There are two versions that will circulate until the end of time: on the one hand, that Gareca refused to renew for the money, and on the other, that it was the forms of negotiation that ended up scaring him away.
Was it necessary to conclude the negotiations in Argentina and not in Peru, where there was plenty of time? For what purpose did the president of the Peruvian Football Federation take a plane to Buenos Aires if in the end he sent a delegation for the tug-of-war? Why wait a month to tell him that his proposal included a 40% cut in his salary? How was the percentage leaked in the press and why was he the last to know? In what head can someone accept a mutilation of this caliber?
The questions pile up one after another. And it is that in this story there are many aspects that do not add up. Were there really intentions for him to face a third term at the head of Blanquirroja? Is there really no budget to allocate it to a technical command that made us exist again on the world football map?RELATED
Yes, it is true, Gareca is one of the best paid technicians on the continent. He has twenty collaborators, something never seen before in Videna. With him they began to talk about video analysis in San Luis. He invested in infrastructure and everything necessary to compete.
Does an expensive technical command have room to discuss a new contract after being eliminated from Qatar 2022, giving the impression that it did not tactically tear Australia apart, as it has with other rivals? Can the prestige that was achieved in seven years of work be erased by a match that we lost on penalties?
From this point, clearly, two sides are formed. There are those who consider the mere fact of having proposed to Gareca the continuity of him as a gesture. That with that he should have considered himself well served. In other words, take it or leave it.
On the other hand, those on the other shore believe that the ‘Tiger’ Gareca deserved a contract under conditions very similar to those of the last qualifying process, because beyond the nightmare in Doha –perhaps trauma, who knows–, they recognize a long list of exploits since he put on the diver (and later the suit) of the national team in March 2015.
Ricardo Gareca set foot in Lima in the summer of 2015. (Photo: Andina)
Let’s list: under Gareca’s guidance, we qualified for the World Cup for the first time in 36 years and played in a Copa América final after 44 years. We beat Paraguay for the first time in Asunción and Ecuador in Quito. We beat Brazil twice, and after twenty years Venezuela at home. We reached a historic streak of fifteen unbeaten games.
That in terms of figures and specific football facts. The impact on people is incalculable. We put on the shirt again in every sense of the word. We recover the illusion of witnessing a Peru match from the stadium or from wherever it was. At last we put aside the three fingers of ‘Nene’ Cubillas in Argentina ’78, Casaretto’s jumps in the ’75 Copa América, the Peruvian symphony in the Parque de los Príncipes.
We breathe new air. We revive. We are paralyzed. We shake. We get drunk. We inhabit the present.
History will tell that they were Arturo Ríos, the president of Atlético Grau; Jean Marcel Robilliard, secretary of the FPF, and José Carlos Isla, leader of Juan Aurich and former lawyer of Edwin Oviedo, who represented the FPF for such an important assignment in the Argentine capital. It was they who met with Ricardo Gareca’s lawyer, Mario Cupelli, last Wednesday and yesterday.
Neither Lozano nor Gareca saw each other in Buenos Aires. Not as far as is known. His last talk was in Lima. He has also transpired that that 40% reduction was going to be compensated through prizes for the objective achieved. But the truth is that the conversation entered an irreconcilable trap.
For those around Gareca, the enormous economic adjustment only indicated that they were unaware of everything that had been done in these seven years and four months. To say the least.
Agustín Lozano did not meet with Gareca in Buenos Aires. (Photo: GEC)
Did the aforementioned restructuring of Peruvian soccer come into play? Is it really the priority of Agustín Lozano’s management or is it an issue that we will bury again? Will the commissions that were formed in the last assemblies work? What will become of Juan Carlos Oblitas, the ‘culprit’ of this unforgettable era? What will we have left of this island?
Ricardo Gareca, for the moment, is interested in Independiente de Avellaneda, the team where he retired in 1994. But for now, they say, what he wants most is to rest a little. Apparently it was not about whether Boca Juniors put more on the table. And less than any club in the Middle East could offer him.
While the names of his probable replacements sound, Gareca will return to Lima this Monday to say goodbye to the Peruvians. The next day he will give a press conference. Not in La Videna, where he no longer feels welcome. Saying goodbye is the right thing to do, his conscience dictates. So are the forms.