On March 30, but in 1915, the great Arsenio Erico Martínez, ‘El Saltarín Rojo’, the most representative Paraguayan soccer player in history, was born in Asunción.
They not only called him the “Red Manakin”, they also “The Paraguayan of Gold”“El Mago”, “El Aviador”, “El Rey del Gol”, and there are no nicknames or qualifiers to describe their genius on the green grass.
Arsenio Pastor Erico Martinez saw the light of the world on a day like today but of the year 1915, in Asunción, capital of the Republic of Paraguay.
He started his first conquests from the hand of Club Nacional, until a fateful move took him to Argentina, where he shone between 1930 and 1940 with the shirt of Independent of Avellaneda.
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The Guarani star is, although some insist on denying it, the top scorer in the history of Independiente and Argentine soccer with 295 conquests (in principle 293 but they attribute 2 more) in 325 games.
It is considered as one of the Paraguayans who scored the most goals in the First Division, 331 in 372 games, thus being ranked 34th in the historical table made by the IFFHS.
Another record set by Erico, playing for Rojo de Avellaneda, is the overwhelming basket of 47 goals in the same tournament (1937).
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Although he is the greatest exponent of tricolor soccer, In a sort of joke of fate, Erico never got to defend the Paraguayan team.
Argentina seduced him with million-dollar offers in an effort to obtain his services for the 1938 World Cup in France. However, The Asunceno made it clear that before anything else he was Paraguayan.
“Erico is different from everyone, from everything I have seen in my life. A remarkable player, everything that includes, without exaggeration, the five letters of the word ‘crack’. I was just an imitator of his”, the late Alfredo Di Stefano once said.
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The stadium of the Nacional club, the largest stand of the Defensores del Chaco and the central stalls of the Libertadores de América bear his name.
The life of Arsenio Erico went out on July 23, 1977, today he would have turned 108 years old. His remains rest forever in an honorary corner of Defensores del Chaco.