With the death of Diego Armando Maradona the legend died. But the myth was born. Not the myth of Argentinos Juniors, Boca, Napoli, Newell’s or the National Team. The myth of Argentine sports, the one that exceeds football. For this reason, before the orange stung in Obras Sanitarias, basketball paid a well-deserved tribute to the greatest athlete in our country. The first selected to take the field in the post-Maradona era did not have the 10 in his stands as so many times (Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, for example), but he did in his heart. Also on the skin: the team went out to warm up wearing the typical white jersey, with the No. 10 on the back and the Maradona inscription.
The spark that Pelusa transmitted with his mere presence was seen in the faces of the young men who put on the blue and white jacket for the first time as Diego did in 1977 against Hungary: Leonardo Lema (22, Athens), Franco Baralle (21, Quimsa) and Fernando Zurbriggen (23, Obras) debuted in A Major vs. Chile, by the third date of qualifying for the AmeriCup 2022, in the 67-61 victory (the top scorer of the match was Máximo Fjellerup, author of 14 points). And the one who gave voice to the sensations was Fabricio Oberto, leader of the Golden Generation, in a video put together by the CABB: “Thank you Diego for always being in a genuine way, simply thank you, for all eternity.”
Just as Diego was not there to congratulate the selected team as he did after second place in the 2019 World Cup in China, neither was the driver of this feat: Sergio Hernández. The DT, now the Zaragoza coach, left his position to the former assistant of his team, Gabriel Piccato, who had his debut with a group full of youngsters and promises from the National League. From a distance, Oveja not only encouraged those who were directed, but also dedicated a few words to Maradona, who was very close.
“I was fortunate to meet him and to be close to him. I have a relationship with his family, with Claudia and the girls … Everything that had to do with sports and everything that had to do with an Argentine shirt, for him it was his family. I mean it. Diego saw an Argentine shirt and was excited. If you look, Diego has a photo with all the athletes. Not just because we were going to look for him, he was looking for that photo. He felt pride and admiration for all athletes He recalled.
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Although the term “one more game” does not exist for the National Team, this Friday night was far from being one of those that will be remembered for decades. Argentina, beyond the figures it presents and the performance it shows during the 40 minutes, will qualify for the 2022 AmeriCup (three of the four from each zone advance; Venezuela beat Colombia by 73-69, and the others are two selected that make up Group A). Maradona’s death changed everything and the 12 who were on the Obras field, unfortunately without an audience in the stands, will never forget it. On Saturday, at 10:10 p.m. (TyCSports), a new show for the light blue and white against Colombia.