Like it or not, Diego Armando Maradona is still ‘The God’ for all the Argentineans, despite Lionel Messi is the best in the World right now and considering he’s only 24 years old, with many more football seasons to go, can became the most successful ever. But the fans from the country of tango can’t substitute the cult of Maradona. Not even with Messi. So, most people from Argentina are still talking about Barcelona’s striker like the second Diego.
But this is not the only follower of Maradona! Well, at least not in Naples, the Italian city, in which El Pibe D’Oro made history with the local squad. So, after two decades, another Argentinean, Ezequiel Lavezzi writes pages of history. At Naples are playing men like Cavani, Hamsik and Inler, but the most beloved remains Lavezzi, who said in a recent interview that he could not exit the house to go for a walk in the city without being noticed by hundreds of fans. He joined the club in 2007 and despite being a striker he didn’t manage to score more than eight goals per season, until now. But he helped very much the team to rise higher and higher every season and all culminated to the qualification in the Champions’ quarter finals in 2012.
Messi doesn’t need any presentation, because all now that he will become the best footballer in the history of Barcelona. Still, he remains to also demonstrate at his national side, with which he didn’t won any major trophy excepting the Summer Olympics from 2008. But Lavezzi, at nearly 27 years has a quite poor performance for Argentina, as he played for the first time in 2007 and since then gathered only 16 matches and 2 goals (until 1st of April 2012).
I’m sure that you are wondering what’s the point of this article… Well, let’s say that two of the biggest footballers that Argentina has right now, both considered to be the followers of Maradona, are departed by a great rivalry. Well, maybe they aren’t enemies, but they support different teams, from the same town: Rosario.
Until he came at Barcelona, in 2000, when he was almost 13 years old, Lionel spent his childhood playing at local Newell’s Old Boys for five years (1995-2000), a squad at which Maradona also played a couple of matches at the end of his career. And Leo didn’t forget his period here and said for several times that he feels very happy at Barcelona, so he doesn’t want to play somewhere else in Europe, but that he’s aiming to retire, at the end of his career, to play in his native country, at his favourites, Newell’s Old Boys from Rosario. Once, a year ago he had to suffer a bit because of his preferences, because once when he went to spend some time in his native town, a local fan of Rosario Central tried to hit him! A thing that Maradona never, ever could have experience in Argentina.
So, Messi is a legend at Barcelona, but in his hart on the top spot remains the team from his native town. So, what’s the story of Lavezzi? The striker was born in Villa Gobernador Galves, a suburb of Rosario and he started playing in the youth system for Rosario Central. And despite playing after many more years at big sides such are Boca Juniors or Estudiantes, his mind remained for ever at Rosario Central, yes, the team of which fan tried to hurt Messi. The best proof in this statement is that Lavezzi has more than 20 tattoos all around his body and one of them, located on his back, represents the badge of Rosario Central. Maybe Ezequiel didn’t made public the fact that he wants to retire at his local favourite squad, but he surely wants to play there one day.
That’s why indirectly, Messi and Lavezzi, two very good and loved Argentinean footballers from our days, may be considered great rivals. But in the end such a rivalry is a pretty one, that kind which only means teasing and funny jokes when those two meet at their country’s national football team, before one or more matches.