In the midst of applause, goal and tears, Argentine midfielder Andrés D’Alessandro ended a 22-year career this Sunday in the match that Internacional de Porto Alegre beat Fortaleza 2-1 in the Brazilian championship.
Captain, ’10’ and idol of the ‘colorado gaúcho’, D’Alessandro ended his award-winning stage as a footballer, in which he also wore the jacket of the Argentine national team, two days after his 41st birthday.
Almost 37,000 people attended the Beira-Rio World Cup stadiumhome of Inter, to fire a man who has defended the red shirt since 2008, with some interruptions to play for River Plate in Argentina, in 2016, and for Nacional in Uruguay, in 2021.
And the ‘Cabezón’, who returned to Brazil in January after passing through Uruguayan football, where he won the Uruguayan Super Cup, did not disappoint them.
Initialist in the clash against the northeasterners, scored the equalizer in minute 45+7 with a left bombardment that doubled the hands of goalkeeper Max Walef.
“Today I wanted to play as much as the first day I turned professional. I got the chance to play and what happened next I’m going to keep for the rest of my life. My mom, my dad and my friends are here. And the fan deserves it,” he said at intermission.
He was substituted in the 70th minute amid greetings from the referee and rivals and applause from the fans. Crying, he hugged some teammates and sat on the bench until the end of the match, when the club paid him tribute and said goodbye to the ‘crooked’.
– Talent and trophies –
D’Alessandro, second player with more matches played with Internacional (529 games and 97 goals), He conquered the fans with his mischievous paddock plays and the severity of his left foot, precise both to finish off and to assist.
But also due to the thirteen titles he won with that team from southern Brazil: Copa Sudamericana-2008, Copa Suruga Bank-2009, Libertadores-2010 and Recopa Sudamericana-2011, in addition to nine tournaments in the state of Rio Grande do Sul.
For his performances Colorado was awarded como The Best Soccer Player in America in 2010an award given annually by the Montevideo newspaper El País.
With a reputation for being a rebel early in his career, a reputation that dimmed over time, He arrived at Inter after a fleeting step through San Lorenzo in Argentina and a five-year stay in Europe in Wolfsburg (Germany), Portsmouth (England) and Real Zaragoza (Spain).
In the Old Continent he landed after three seasons in River, team to which he arrived as a teenager after giving his first pins in Argentinos Juniors and in which he debuted in May 2000.
– Debt –
Defending the crossed red band he won three leagues (2000, 2002, 2003) and also obtained, in his second passage, the Recopa Sudamericana-2016 under the technical direction of Marcelo “Muñeco” Gallardo.
His performances in River brought him closer to the national teamwith which he won the U-20 World Cup in Argentina-2001 and Olympic gold in Athens-2004, by then the only pending title for the Albiceleste, with a stellar squad that included Javier Mascherano, Javier Saviola, Gabriel Heinze and Carlos Tevez, among others.
With the senior team he was runner-up in the Copa América in Peru-2004 and played in the South American qualifiers for the World Cup in Germany-2006. But coach José Pekerman did not include him in the final listbeing his absence in a World Cup his great debt.