The tribute to Maxi Rodríguez was perfect: the Colossus enjoyed Messi and gave Di María an ovation

Last night, in the Colossus of the Parque Independencia de Rosario, some scenes occurred that Maxi Rodríguez could boast of all his life. Not only for being the architect of the fact that the fans of Newell’s –and of Argentina– see Lionel Messi play in that stadium and score beautiful goals like the ones he usually does; or because he caused a scoundrel like Fideo Ángel Di María to be applauded at the Newell’s stadium; but because he brought together stars and idols from different times and for different generations: from Gabriel Batistuta or Ariel Ortega to Leandro Paredes or Di María, from Gerardo Martino to Lionel Scaloni. Several decades of the best in Argentine soccer in the same night and in the same place. Thanks and thumbs up.

Tributes or farewell parties are always relative. Or boring. Or fuck And it is good that it is so: people are going to have fun, to enjoy seeing old glories in action again –with shorts and socks–, some transformed into coaches, and others perhaps far from football, such as Juan Pablo Sorín, for example, David Trezeguet or Ariel Ortega, part of the game that was played last night.

Before the meeting there was a light show and a brief speech by the honoree, who on the verge of tears thanked his friends for their presence, his family and all the “leper people”. La Sole –Soledad Pastorutti– sang the hymn while Maxi and his guests enjoyed everything. In that stand, Maxi stood next to Messi and the president of Newell’s, Ignacio Astore. Very close were Tata Martino; the president of the AFA, Claudio Tapia; that of Conmebol, Alejandro Domínguez; and the technicians from River, Martín Demichelis, from Racing, Fernando Gago, and from Leprosy, Gabriel Heinze. Maxi played with the Gringo in the National Team in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, while with Micho and Gago they joined the squad in Brazil 2014. In fact, he shared a room with River’s coach during that World Cup in which Argentina reached the final, just after the penalty shootout against the Netherlands that Maxi sealed.

When all the guests spoke, they remark that they were there as supporting actors: the protagonist was Maxi Rodríguez. And to Di María, when asked about that surprising applause, she left a sentence that could be the most beautiful of the night, perhaps to spread in schools, bars and stadiums: “It’s something beautiful. It shows that it can. It’s just putting a little will to it. You have to stop thinking a bit about one shirt or another. Soccer is to enjoy it. I am very grateful”. A lesson in an unforgettable night. From Rosario, from Newell’s, from Messi, from Di María. But, above all, from Maxi Rodríguez.

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