good time on Sunday, making a few headlines in Italy. The striker, who recently announced his intentions to represent Italy rather than the country of his birth, got sent off for his Gabriel Batistuta-emulating goal celebration after a late winner for Fiorentina. The performer of the weekend, though, was Sergio Agüero.

Osvaldo started his playing career at Lanús, and went on to a mini-tour of southern Buenos Aires, also turning out for Banfield and Huracán before moving to Italy. He joined Fiorentina at the start of the current season and wrote his name into the history of the highly-charged Juventus-Fiorentina fixture on Sunday afternoon, coming off the bench to score the winning goal for La Viola three minutes into stoppage time. He celebrated by tearing his shirt off and making a Batigol-imitating machine gun gesture to the crowd. For removing his shirt, he picked up his second yellow card, but his team-mates held out for the remaining few seconds to pick up a 3-2 win. If Osvaldo does, as intended, represent Italy in the not-too-distant future, you won’t be reading much about him on this site, so welcome to the Argentines abroad feature, Pablo, and enjoy it while it lasts.

Sergio Agüero, meanwhile, will be mentioned quite a bit more here, one must suspect. Against Barcelona on Saturday the Atlético de Madrid forward was absolutely unplayable. After Barça took an early lead, their bogey team clicked into life and Agüero was central to the performance, scoring twice (the second a wonderful solo effort), setting up fellow Argentine Maxi Rodríguez for his goal, and winning a penalty which was dispatched by Uruguayan former Independiente striker Diego Forlán as Atléti won 4-2. Barcelona-supporting daily Sport were so impressed as to bestow upon El Kun the mantle ‘of “star” which had appeared reserved solely for Leo Messi.’

Atlético de Madrid 4 – 2 Barcelona (Agüero’s goals are Atléti’s first and fourth)

Pablo Osvaldo: Juventus 2 – 3 Fiorentina (90th min +3)

5 thoughts on “Argentines abroad

  1. “… got sent off for his Gabriel Batistuta-emulating goal celebration after a late winner for Fiorentina …???”

    Also – just curious: why do they call Abreu ‘el Loco?’

  2. Second yellow card after removing his shirt, Lex. And I’m not sure where Abreu gets the nickname, but given the number of clubs he’s been through in his career (River are his 13th) and the fact that unlike many footballers he likes the number 13 as a shirt number, it might be because he’s a bit of an odd personality. He shares the nickname with Martín Palermo – who’s called it because he’s a nutter.

  3. Yes, he is called LOCO because he is a “head case”, just like Palermo.

    In this part of the World is a very common nickname. Once you do something outrageous or extravagant, they call you LOCO and it sticks because it’s a very easy and short word.

    One other thing we tend to do a lot is to give the same nickname to everyone who has the same surname than a former player, even if he has nothing to do with him.

    For example, back in the 90’s there was a famous midfielder (also played in our national team), called Gustavo Zapata (who alongside Leonardo Astrada formed a holding midfielders line nicknamed the PAC-MAN) and Zapata was nicknamed “CHAPA”. Now don’t ask me why. Chapa could mean “nuts” (as in crazy) and it’s also the metal material they use as roof for the poor houses in the slums.

    Maybe they nicknamed him CHAPA because it sounded good with his nickname. Now the consequence is that every new player named Zapata gets the same nickname.

    Another typical case is tied with the positions. After Fillol (World Cup Champion in 78), now every good goalkeeper is nicknamed PATO (Abbondanzieri is the other famous case and there are more that now escape me).

    EL TANQUE (The Tank) Rojas was one of the cult heroes at La Bombonera in the 60’s. A big, powerful striker is now guilty of giving his nickname to those who play in the same position and share with Rojas the same physical build: like Germán Denis of Independiente.

  4. Was wondering if you could comment on some other Argentines abroad. My club DC United have added 3 new Argentines for the 2008 season.

    Marcelo Gallardo is the biggest name. Also striker Franco Niell and defender Gonzalo Peralata.

    Any opinions?

  5. I’d love to, Jeremy, but it can be difficult keeping up with all but the biggest names (especially, and this obviously doesn’t apply to MLS, if they play in countries whose language I don’t read). When MLS gets underway, I’ll make an effort to remember the Argentines playing there as well.

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