Washington Sebastián Abreu will put an end to his career as a professional player this Friday, which will also indirectly imply an end to the era of Diego Armando Maradona, since the Uruguayan was the last footballer to fulfill a curious condition that involves the star Argentinian.
With the retirement of Pablo Guiñazú on March 1, 2019 at Talleres de Córdoba, Abreu had become the only active player who was able to share the pitch with Diego. Cholo was the last professional Argentine to have that privilege, having faced Maradona at Newell’s 1 – Boca 2 on September 14, 1997 (in that match Diego scored his last official goal).
This Thursday Abreu announced his retirement at the age of 44, after having won fifteen titles, being the top scorer six times, playing 851 official matches and scoring 432 goals (statistics that Abreu himself keeps and to which they will need to add what is determined by the meeting that will play this Friday afternoon with South America and against Liverpool at the Belvedere stadium for the fifth date of the Opening of the Uruguayan Championship 2021).
“This Friday I am leaving the professional activity, against Liverpool the curtain is lowered. After 26 years I made a decision with conviction obviously, understanding that it is the right moment, being active, playing in the First Division, current, I think it is the way, the team is well, it is the right time ”, said the Uruguayan to ESPN.
Abreu, who made his debut in Primera on June 4, 1995 with Defensor Sporting, arrived in San Lorenzo in 1996 and in September scored 1 to 1 against Boca at La Bombonera, but Maradona did not play that game for Xeneize. Diego was not before the Cyclone in the San Lorenzo 4 – Boca 0 of March of the following year for the fourth date of the Clausura.
El Loco did face Maradona playing for San Lorenzo in the classic against Boca del Apertura 1997. In that encounter with the Argentine ’10’ there was one of the many stories that greatly color the infinite career of the Uruguayan striker. Diego told Abreu to change the shirt at the end of the first half, the Loco logically accepted and fearing that some colleague would steal it, he hid it behind a closet that had the changing room.
At the end of the match played on Sunday, September 21, 1997 for the fifth date of the Apertura, the Uruguayan needed the help of Salvador, the prop, to climb up and hook the black nylon bag where he had kept the shirt with a broomstick. xeneize de Maradona, who retired on October 25, 1997 playing against River.
Boca defeated San Lorenzo 2-1 with goals from Diego Latorre at 16 ‘and 22’, discounting for Cyclone Claudio Biaggio at minute 33; Curiously, Pampa is the current coach of South America and will be the last technical director to direct Abreu.
In that match between Xeneize and Ciclón, refereed by Horacio Elizondo, Boca played with Óscar Córdoba, Mauricio Pineda (63 ‘Julio César Toresani), Jorge Bermúdez, Alberto Traverso and Rodolfo Arruabarrena; Nolberto Solano, Alfredo Berti, Diego Cagna, Diego Maradona (89 ‘Nelson Vivas), Diego Latorre and Martín Palermo (64’ Guillermo Barros Schelotto), directed by Héctor Veira.
San Lorenzo, whose coach was Jorge Castelli, trained with Oscar Passet, Eduardo Tuzzio, Luiz Fernando, Federico Lussenhoff, Damián Manusovich (78 ‘Federico Basavilbaso), Gustavo Zapata, Fernando Galetto, Paulo Silas (45’ Ariel Alfredo Montenegro), Néstor Gorosito , Sebastián Abreu (76 ‘Adrián Norberto Coria) and Claudio Biaggio.
Abreu, who always highlighted Maradona’s respect for all footballers and in particular his affection for the Uruguayans, was how he expressed himself on November 25, 2020 when the death of the Argentine was confirmed: “I will always remember you in the best way Diego, on and off the court. Rest in peace. The best of all time”.
I will always remember you in the best way Diego on and off the court, rest in peace to the best of all 🙏 pic.twitter.com/V7Ik3wRREn
– Loco13Abreu # 52.601 (@ loco13com) November 25, 2020
The end of Loco’s career as a soccer player will also mean another end point to the Maradona era, although of course his legacy and memory of the Argentine star will continue to be eternal overcoming retirements and / or deaths.