ONE MOMENT – ONE GOAL
Scuadra Azzurra started qualifying for the European Championship with a home defeat, which generally happens very rarely to them. He lost to the England team (0: 2) in a rather controversial match: he completely failed in the first half, but returned to the game in the second.
In many ways, this comeback was made possible by a bunch of Lorenzo Pellegrini – Mateo Retegi. The former fooled the defenders on the backswing and brought his teammate one on one with Jordan Pickford, and the latter didn’t let him down, just shot into the far corner. And the most remarkable thing about this goal is that Retegui, a naturalized Argentine striker, made his debut that night with the Italian team.
Photo source: AFLO
Inspired by this episode, the local edition of Corriere dello Sport rated Retegui’s game with the highest score for the Italians: 6.5. Leonardo Spinazzola, Marco Verratti and Wilfred Nyonto, who left for the last 20 minutes, received the same amount. So there is no doubt that more than once we will see Retegi at the heart of Roberto Mancini’s team, so it is time to get to know each other better.
SON OF AN ARGENTINE FIELD HOCKEY LEGEND
Retegui is an Argentine with an Italian passport, which he received thanks to the fact that his maternal grandfather was born in Sicily. He was born in the small town of San Fernando de la Buena Vista, 20 km north of Buenos Aires. The population of the town is only 145 thousand inhabitants. It is true, according to data from 2001. But Mateo, 23, got into this statistic, because he was born a couple of years earlier.
Photo Source: ZUMAPRESS
His father, Carlos Retegui, was a successful field hockey player and coach, winning the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and the 2019 World Championship in Rosario, silver at the 2012 Olympics in London, and bronze at the Copa of the 2014 World Cup. Retegi Sr. gave the Argentine National Team a total of 29 years: 17 years (1989-2006) as a player and 12 years (2008-2021) as coach of one team or another (men’s, women’s, youth ).
RIVER PLATE AND BOCA JUNIORS STUDENT
Mateo’s first youth squad was River Plate, but in 2016, that is, at the age of 17, he went to the Boca Juniors youth squad and the following year he began to get involved in the formation of the first team, and in November 2018 he made his debut by leaving for eight minutes in a match with Patronato instead of Carlos Tevez himself. And he was so charged that during this time he even managed to pull out a yellow one.
It was difficult for him to break through at the base, so the club rented him out to Estudiantes, Talleres and, finally, Tigre, where he broke through. Retegui scored 19 goals in 27 league games last season in 2022, more than in his entire previous career in all competitions combined (15). And he started the new season with six goals in five opening days, however, in the next three games his team did not score once and fell to 21 out of 28, which, after the seventh last year, is perceived as a failure. .
Photo source: Keystone Press Agency
At the end of 2023, Retegi should return to Boca Juniors, but not the fact that the reunion will take place. Milan, Inter and Roma are already following the guy, and in winter there was even a specific offer from Udinese, which, however, he refused. Retegi Sr. says of his son: “Playing in Europe is his dream.”
ITALIAN WITH BAD ITALIAN
In the Italian national team he has even more opportunities to attract attention. In addition, the current situation is the best, because he left the base, among other things, thanks to the injury of the main Italian scorer Ciro Immobile. True, for a better adaptation he should have learned … Italian, because after the debut match with the national team for an interview on television, he had to resort to the services of an interpreter. So different is his idea of the language of his ancestors from the real one.
Photo source: IMAGO
Stylistically, Retegi resembles Gabriel Batistuta (as Mancini says): fast, physically strong, excellent header. And the scoring episode in the game with England also speaks of composure. It was almost the only attacking play of his in the entire game, but it turned out to be enough to open the scoring for the national team to score. Batigol approves.
And yes, Retegui is already the 23rd Argentinian on the Italian national team, with the most famous being 2006 world champion Mauro Camoranesi. Will Retegui manage to live up to expectations and keep up with Batistuta, one of the brightest strikers of the 90s? All the prerequisites for this are available.
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