“I liked Beto Alonso, because he was left-handed and it seems to me that, I don’t know, lefties are more showy, “he wrote Diego Maradona in his autobiography Yo soy El Diego. And there is no doubt that “Pelusa” was not wrong in praising River’s historic ten. Member of the trident of the great enganches of the country next to Maradona and Bochini. On the court he never went unnoticed and every time he had the opportunity he contributed his own to make history at Núñez’s club. Since its official debut, which is 50 years old this Sunday 8, until today, his left foot was installed in the memory of the fans and for most, whether they have seen him play or not, it is “an institution.”
It emerged from the bowels of Los Polvorines. In the pasture he learned to have fun and cultivated his love for ball. “I would lie down and take the plastic ball that my parents had given me to bed,” Alonso tells Page 12, while he finishes preparing a tea in the confectionery of the Monumental Stadium. “I bring my grandson to the little soccer school in Angelito Labruna and I always wait for it here. This is my house, ”he says. At the age of nine he began to play in Textil, a neighborhood club, and his qualities were not indifferent to Carlos Palomino, a person linked to River who did not hesitate to call him to the lower ranks.
“Palomino asked my old man how old I was and he asked if he could see my document. He had already set his eye on me. When he became confident, he proposed to my old man the idea that I go to River without going through any test, “he recalls. “Walking to my house, my old man asked me if I wanted to play in River. And I did not hesitate. One Saturday at 10 in the morning I arrived at the club’s auxiliary court and started having fun ”.
That day marked him forever. Remembering his first time down the corridors of River still gets emotional. “A whole life in here”, he says and his memory transports him to 1970, to the call of the Brazilian coach Waldir Pereyra (“Didí”) to approach the First Division dressing room. Although the books indicate that the official debut was on August 8, 1971 against Atlanta at Villa Crespo, Alonso does not forget the friendly against Chaco For Ever. “That was my real debut. My first big game “. On the occasion of this anniversary, the River Museum has prepared an allegorical video and a sample of objects from the millionaire crack.
“I remember I was training with the sixth. And one day the teacher Didí came, who was watching lower divisions, and called me to go to the dressing room of the First. River had two commitments. One in Chaco and another here with a Chilean team. Teacher He told me that he was traveling with the first to the Chaco to play a game against Chaco For Ever. I remember that I came home to me and I told my parents. The three of us started crying. The effort they made was very great. That day we couldn’t talk about emotion. The hug was endless”, He tells and returns the greetings to the people who pass by the table and are surprised to see him.
Before that trip to meet the friendly, Didí baptized him the “Pelé Blanco”. According to what is told in the biography of the former ten millionaire, that is how he sold it to Beto González, who worked at River magazine. But Alonso did not feel the weight of such a comparison with the greatest exponent of “jogo bonito.” “I was Alonso. He had a lot of personality, he knew who he was and what he was going to do on a pitch. Many feel the pressure, but it didn’t happen to me. I never ate the pressure. For me the thing happened because the game starts and start playing ”, he acknowledges.
Six months after that friendly against Chaco For Ever, he continued training with the Primera and the official game arrived in 1971. The one that history marks as the beginning. It was 50 years ago on the Atlanta court. River lost 2 to 1. “I played in replacement of Mono Mas. In that game, I don’t forget anymore, Pecoraro scored me and he kicked me so many. He was afraid that I would paint his face. That’s where the second part of the story began. The first was the six months prior to the official debut, in that match in Chaco ”, he remarks.
A River Plate pennant
The history of the hook, of the left foot, of the goal pass, of the goal. Everything in a single name and the genesis was in River. With the millionaire’s ten he was the protagonist of unforgettable moments and was in charge of breaking the curse of 18 years without championships. 1975 was the year of the conquest and between goals and dribbles, in addition to being crowned in the Metropolitan Tournament, he was also chosen as the second best South American footballer. He had a brief stint at Olympique de Marseille and returned to the ranks of the Millionaire. In 1978 came the call for the Menotti National Team, the world championship and a sequence of championships with River.
From ’81 to ’83 he had a stint in Vélez. “They treated me very well,” he clarifies. “I have a very funny story. The day of the first training session, instead of going with the car to the Liniers side, I grabbed for the River court. What the hell do I do, I have to go the other way, I told myself. All roads brought me here, “he says smiling. “Are you Beto Alonso? ”Asks a boy of about seven who enters the confectionery. “My dad told me about you”. The father comes over excitedly, apologizes and asks if he can take a picture of them. “I am grateful to the request for a photo or an autograph. I will never deny that”Alonso confesses and is amazed at the transfer of his football legacy to such young generations.
In 1986 he continued with the memorable events in Núñez’s club: the famous two goals with the orange ball to Boca and the Olympic return in La Bombonera, Copa Libertadores and Copa Intercontinental. “SIf I were to be born again, or I have another life, I ask the one above to throw me here: in the best club in the world. This is my home. I would not see myself with another shirt other than River’s, “he says.
-With Velez you scored a historic goal for River. Right to Fillol and on this court …
-I baptized it as the saddest goal of my life. It was a goal from the head. I remember not shouting it. My colleagues came to greet me and I didn’t even flinch. When I was going home, I saw Pato Fillol, I greeted him and as soon as I left the club I was seized by a crying attack that I could not stop. My children looked at me as if to say: you scored a goal, you have to be happy. But I could not.
-In current football do you find the figure of the hitch or 10?
-Unfortunately no, the number still exists on the shirt. It is good that that still happens, that the ten exists. Soccer has to go on. The issue is that you have to see who will take that number. I would not like that position is in extinction, it would be very ugly for football. The point is that if you don’t have a pasture, mischief, inventiveness, and goal passes are lost.
-Fifty years have passed since your debut in River. If you have to look back, what things would you highlight from your career?
-The loyalty. First with the ball and then with the people who crossed my path and whom I chose. When you are loyal to life, you are loyal to the game …
(He stays in silence for a few seconds)
Having entered my house is the best. I don’t have something stronger than that. I want to be here until life tells me enough. The day I leave, the fan will leave me a little flower in the drawer, saying goodbye to me.