“El Piojo” Yudica died, glory of Newell’s and champion of America with Argentinos

"El Piojo" Yudica died, glory of Newell's and champion of America with Argentinos

The Rosario José Yudica died this Monday at the age of 85 in his hometown, after experiencing a disease whose picture had been complicated in the last hours.

The famous “Piojo” leaves his unforgettable stamp where he passed, but in at least four institutions in Argentina he is an absolute idol: Newell’s, Argentinos Juniors, Quilmes and San Lorenzo, whom he directed at momentous moments in their history.

El Piojo was born on February 26, 1936 and started at the Evita Estrella de la Mañana club, in the city of Rosario. Then he went to Newell’s where he made his debut in first class in 1954, being an exquisite player, with great ability that he displayed on the left wing.

Four years later Boca buys it, and it would be a great leap in his career, although José, some time later, would analyze it differently: “It would have been better to get to River. Not for personal tastes, but for the style of each one. Actually, I was a player for Independiente or Racing. Boca was the only team that shouldn’t have bought me. And he bought me.

After this, El Piojo had fleeting steps through Vélez, Estudiantes, Platense, Quilmes, Deportivo Cali (his second home), Talleres de Remedios de Escalada and San Telmo, a club where he retired in 1971. Yudica only obtained two titles in those 17 years : champion in 1969 with Deportivo Cali and in 1970 in Talleres de Remedios de Escalada.

After 17 years as a soccer player (1954-71), Piojo Yudica began a successful career in technical direction to the point of establishing himself as one of the most prestigious coaches in the 1980s.

He started from below, and in Altos Hornos Zapla de Jujuy gave the first blow: he qualified the team for the National tournament and was about to go to the final phase, he was second, one point behind Newell’s and above River.

His first achievement was obtained in 1978, when he led Quilmes to the conquest of the Metropolitan tournament, the only title of the “beer” entity in the First Division.

Four years later, he took on the enormous challenge of directing San Lorenzo in Metropolitan B, the first Argentine soccer great to be demoted, and returned him to A with a brilliant campaign.

The 1985 season was the most important of his career and he carried it out with Argentinos Juniors with a memorable team led by “Checho” Sergio Batista and “Bichi” Claudio Borghi.

With the “Bichos” he was champion of the National tournament and the Copa Libertadores de América, the highest achievement of the La Paternal club. He could not achieve the Intercontinental Cup but the great game played by his team against Juventus of Italy led by Frenchman Michel Platini, in Tokyo, remained in the memory.

The last conquest of his career as DT was at his home, Newell’s, with another formation to remember. Néstor Scoponi, Fabián Basualdo, Jorge Theiler, Néstor Sensini, Juan Manuel Llop, Gerardo Martino, Juan José Rossi and Abel Balbo were some of the good players in that 1987-88 champion, who was also a finalist for the Libertadores and lost to Nacional de Uruguay.

After that cycle he made his only experiences abroad: Deportivo Cali de Colombia (1993-94) and Pachuca de México (1996-97), where he retired from the activity.

Before that, he had the pleasure of returning to the two clubs that marked his life: Newell’s and Argentinos.

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