Ponzio, the “eternal captain” of River Plate, who changed generations of fans

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

Augusto Morel |

Buenos Aires, 21 September (EFE). “This Wednesday, several generations of fans visited the River Plate Temple to pay their respects to one of the most emblematic footballers, Leonardo Ponzio, the “eternal captain” who won titles but also returned to the club in a time of dire need.

Long lines and never-ending police controls added to the anxiety of fans of all ages who expected to see the most title-winning football player wearing the “millionaire” jersey at the height of the show that combines sport, music and colour. .

“I am very happy that I can fire someone who feels like Ponzio in a shirt and is with us, and this is the most beautiful thing for a fan. We will miss him greatly,” said Martin Efe before entering the stadium with his family and friends.

forever 23

Suddenly, the stadium went dark for a few seconds, and the field was lit only by the light of thousands of cell phones that glowed from afar, each recording the most anticipated moment for everyone.

“I grew up watching him play at River when we were in the worst situations. The experience he has at the club has given us hope in every game. He is the undisputed captain of this Gallardo cycle,” said Ezequiel to Efe, accompanied by his girlfriend Romina.

Children with parents, teenagers, grandparents… people of all ages are waiting to applaud their idol, the one who left and returned to the River several times and even saved him from hell.

The worst moment for any fan is not the defeat of their team, but the fact that they lose.

Absolute leader, in hard and mature

The darkest night for the Millionaires was June 26, 2011, when they were defeated 3-1 by Belgrano de Córdoba and signed their relegation to hell in the second division.

Six months later, Ponzio answered the call of the daredevils. About those who, by vocation, will always take up arms to defend their team, their colors and their club.

As captain, he led his team to hundreds of victories, including two Copa Libertadores, one in 2015 and another in 2018 in Madrid, after beating Boca Juniors in the final of the most significant Superclasico in history.

eternal captain

“Ponzio means everything to me. I have his iconic shirt number 23 and he is one of the great reasons why I became River,” Romina told Efe.

Fireworks erupted along the edges of the turf, and various sets of lights anticipated what everyone was expecting: the arrival of The Lion, that football player who, at 17 years old, is the one who has won the most trophies in River’s history. .

“It was my life and part of it. I saw him play and he was great. We have come to show him our love, to pay him the respect he deserves,” shouted Raul, who could not help but want to enter the Monumental stadium, his lovers’ club.

Finally, the spotlights were turned on the star of the night, and the crowd erupted in applause and cheers as Ponzio stepped onto the Monumental lawn, flooded with red and white flowers.

Thank you for coming and sharing this moment with me. All this is for you, who put me in this place, gave me human value, ”the defensive midfielder thanked.

“I never dreamed of it. I was adopted from home and this tribute surpassed everything,” concluded the one who started his professional career at Newell’s Old Boys and had a great time at Spanish Real Zaragoza.

After retiring on December 18, 2021, he played several games for the club where his story began, Williams Kemmis in Las Rozas, his hometown, in the Argentinean province of Santa Fe.

Everything was ready for a sports tribute, a dialogue on the playing field between those who were once the protagonists, the champions of Libertadores 2015 or 2018, and together with friends like the Uruguayan Enzo Francescoli or Ariel Burrito. ‘Ortega.

As a memento, a flash of paper flying to accompany the magical night of the Eternal Captain, the one that crossed generations of River Plate fans.

Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org

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