This beast is insatiable. He must have lost count of how many kisses he gave her arms. There, where he has the names of his children engraved in ink and blood. Luis seems to have no limits. It is empowered in the face of difficulties. It seems incredible, but 16 years have passed since that first goal of his professional career.
It happened in September 2005 in Central Park. Nacional hosted Paysandú FC. The tricolor coach, Martín Lasarte, sent him to the field with nine minutes remaining.
Luis had no idea that some of his rival’s players worked. That the defender who subtracted the ball that led to his goal had repaired the windshield all week. Little did he care. He came in and ended with malaria. Without imagining that that goal would be the first in a long list that reached 500.
Throughout these 16 years, Luis Alberto Suárez has not stopped celebrating. Many times the perspective of the passage of time is lost. But one detail clearly marks the achievement of the Atlético de Madrid striker: while he continues to score goals, those who were on the field that afternoon changed their category. Today, 500 goals after Suárez’s first cry, what is the life of those who played that game?
Mauro Basualdo he was a defender for Paysandú FC. The week before the game against Nacional he fulfilled his everyday task: working in the windshield repair shop.
“That was the third year of Paysandú FC in professionalism and we were all players from the interior, more than anything from Paysandú, Salto and Tacuarembó. And they saw what the interior is like, if you don’t work you can’t live only from football,” he said Basualdo in chat with ESPN.
The side Joaquin Burutarán, emerged from the River Plate formations, reminded ESPN the moment Suarez entered the field of play.
“They won 4 to 0 and put Luis who was half resisted because he spent several games looking for his goal and had not been able to get it.”
Until, a minute after being on the court, the 9 ended with malaria. “Sebastián Vázquez overflowed, threw the center and Suárez hit him as a Chilean. I took her out on the line with my head. But the rebound was left for Vázquez who kicked, I took it back, and there it was for Suárez who scored his first goal, “said Basualdo, recalling that afternoon of September 10, 2005.
The defender was marked by history. He says there is no family gathering where he is not teased saying that he provided Suárez with the assistance for his first goal. However, their children tell their friends that their father had the luxury of playing for Atlético de Madrid.
“PERCHA”, THE PROPHE OF CAVANI
Christian gonzalez It was the 9th of Paysandú that afternoon. The Percha, as he was known, revealed to ESPN that “Suarez was not known and the only thing I remember was that they beat us a barbaric beating. Nacional was returning from a preseason in Spain and they came with a high rhythm.”
From those times, Percha González remembers the friendship he had established with Valery Soné from Cameroon. “He was staying at a hotel and my family invited him to have a barbecue at home for the weekend because he was alone. I lost track of Valery.”
But look at what the things of destiny are. Over the years, González became a physical education teacher and ended up training Suárez’s partner in the offensive of the Uruguayan team: Edinson Cavani.
González, who is 41 years old, settled in Salto and when Cavani ended his relationship with Paris Saint Germain, he went to train alone in his land. There, the one who was in charge of its preparation was González, as documented by the photos that Cavani himself uploaded to his social networks.
Another of the players who settled in the land of Edi and Luis is Joaquín Burutarán. At the age of 40, he is an electrician and a refrigeration technician. He works on construction sites and also repairs air conditioners. He was recently confirmed as the Salto FC coach who will once again compete in the AUF tournaments.
“I recently remembered that first goal by Suárez and I put it on Twitter as one of the losses that they gave to count because, if Suárez scores you, in the end it ends up being less painful,” he said with a laugh to ESPN.
THE URUGUAYAN MARADONA
With the match 5-0 in favor of Nacional and with seven minutes remaining in the game, Paysandú coach Juan Carlos Blanco sent a certain Uriel pesce.
Who was? The Uruguayan Maradona, as Humbertito Grondona, the former Argentine coach who went through the National training sessions, had defined him.
“They called me the Uruguayan Maradona because Humberto Grondona, after having won some tournaments in Argentina and Brazil, compared me to Diego,” Pesce revealed to ESPN.
On that afternoon of Luis’ first goal, he does not forget some dialogues: “As I had played in Nacional’s training sessions, when I entered some former teammates they told me jokingly: ‘now you’re going to turn the game around.’ then that Suárez would become what he became, “Pesce told ESPN.
Uriel was another of those who worked when he went to play that game. He did it in a printing company. He currently owns a pizzeria and works recommending players.
Jhonny Melgarejo is another with a past in Nacional. At the age of 17, he was taken down to the capital to train in the first team that Hugo De León technically led at the time.
“I was in the National Team and I had the chance to go with the Casal group. Through some contacts with Chijane they took me right to a preseason with Nacional at Posta del Lago,” Melgarejo told ESPN.
500 goals after Suárez, Melgarejo manages to live. He does not have a steady job. “Today I try to do what I can, I’m out of work and still playing football. I was working with my old woman who has a clothing store and I give her a hand. I also work at a barbecue for some friends,” said Jhonny.
Another who lost his job after 12 years of activity in Pili was Richard Frontán. The former player, who started Suárez’s first goal that afternoon, today works in a butcher shop.
Some of Luis’s teammates that afternoon are still active, such as goalkeeper Jorge Bava, Mauricio Victorino, Juan Albín and Gonzalo Castro. Others are coaches or were dedicated to representing players.
Mauro Basualdo, the man who inadvertently enabled Suárez for his first goal, continues to work in the workshop, in addition to being a hygiene and cleaning supervisor at Comepa (Paysandú Medical Corporation).
Today retired, and from a distance, he cannot believe that he played against Luis Suárez: “That afternoon we knew that Nacional had fast forwards, but we had no idea that Suárez was going to be what he is now, otherwise I would have asked him for the shirt and I would have it framed. But if you want to send one for a charity work, there is still time. Here is my address: Charrúa 1137, Paysandú, Uruguay “.
ONE X ONE: What do 500 goals do after Suárez?
Jorge Bava – 39 Years
He returned to Liverpool after playing two years in Paraguay where he defended Guaraní.
Pablo Caballero – 34 years
He emerged from Nacional’s formations and was promoted at the same time as Luis Suárez to the first team. He emigrated to Locarno from Switzerland in 2009 and after a long pilgrimage that included Hungary, Belgium and Bulgaria, he finished playing in 2014. He currently works as a representative for Stellar Group Uruguay & Paraguay, whose director is Marco Vanzini.
Mauricio Victorino – 38 years
Stay active, play on the Danube.
Diego Jaume – 47 years
He had moved away from football dedicating himself to agriculture and livestock. He resumed the activity a short time ago and is the coach of the Fourth division of Rentistas.
Daniel Leites – 38 years
The last thing that was known was that he defended Villa Teresa in the Second Division.
Rodrigo Sebastián Vázquez – 40 years
He was preparing to be a coach.
Fernando Machado – 41 years
Alexander Medina’s technical assistant at Talleres de Córdoba.
Alberto Silva – 37 years
He was promoted along with Suárez and Caballero. At the time it was said that he was the best of the three. His former coach, Wilmar Cabrera, went on to say: “He is the best technically gifted of all the players that Nacional has from First to Seventh Division, he has a sensational left leg. One of his virtues is that as soon as he sees his partner, he gives him the ball, but not just, he always plays it at the foot, a different condition from the rest ”. Totonito as he was known, lives in Montevideo but his activity is unknown.
Juan Albín – 34 years
Soccer player in activity. He terminated the contract with Defensor Sporting.
Gabriel Álvez – 46 years
He works at a player representation company called De 9.
Gonzalo Castro – 36 years
Soccer player in activity. He recently ended his relationship with Nacional.
Cristian Zermatten – 47 years
He is a coach. After his retirement he began to work in the lower ranks of Argentinos Juniors, a club in which he emerged as a player. In 2015, he was a field assistant for Humberto Grondona’s coaching staff, who led the Argentina Under-20 National Team at the New Zealand World Cup.
Luis Romero – 52 years
He became a coach and worked at River Plate.
Ignacio Bordad – 44 years
Goalkeeping coach at Rentistas.
Gustavo Díaz – 46 years
Coach who even managed the first team of Nacional. His last painting was Everton de Chile.
Mauro Basualdo – 43 years
He works in a windshield repair shop and is a hygiene and cleaning supervisor at Comepa.
Joaquín Burutarán – 40 years
After professionalism he settled in Salto. He is an electrician and a refrigeration technician. He is self-employed and works at home. He was technical assistant in the Salto team that won the last National Team Championship. He was designated as DT of Salto FC who returns to compete at the AUF level.
Gustavo Tejeria – 40 years
He lives in Paysandú where he works as a rural producer.
Richard Frontán – 41 years
He worked for 12 years in Pili until the sanducera company closed its doors. He currently works in a butcher shop where he is a cashier, but if he has to make cuts, he does it too.
Christian Callejas – 42 years
Coach, he worked in the Danubio formations.
Jhonny Melgarejo – 38 years
He lost his job but continues to play soccer in Paysandú. Today he gives his mother a hand in a clothing store and works as a barbecue at a friends’ barbecue.
Ramiro Bruschi – 39 years
Based in Honduras, he played last year at Tela Fútbol Club of the second division of the Honduran club.
Cristian González – 41 years
Based in Salto, he dedicated himself to physical preparation and last year he trained Edinson Cavani when he terminated his contract with Paris Saint Germain and took refuge in his hometown.
Walter Kuder – 38 years
The Argentine retired from the activity in 2018 defending Atlético Gualeguay.
Valery Soné – 35 years
Cameroon player whose teammates lost contact.
Uriel Pesce – 45 years
The so-called Uruguayan Maradona by Humberto Grondona carries out various tasks. He is a coach, runs a business and a pizzeria, as well as recommending players.