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Gonzalo "Pity" Martinez, Argentine player of the year: the story of the reconstruction of football that fell in love with river fans

Gonzalo Martinez He runs away, brings the index finger of his left hand to his mouth and, transforming his true goal into Quilmes, asks silence from the fans of Monumental. This is February 8, 2016, and few people represent the (glorious) result of this story between “Pity” and the “Millionaire” fans.

This gesture of a football player was far from the first and the last in his relations with the public in Nunez. On the contrary, it did nothing but deepen criticism of his personality. Those noises that came from the stands and questioned their football level turned to claims for his defiant attitude.

However, something started to happen on the playing field. That bombardment, which was stuck at an angle (the first of his two heads in the afternoon) in a 5: 1 victory over “El Servecero,” was The first approach to "Pity," which will become a figure and reference from the set Marcelo Gallardo.

Coach River was without a doubt a fundamental factor in the transformation of Mendoza. Just as he was able to identify the best version of many players during his cycle, El Munieco also applied its knowledge to maximize the potential of the former hurricane. Although these skills were often questioned, the coach always knew the potential of his direction.

Gonzalo Nicholas Martinez arrived at the River in January 2015 in exchange for $ 4.5 million for 75% of his pass. At that time, the "spoiled child" of the river was paid Leonardo PisculichiThe quality and key objectives of the former Argentine juniors overshadowed the “Pity” figure, which also offered him a good reputation as a letter of recommendation.

The former Globo player cost him to win possession in the early days of the cast of Núñez. Their actions are not convinced and his diabolical gambet – the one that made him boast on the lawn of Thomas Adolfo Duco – often ended with actions with poor permissions: he faced defensive opponents and failed to form associations with his teammates.

It was in that year 2016 when it football reconversion process, Gallardo was the artisan of this new player, in which he became "El Pity". The coach not only confirmed his confidence again and again, but also instilled in him what the team needed. “DT helped me a lot, the bank is not easy, he saw that I was giving up at some point,” the player said in a recent interview.

With work and perseverance, Martinez accepted the challenge, changed and paid more than this support from the coach. He became a much more cerebral footballer. He raised his head and began to meet with his companions. Without losing taste for individual magical touches, he preferred his contribution to the team. He also developed tactical and positional discipline and intelligence, which became fundamental to the overall effectiveness of the team. From this, he was awarded the unconditional recognition of fans.

A separate chapter in this love story with supporters of "Millionaires" became Fights against Boca. “Pity” found in the crosses before the classic rival an incentive to defend its leadership and its strength. An excellent volley at Bombonera for the local tournament, a penalty shootout at Superkop in Mendoza, another volley fallen to the first — the Super League, and that unforgettable run to the empty arch at Santiago Bernabeu. All these conquests meant triumphs and, moreover, they brought the player the creation of a song of offerings. what "How crazy he is" is a blow that will resonate, even when (first?) the player's cycle in the club is already closed.

Technical quality, targets against Boca and in key cases and titles achieved (eight in four years) They put "Pity" on Olympus from a large number of "10" p. In that, perhaps, the most successful cycle in the history of the club, Mendoza was wearing a shirt with a lot of history and demand. Lack of birth in the institution could also be a condition. However, He went from being a minor to a major, and eventually received recognition (and idolatry) of river tolls.

His performance did not go unnoticed by the coach of the (then temporary) Argentine team, Lionel Scaloniwho quoted him at the beginning of the “Russia after 2018” cycle and gave him responsibility for managing the team. Injuries prevented player River from having continuity with a blue-and-white shirt, but merit is open to the future, facing Copa América of Brazil 2019 and possible partnership with lionel messiIf Rosarino decides to return to the national composition.

"He is a player who has the right to play in the big leagues"Gallardo said when asked about the Martinez translation Atlanta United MLS of the United States. “Pity”, 25 years, chose this place, as it was the strongest offer that came to the club for his pass, but he does not lose hope of moving to a higher level of football. “Every player wants to go to Europe, but I know that tomorrow they will pick me up and pay more than me, because I trust my conditions,” he said.

The 2018 midfielder was so outstanding that he was chosen by the English newspaper The Guardian. among the top 100 football players of the year (It was 94 °). He was the only representative of local football who deserved the merit of listing. In addition, he received recognition America's top player in the traditional award given by the newspaper El País of Uruguay.

This story of overcoming could not end with this. punishment against al-ain this prevented River from winning the game and gaining access to the final of the club world championship against Real Madrid. Two goals against the Japanese Kasima Antlers – especially the second – in the fight for the third place were a much more appropriate conclusion of the “Pity” cycle on the river. The celebration in Monumental for getting the Libertadores vs Boca Cup served as a strawberry dessert for this business between the player and the fans.

"I'll miss you"These were four words that Martinez repeated to satiety after the final in the Bernabeu. He said them in Madrid, in the United Arab Emirates and in Núñez. He told them to his teammates and fans. He always spoke with tears in his eyes.

This re-creation of his goal in Boca on the Monumental Lawn was the last function of “Pity” with a red stripe on his chest. River fans hope this is not a farewell, but see you laterand that in a few years he can repeat in his stands that "What a crazy man …".

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