Argentines abroad: 12th-13th April

It’s been another important weekend for Argentines abroad. In Italy there were vital performances from Esteban Cambiasso and Ezequiel Lavezzi; in France, two goals from Fernando Cavenaghi helped Bordeaux to keep dreaming of a title, and Mauro Zárate got another for Birmingham to rescue a point. There were also Argentine goals in Mexico and the States, but possibly the biggest headline was in Spain, where Marco Rubén scored twice but was overshadowed by some chap returning from injury for the opposing team…

Lavezzi and Cambiasso were the star turns of Serie A for the weekend, with Lavezzi in particular continuing to earn his place as a cult hero amongst Napoli’s fans. Inheriting Diego Maradona’s number 10 shirt for the club was made a little easier on his debut, when he scored a hat-trick, but at the weekend he emulated the great man, scoring with his arm to cap a man-of-the-match performance and give Napoli their second in a 2-0 victory over Atalanta. Cambiasso, meanwhile, scored as Inter beat Fiorentina 2-0 and kept up an impressive personal record: with him on the pitch, Inter haven’t lost a single match in the league this season.

Bordeaux, still second in Ligue Un, played Caen, and won 2-1 thanks to another double – his fourth of the season – from Fernando Cavenaghi, who was sporting a newly shaved head. Both goals came after half-time, with the second a penalty before Cavenaghi suffered the indignity of being substituted for David Bellion. ‘I guess [manager Laurent Blanc] wanted to rest me,’ he explained to Olé. ‘On Wednesday we play the French Cup quarter-final against Sedan.

More Argentine goals: In England, Mauro Zárate scored a stunning late free kick for Birmingham to save a home point against Everton. Luciano Galleti claimed two assists as Olympiakos beat Xanthi 4-1 to move closer to the Greek championship. In MLS, Guillermo Barros Schelotto scored a penalty and set two goals up as Columbus Crew beat Chivas USA 4-3. Marcelo Gallardo came off the bench for DC United, who lost 4-0 to Salt Lake City, whilst Claudio López’s Kansas City drew 0-0 with Houston Dynamo. In Mexico, former Independiente forward Matías Vuoso scored a hat-trick as Santos Laguna tore Boca’s Libertadores adversaries Atlas to shreds, 6-1.

If you’re going to feel sorry for anyone, though, make it Marco Rubén. The former Central and River striker scored twice for Recreativo de Huelva, against Barcelona, to grab a point for the Andalucían side. Normally this might be enough to make his performance the big story of the match – except that a twenty-minute runout from a young substitute at the end of the match stole the limelight. There was lightning pace, there were terrified defenders, and there was the sight of one Barcelona player other than Samuel Eto’o, at least, looking like a world-beater. Welcome back, Lionel Messi.

The winger/forward/frankly whatever he likes showed no ill effects from his six-week layoff, and should be back to somewhere approaching peak condition in time for the first leg of Barcelona’s Champions League semi-final with Manchester United, which surely now represents their only chance of a trophy this season. Beating a side on as good a run of form as United at present will be tough for a faltering Barça, but if there’s a player in the world who can drag them through the tie, it’s Leo…

4 thoughts on “Argentines abroad: 12th-13th April

  1. Actually Gallardo did not play for DC United on Saturday. He was on the 18-man roster but never came on. Not exactly sure why, maybe he was just being rested.

    Of the 2 other Argentines on the team, Gonzalo Peralta had a miserable game at center back and Franco Niell came on a substitute up top but didn’t do much.

    I miss our old Argentine leader Christian Gomez, who’s now at Colorado. He was a true warrior.

  2. Ha, sorry Jeremy, and thanks for the correction. The brief Argentine write-up of MLS action I saw said Gallardo was a sub for DC United, and I presumed they wouldn’t have mentioned it if he hadn’t played some part in the game! Apparently things don’t work that logically, though…

  3. I understand. It’s a bit of a mystery to me too. The field in Salt Lake City is a really crap artificial turf and maybe they didn’t want to risk their most expensive player blowing out his knee.

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