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Racing was champion of the Superliga Argentina and its biggest figure was Lisandro Lopez, who returned to his beloved club to achieve glory
Soccer always gives the opportunity to those who practice it professionally to take their career around the world. Some of the best Latin American players manage to succeed abroad, but always carry in their hearts the club that saw them born. Moreover, the group of soccer players who decide to return to their first club after many years is even smaller. Of these, there are only some chosen ones who reach glory with their first love after returning.
Leer en español: Futbolistas que regresaron a casa para triunfar
Lisandro López is the last soccer player to achieve this, since he played in Racing from Argentina from 2003 to 2005 and then triumphed in Porto from Portugal, Olympique de Lyon in France, Al-Gharafa in Qatar and in the International from Brazil. After 11 years he returned to Racing with his head held high: he just became the Superliga Argentina champion, being the top scorer of the team and the entire tournament. In LatinAmerican Post we tell you what other Latin American players managed to become champions with their beloved club after returning.
Juan Sebastián Verón
On April 24, 1994, aged 19, Juan Sebastián Verón debuted with Estudiantes de la Plata and in 1996 he left the club. Then 'Brujita' went through Boca Juniors from Argentina, Sampdoria, Palermo and Lazio from Italy. Verón also played for Manchester United and Chelsea in England, and for Inter Milan in Italy. It was until 2006 that Verón returned to Estudiantes de la Plata.
According to ESPN, the return of Juan Sebastián Verón to the 'Pincharrata' was glorious. He won two local titles, in 2006 and 2010, and won the coveted Copa Libertadores de América in 2009. Now, this emblematic ex-soccer player is the president of his first-loved club.
Racing is also the first club of another legend who returned to succeed. This is Diego Milito, who left Racing in 2004 to return in 2014 and grant it one more title. According to El Gráfico, Diego made an exemplary career at Zaragoza in Spain, Genoa in Italy and Inter Milan in the same country, where he managed to win the UEFA Champions League as the most renowned figure.
'The Prince' won the Argentinian title of 2014 with the club. "When I came back I really dreamed about this. Today I can say that we are champions again", said Diego in the middle of the celebrations with Racing.
Uruguayan soccer is one of the most special in the world and Álvaro Recoba is one of the best players it has created. This magical southpaw made his debut in Danubio and then played in the club that became his first love: the Nacional from Montevideo. However, he quickly emigrated to Italy, where he played for Venezia, Torino and Inter Milan, the latter being the club in which he became a legend.
Then he went to Greece to play with Panionios, but finally decided to return to Uruguay to play with Danubio and then with his beloved club, Nacional. According to T13, Recoba won two short tournaments and two Uruguayan championships with Nacional after his return. The 'Chino' retired in a dream match, as he did in the victory of the Nacional against its historical rival, Peñarol.
Juan Román Riquelme
The maximum idol in the history of Boca Juniors is Juan Román Riquelme, who had four different stages in the club. According to Infobae, 'The Last 10' debuted in Boca during 1996 and left the club in 2002, but not before having won two Copa Libertadores and an Intercontinental Cup. Román played for Barcelona and Villarreal in Spain, but returned to his beloved club in several stages. In 2007, he achieved the dream: to win a Copa Libertadores with his beloved Boca, plus a South American Recopa.
This Uruguayan is perhaps the greatest idol in the history of River Plate. 'The Prince' debuted at the Montevideo Wanderers during 1980, but arrived at the Argentinian club in 1983. In this first stage with the 'Millionarios' he won a national title. However, he left for Europe to play with the Racing Club of Paris, Olympique de Marseille in France and for Cagliari and Torino in Italy.
The great Uruguayan player returned to his beloved River in 1994, and it was there when he reached glory: four local titles, one Copa Libertadores de América, and one Supercopa Sudamericana.
Other Latin American players who returned to the first-loved club and triumphed were:
- Robinho with Santos
- Sebastián Abreu with Nacional
- Martín Palermo, Fernando Gago and Carlos Tévez with Boca Juniors
- Ariel Ortega, Lucho González, Marcelo Gallardo, Pablo Aimar, Fernando Cavenaghi, Andrés D'Alessandro and Marcelo Salas with River Plate
- Maxi Rodríguez, Ignacio Scocco and Gabriel Heinze with Newell's Old Boys
- Daniel Montenegro with Huracán
- Leandro Romagnoli with San Lorenzo
- David Macalister Silva with Millionarios
- Tigre Castillo with América de Cali
- Juan Pablo Ángel and Víctor Hugo Aristizabal with Atlético Nacional
- Teófilo Gutiérrez with Junior from Barranquilla
- Luis Manuel Seijas with Santa Fe
- Cuauhtémoc Blanco with América de México
Latin American soccer has special situations like these, in which the big stars return to their beloved club to savor a beautiful and nostalgic moment of glory.
LatinAmerican Post | Javier Aldana
Translated from "Futbolistas que regresaron a casa para triunfar"