Enzo Francescoli: “This River Could Fight In Any League In Europe”

With the magic of the past, with the security of the present: “River would fight in any league in Europe,” Francescoli warns from his office in Nunez. Marcelo Gallardo approached golf from despair. He had torn his left thigh with 50 days left for the World Cup in France and was afraid of missing the World Cup. He gave himself to the saving hands of the kinesiologist Jorge Bombicino, who as a first step took him to a driving. “Hit the ball,” he said. Gallardo exploded with fury, they were wasting their time. It was four days with a teacher pulling anywhere. Until he found the touch, he discovered the magic. He went through rehab without impotence, hugging that therapeutic hobby that had arrived to stay. Gallardo today presents a good handicap, a reliable putt, understands falls on the green, knows about irons, tee and there are few that highlight his swing. But Enzo Francescoli also plays golf. Almost always with friends, and all the times he can against Gallardo. “He is very competitive, but very competitive … If he has not played for a long time, he avoids you, avoids playing, he takes care of himself if he feels that he may have lost the timing,” he says, and opens a million dollar intimacy. Enzo, probably without realizing it, portrays the predator that lives in Gallardo. Always on the prowl. “You see it and a hair does not move, you do not know if it is right or wrong. I admire that strength, that spirit to always be overcome,” praises the Uruguayan who came to the bronze. Perhaps covered by that protective mantle displayed by Gallardo, the Super League definition finds Francescoli confident. Without excesses, of course, without overflows. Otherwise it wouldn’t be him. Again Boca, again a title at stake. And a feeling of deja vu that drives it. “I had already said that the last dates were going to be hard, difficult. But I see the team well. I have a lot of optimism; once again, at a decisive moment, he will be able to become strong in Tucumán and get that victory that would allow him being a champion. The team knows how to live with the pressure, it has proven all these years. River depends on itself and that is no small thing, “he warns. And he emphasizes that step forward, that point more in the standings when the last 90 minutes that will sentence the championship appear. Neither the tie with Defense and Justice nor the fall in Quito. Adversity as fuel, a stimulus in Francescoli’s life. Yesterday Today. “If I remember how much it cost me to win over the people of River? Yes, of course, it was the time of ‘Uruguayan pigeon meat …’, which I later understood, when they explained it to me. I arrived at a complex moment of club at the beginning of the ’80. We had a strike of more than two months, the fans came to see us run in training … There, the ladito were, ufff.I was 20 years old and if I look back, I say: how I had the banquet! I had come to Argentina alone because Mariela, my girlfriend who was later my wife, at that time was finishing my studies in Uruguay. That is an issue, as in the case of De La Cruz. She came here with 20 years, He came from Liverpool, I came from Wanderers … and it costs you. You have to adapt and some do it faster and without realizing it. Alario is the best example, but others have a much harder time. Confident at the definition of the Super League, Francescoli reveals the secrets of an era-Does a bad environment ruin a football player? ñera by your side is the best, if the friend is the best, if the family is patient and helps you, everything becomes easier. It’s like life itself: if you just cross the partner who is not the right one, the wrong friend and the family that does not accompany you, and … there it gets complicated. And in this profession much more because you are very exposed, you are public. And much more for today’s kids with social networks. Being focused now is very difficult, there are a thousand dispersions. We just had to think about how we were going to make the goals. Today another world is lived, that’s why another context is needed. We had a masseuse, a doctor, a kinesiologist, hopefully, because we were in River, and stop counting. Today the technical bodies are multidisciplinary, there are coaching, psychologists, nutritionists, neuroscience, there are many more tools. And they are needed. Today a much more container environment is needed. Before we had nothing. What I am sure is that the phenomena of the ’70s and’ 80s today would also be phenomena, and those of today would be phenomena at that time. Obviously with other peculiarities: those of today with more belly and long hair, and those of before being more athletes and with the carved body.-Do you notice the very hurried young people, burn stages? -I am not much to say that “everything the past was better. ” I was raised only with a soccer ball, I had nothing else, and today this generation lives in a different world. There are changes, yes, but by necessity, and not by the need of the children, but our needs. Every time we need to get younger guys because they leave faster. The intermediate generation, the twenty-something, is not, plays outside. We have to create belonging in our inferiors, so it is very good that Marcelo also gets involved as he does. -What reproaches do you do in your managerial role? -Not reproach, but I’m sure I pee it because here you live right and error. When we first met Rodolfo [D’Onofrio]He asked me what I wanted to do, and I told him that I wanted to do what I do today. I am happy. I understood that River should once again have a way of being, acting and thinking, from its president to the boys. It was necessary to generate a line of conduct that came down from him. Of course, the results helped. If the results do not help you, you are in trouble. The idea was to transform River, with the help of a lot of people, with Marcelo in the lead. Because he is a kid …, well, I tell him kid and he is not a kid …, he is a coach who has been involved in that reality that we wanted to transform. He has known River since age 14 and also wanted this change. He also wanted this River of belonging, where what matters is the club and the shield. Mistakes? Surely we committed, and I in the first place: the hiring of some players and the non-hiring of others, is inevitable, I am in a place where decisions are made and mistakes are made. But with the global ideal I am very happy. -Why is the manager not affirming in Argentina? -Because we are not used to it. Football was always run by managers, and the leader, who leaves his life, his family, wants to be, wants to make decisions. Look, for example, I don’t feel able to be president of River. It is very difficult, but very difficult, this is like a ministry, a government … Here there are 5000 people every day that depend on you and another 15 million who are watching what you do. I see Rodolfo and say ‘how does this guy do?’ They call him at 5 in the morning to tell him that a boiler broke. Today these clubs have a company and you need the president to be focused on that, and the sports part delegates it in a logical way. And it is not that here I say Pedro has to come and Pedro comes, because first Gallardo has to agree because he is going to put Pedro on the court, and second the president has to agree because he is the one who will pay. While these things work, the manager is fine. Now, if the manager buys without telling the technician, or buys the president without consulting anyone, then the manager is at the fart. When they tell me that the River world is more focused on Gallardo-D’Onofrio, D’Onofrio-Gallardo, trying to undermine me, I say that’s fine. Enzo, in his office in Núñez-Enzo Francescoli retro. Why didn’t you play in a big club in Europe? ”“ I was close to playing in Juventus, Platini had recommended me, and I even had a signed pre-contract. I met Agnelli in Paris and everything was fine, but Matra Racing from Paris, my team from France, didn’t let me go. I sat down with President Jean-Luc Lagardère to jump to Juventus and he told me that he could not let me go because he was the team figure and had to prioritize Matra. I left that office with a lot of anger, to insults, well to South American; He grabbed me and said: “If a child were in the same place, I would do the same.” I had arrived in France with the idea of, afterwards, going to Mecca, which at that time was Italy. Today I see it from my function and Jean-Luc was perfect. Then, in ’87, there was a survey of Barcelona and they even talked to me; Rome also appeared and I traveled on a free weekend, I spoke with coach Liedholm and the president of that moment. But there Matra was right, because I had a contract and had gone to talk to a club, so I had to bank. – Who would you have liked to play with? Yesterday, today …- With any good player from before or now. Maradona, Messi … who will not like it? I faced Diego many times in Boca and in the national team and I would have liked to play with him, obviously. “Would you have liked to play in the Gallardo River?” Yes, I would have liked it because for the technical level I had, a requirement like the one this River has, with a lot of dynamics, would have improved and empowered me. Being a tip or attacker, playing in the last 30 meters and with five or six goal balls per game. Obviously, I would have loved it. Apart this team has a dynamic that in our time did not exist. Many players from before, with this dynamic of football today, would have been much more decisive.-But you would have had to demand more.-Yes, of course. I really liked to play, not so much to run. I was running, but if you gave me the ball it was all day. If you took me out for a run, and, I didn’t like it anymore. When I was 16, 17 or 18, before training you ran 20 kilometers, you made funds, climbed in the sand …, it was more boring.-River lost 1-0 with Juventus the Intercontinental ’96. Now, in the Club World Cup final there is a bigger gap with the Europeans. Is it an unmodifiable trend? -In the second half we played Juve, because in the first we ate a dance … Now it is very difficult, the gap is growing. In football, and I would also say, in many things of our society. When we face Barcelona, ​​we face it with more than 400 million dollars in budget difference. And not only that, but also most of his figures were from here, they were South American, so that makes you more angry. This is the scenario, and the only way to try to get close is to keep competing. Someday we will beat them; Luckily, by chance or because we will have grown. It is definitely football, and many times things happen without further explanation. But today, with some clubs in Europe, there is a big difference.With Ariel Ortega and Roberto Monserrat, in one of the many festivities in the late 90s – What would happen if River played in the League of Spain, for example? Would third come after Real and Barca, fight the title or walk in the middle of the table? -River would fight in any league in Europe …, would be in the fight. I don’t know if I would win those leagues, but I would fight. Holding the schools, holding what works, has been a good decision of the club. Change little, as little as possible. Pity, Palacios left, but we have tried to sustain … and here it is very difficult with our economy. With devaluations and with two periods of open passes that gives Europe the chance to come twice to disarm a squad. It is very complex to hold the names, so the effort of River, Boca, Flamengo, in short, those that sustain the competition in South America, is very large. And the fight is not only unequal with Europe, also with the Chinese market, with the MLS, with many teams from Mexico. You do what you can.-Recently Gallardo distinguished the effort over talent. Does River win by its game and by its head? -Yes, yes, it can be. They are boys with a high capacity for interpretation. And today’s football needs a very plugged in player, the technique doesn’t matter anymore, which for example was my main feature. There are no secrets, but merits. And the driving lines are key. If a locker room goes to one side it is very difficult for two players to go to another. He exposes them, he takes them out. From Ponzio, the great ones lower a message towards the boys, towards the inferior ones. And that also goes down from the coaching staff to the rest of the coaching staff of the club. At this stage of Gallardo there were no internal problems and it is due to everyone, including the people who work in the club. When you maintain order and the rules are clear, harmony is achieved. All this built a way of being. To believe. And River believes in River.Riquelme and Maradona: between intelligence and tributesEnzo Francescoli is a friend of Diego Maradona and for nothing in the world he was going to miss the farewell of crack in 2001. Even if it was in the Bombonera, enemy ground? That afternoon, with the shirt number 10 xeneize played a Juan Román Riquelme, who in the meantime approached the Uruguayan and surprised him with a question: why did he always stop the ball with the instep? Enzo, fox, confessed that he was doing it to leave the caps in sight of the adversary that came from behind …- What do you think that Riquelme has repeatedly praised this River? -I don’t know Roman so much , I remember that he was a boy in the farewell of Maradona on the Boca court, but I think that, besides being a great game, he is very intelligent and does not hide what he thinks and what he means. Beyond the shirts, I will always do everything for River and for me River is everything, but if tomorrow Boca is better, I will not have to say that Boca is better. They are circumstances of this sport, moments of the game and it is only about accepting realities. When you hide those things, you put yourself in a rather awkward place. And he is a guy who avoids uncomfortable places, who doesn’t want to stop being him and accepts if the other is better. If the other plays better, what is the problem? Nor is that why no one is going to have to cut the veins. The affection that the people of Boca feel and will feel for Riquelme will not change because he says that River plays better football.Francescoli and Maradona, in a 1995 classic: always close, despite the distances and the t-shirts- In this part In the world, the passions are not usually so comprehensive …- The fan is a fan, and it’s fine. And from his place he exercises those extreme feelings. As also, and it must be understood, a whole salary is spent to go to watch a game. Well, that’s the fan. Let us not pretend that the fan understands certain things; instead we from here, and you who are the ones who communicate, we do have some responsibility and we should never stop at the place of the fan. I am not in River to be a fan, but to collaborate with a club that has given me everything. I can not get in fan, and I insist, if tomorrow Boca plays better, and I have to say it, I will say it because it is part of the game.-You played the farewell game of Diego Maradona, in the Bombonera, and nobody whistled you. Do you still live it as a conquest? “” I live it with joy, but it is also a logical harvest because I always respected Boca. I always handled myself like this: I was going to play Bombonera with River, and if I made a goal I celebrated it with the people of River. And today people recognize that respect. It gives me much to make notes and generate this “I say” or “here I am”, because I don’t think so. God gave me a gift that was more sensitive than others in the legs to play ball, but that’s why I don’t believe more than others. I try not to get attention. An image has been created with me: many people believe that I never fought, for example, and of course I had a fight, but why should I keep counting? If I have to tell you something, I am not going to use a microphone or a camera, I go and tell you. – How do you analyze the Maradona Gymnastics coach? – It is a pleasure that Diego is working in Argentina. I hope he does well and can be in his country for many years. I know how much he enjoys it. – How would River have to receive Maradona if one day he arrives as a technician at the Monumental? – Things must be spontaneous, for better or worse. I don’t think you have to force situations. And in River it will happen as the people of River feel it. I have spoken with Diego and it makes me very happy that he is here, because he enjoys being technical and feeling useful and active in football. It makes me well because I’m sorry, a friend. And people should do what they feel, you don’t have to force anything. That is the most loyal thing one can do as a human being. – Did you suffer the most unbalanced Maradona? He always says that his best game in Mexico ’86 was against Uruguay.-Uruguay, in the round of 16 of that World Cup, was the most complex match for Argentina in the entire tournament. I am convinced of that. And not for the first time, but for the second; they did not make a difference in the first and we in the second, played by played, tried, grew and complicated the game. We scare them a little, yes. Diego flew, and see that later the game would come with the English, but without a doubt that that was the best Maradona of all. The fame and weight of a surname that became a legend “My old men looked for a short Italian to hit with an Italian long “, tells and explains the origin of that name that became a brand in River. Enzo, and everyone knows who it is. “Today I meet a lot of 20/25 year old boys who tell me they are called Enzo because their dad … and yes … I hope you like it,” he jokes. Their children are called Bruno and Marco, they were both born in Paris, they passed 30, they are old and they have a powerful last name. It was difficult? “It is a question for them. I, instead, would have complicated me. Marco complicated it, which was the one who wanted to play. Bruno did not dedicate himself, he plays just for the fans. Likewise, it is much better to be complicated from the My love for people who had been fucking them because of the memory left by their old man. I guess it must be worse if they beat you. Luckily, it doesn’t happen to me and I live in peace, “he says. He always smoked. He separated 6 years ago from Mariela, his girlfriend from youth. Claudio Morresi and Ariel Ortega were his best companions on the court, he would have liked to be directed by Pep Guardiola and Bielsa, and jokes with the memory of the Chilean to Poland in Mar del Plata, in February of ’86: “Every time I I cross with more people telling me that he was on the court … I don’t know how many entered! ” And he challenges: “That night I scored three goals … but nobody remembers that.” River fell 4-2 to seven minutes from the end and won 5 to 4. Clarifies that he does not have a good memory, but he remembers how revolutionary he thought of the electrode training in Paris; discussions with Jean-Luc Lagardère, the owner of Racing Matra; the preseason in the snow; Claudio Ranieri imposed defensive obligations in Cagliari … “If we reached the middle of the court, we shouted goal”, and let out a laugh that the Uruguayan usually manages. Enzo overcomes fame and strives not to fail people. “I try to understand the situation, because there are days that naturally one is not in the mood to attend all the requests. But when I go out, I have to know that Francescoli leaves, otherwise I stay at my house. If for example at airport you arrive just in time, and you stop before all the orders, you miss the flight. And the plane leaves the same, it does not wait for you because your name is Francescoli, no, no. I got used to it, and I try not to look bad with anyone. “Frenchcoli Repeat that he is one more citizen. Just accept that you had a different quality. Did you have or have? “Today I play in some bites and I feel that this sensitivity does not go away. I had noticed it when playing with former players in my time as a player: the one who had technique, will always keep it. Obviously the one who thinks is the head, and when the idea comes to the foot …, the ball has already passed. ” Confessions of Enzo Francescoli at 58. The Gallardo era: “I never thought it would be what it is” Enzo Francescoli was one step away from playing the final of the 1990 Champions League, when only a couple of months were left for the World Cup from Italy. By the key in front came the Milan of Arrigo Sacchi, with Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard, who would leave on the way to Bayern Munich from Jupp Heynckes. In the other semifinal, Francescoli in Olympique de Marseille, with Jean-Pierre Papin, Jean Tigana, Manuel Amorós, the Englishman Chris Waddle and a very young Didier Deschamps. The rival? Benfica, directed by Sven Goran Eriksson. Victoria is 2-1 in the Vélodrome and 1-0 fall in the Estadio da Luz, five minutes from the end, with a rude hand of the Angolan Vata. Outside for the visitor goal. That match still hurts Enzo Francescoli. Deschamps is currently 51 years old. Then, he was a kid of 21. He won everything as a footballer, including the 98 World Cup in France as captain of Les Bleus. He retired and immediately opened his career as a coach, and in Russia, two decades later, he again led France to the world title. “I saw him being born as a player to Deschamps; he was very intense, disciplined and a great professional. I would not have imagined this coach career, but things happen in football. With Marcelo [Gallardo] The same thing happened. Despite having chosen it, I never thought it would be what it is. Sometimes people continue to grow exponentially and reach these places. Another example is Zinedine Zidane, the same thing happened with him “.- In Marcelo Gallardo did you notice a great change from the player to the technical director? -When I returned to River, he was 17 to 18. He was already a kid with a lot of personality , beyond his youth. As a player he was very good, talented, but especially he had a lot of will to overcome the injuries. He always had that strength to overcome. Over time he grew, and when he became a coach, he transferred that overcoming profile to to be more and more positive, and he prepared himself, he is very intelligent and I perceived that he had quite clear things in those talks we had before bringing him to River, but neither am I who to say what the formula is. It was a lot of intuition and meaning common: he was a guy of the house, intelligent and with a lot of personality.-Many former companions of Gallardo confess their surprise for this career as a coach. They did not expect it.-Yes, it was like that, I remember Marcelo player with a great punch and technique, and I think that those physical problems of which he spoke ended up strengthening his personality. And that, with the progress of his life, he was improving. When I saw him in those talks before bringing him to River on the Montevideo-Buenos Aires air bridge, and in another near his home in La Lucila, where he lived, we talked about the game, that River had to take risks and play in a way determined. Before I asked some things to ‘Chino’ Recoba from his time in Uruguay, because the generational issue also seemed important to me. I have many acquaintances there and everyone told me that he was doing very well. “” Do you give advice to Gallardo? “” No, no. Only if it comes out spontaneously. Never, since I have been, have we formally convened to talk about a specific football issue, beyond the pass markets, of course, because that is my area. When we see each other, when we travel, when I go to the concentration, when I am on the Ezeiza site and have a coffee and the talk comes out occasionally, just there, can it be. Not after. Never, and never would. That’s why we work, each in his role. Marcelo knows that I would never do that.-The future of River, post was Gallardo. How many times does that scenario cross you? “” It will be a decision of him, whenever he wants. Meanwhile, he has a contract until December 2021. I grew up making decisions only when the situation arose, not before. Penal? Well, ok, let’s kick it. If I miss it all goes to hell and if I do it I am Gardel. Well, you have to play with that. And I have erred and converted. Then, when Marcelo leaves, because one day it will happen., We will see what we do. But today, that Marcelo is happy here, I can’t be thinking about what we will do when he leaves. I can’t be prepared for something that I don’t know when it’s going to happen. I have nothing thought, only that logic would say that it could be someone who knows the club.-Germán Burgos? His name sounds, you talk about belonging and millionaire identification.-I do not know where they got it …, but it is normal, I understand. I have gone to Spain, I have eaten with him, and I have the best with Germán. But I also have the best with Astrada, with Hernán Díaz. Perhaps it is because it circulates that it will separate from Simeone. We have contact, we always write, it’s true, but we never talk about the future of River. Germán also messes with Marcelo, I don’t have to hide anything. Hopefully someday River and Germán agree because I appreciate him as a guy, and if he wants to be a technician, that is the River technician will be fine. But I don’t know if that is going to happen. Or maybe it happens when I’m not here anymore. -And Enzo Francescoli coach is an option that you definitely discarded? -I never say never. And as I clarified, I am a guy used to making decisions only when situations appear. I will see someday. But I’m fine where I am. If I had wanted to be a technician, and most likely I would have gone like the monkey, I would have been. And if I wanted to be a leader, too: I told Rodolfo [D’Onofrio] and I got on a list. But I am where I want to be. And I’m happy.Enzo for the world: his friend ZizouP: How did the relationship with Zinedine Zidane come about? A: It all happened in Marseille. We did many differentiated workouts in groups according to positions. So I went a lot with Jean-Pierre Papin, Chris Waddle and some of the archers to work centers, oriented control and definition. Zizou says that as a kid he was going to watch the training. And he says, although I think he exaggerates, that he learned there. Today I have a great relationship with him, we even made a reality in Spain some years ago. Clearly, the student was much better than the teacher. Before Intercontinental against Juventus, in ’96, I learned that Enzo had put his son for me. That’s why I gave him my shirt after the game. Later I learned that I used it as a pajama in the concentrations. With Zizou we are a bit similar, quiet, boring, someone will say. He is a very intelligent guy. He shows it with his football and also in his life, that’s why he succeeds as a coach. Q: The best coach of your career was Veira, Tabárez, Ranieri, Gallego. o Ramón? R: The Portuguese Artur Jorge. For my idea and player style, he gave me the most weapons. You would not get bored in training, it was always very frontal and understood my football desire to grow without looking so much at the economic side. Q: Tabárez is …? A: I met him at the end of the 80s as a coach and I already thought about how today. I already had the vision of a slightly more modern football than was played then in Uruguay. He got it done later, with a very good litter. I’m glad for him, because the idea he had could prove over time. Q: The best Uruguayan of the last 25 or 30 years? Recoba, Forlán, Montero, Cavani, Suárez, Fonseca, Sosa. Or Francescoli? A: It’s very difficult. I am also very embarrassing to generate opinions of this level. I say it with all due respect: I think that because of what they did in the national team, Cavani and Suárez are above all. We have to be realists. But there were great players, everyone you named, and I would also add the ‘Duck’ Aguilera.