River has just turned 122 years of history and in its celebratory month, it decided that It was time to publicly present the statue of Marcelo Gallardo. Under the name of “A beautiful story”, the event took place in the vicinity of the club’s museum, located on Figueroa Alcorta, and was attended by Rodolfo D’Onofrio, Jorge Brito, Enzo Francescoli, Marcelo Salas and part of the team who won the Copa Libertadores in 2018 against Boca in Madrid. “I feel privileged. Life will not reach me to thank “said the coach, filled with deep emotion.
The people gathered in the vicinity of the Monumental stadium around 2:00 p.m. Some distracted person asked if the number of fans he saw passing through the door of his house had to do with a River game and the truth is that it was not. The reason for so much deployment was Gallardo, the most winning coach in the club’s history (he won 14 titles in just over 8 years).
After 16:10 the people broke into shouts and ovations, seeing him go on stage that the club mounted on Figueroa Alcorta, accompanied by his coaching staff, Hernán Buján and Matías Biscay, and followed by the most representative players of his cycle: Leonardo Ponzio, Juanfer Quintero, Enzo Pérez, Franco Armani, Ignacio Fernández – whom several fans recognized as “the heroes of Madrid” – and part of the Millionaire’s leadership entourage.
Faced with the chants of “Gallardo is from the River, he does not leave the River”, the Doll took the floor and in a constant show of gratitude, he expressed: “I once said that it was very difficult to leave here. There is no possibility that one can part with this wonderful club. There are many people to whom I am grateful: starting with my family, continuing with colleagues, great glories of this institution. This club is great because of its history, but also because of the glories we have been lucky enough to experience and share”.
And he added: “Thank those players who have accompanied me in this process. We have achieved something really important. In the demand is the possibility of growth and this club will not stop growing. It is wonderful to see how more than 80 thousand souls vibrate every Sunday in this stadium. It is something unique to be able to see and feel”
Prior to his speech, there was room for the word of some guests. “His main virtue was personality, like when he grabbed the ball at the Bombonera when he was very young and kicked a penalty against Boca”, Hernán Díaz highlighted at the beginning. “What you did fills us with pride. I congratulate you, friend!”continued the “Matador” Salas, on the verge of tears.
Another emotional moment was when Francescoli took the floor, who at all times took the lead from achievements and made it clear that everything that happened was the product of Gallardo’s own work. “We highlight his personality, his way of being, his way of behaving, how he drove and how he loves this club. What she achieved is all due to him, due to his collaborators. We owe a large part of everything the club achieved to him”, the manager made clear.
“On the court he was quite demanding and sometimes you wanted to kill him. But we achieved important things thanks to his personality ”, highlighted Juanfer Quintero. And Ponzio for his part, highlighted: “I have often said that I began to understand football when Gallardo lowered me some lines and challenges at times, but always to grow. Gratitude is eternal, like our cup”.
The awkward moment was experienced by Jorge Brito, the current president of the club, when it was his turn to speak. Each word was interrupted by an overpowering whistle. D’Onofrio tried to gesture for them to stop, but to no avail. Apart from that, everything was a party that ended when Gallardo pressed the red button that lowered the curtain behind his statue and the red and white pieces of paper burst into the air.
“I will always love you, thank you for this and for everything we have experienced in these years. I was born in this club and I will die in this club.” he said goodbye, with a promise to return.