The long-awaited day is coming. Next Wednesday, from 9 pm at the Monumental, Leo Ponzio will have his tribute match. 70 thousand souls will take over the stadium to pamper the beloved midfielder, retired at the end of 2021. An emblem of River’s recent history. And in the preview, invited to ESPN’s Fútbol 90 studio, the Lion left interesting phrases. Between them, He revealed who he would have liked to have in his entertainment, surprising many.
“Passarella brought me as a coach, as president. I would have liked it to be there, it was representative. The history of the world of football is going to put him in his place. Who was not wrong? I can’t judge anyone. I had it in another time, it marked me. It mobilizes you. I spoke again after 2019,” said the former central midfielder.
Next, his best phrases in the Pollo Vignolo program
Ponzio in his last games in River.
River’s victory on Sunday against CASLA: “Yesterday I saw the faces of teammates I know. It was time to win by putting something else. Let’s go after this in what remains. It depends on River to become champion. I saw game actions, from jumping to heading and leaving something. From let’s go this way, because we’re not here for the other”.
The group hug and the desire to reverse the image in what remains of this 2022: “The hug is because it’s natural. Not wanting to finish in the best way this year I don’t think it happens to anyone, not fighting until the end. It’s a complex year. Where bad ends up being the titles that are reflected in one and other.”.
The memory of a day he got angry with Gallardo: “If I got hot, I didn’t say anything. I ate it and thought about the group. He took me out in a classic 30 minutes into the first half. I’m one of those who get hot and don’t say anything. He had a yellow card and Lucho González entered. We lost 1-0. Surely because they were going to kick me out, ha ha. To make matters worse, I don’t know if Tevez had gone to look for me in a corner. Not many can stand it”.
The doll: “Gallardo sees and transmits everything. He is authentic. On a day-to-day basis, it is work. River is his home. It is 24-7. Those next to him must say enough, ha. The demand is not for everyone.”
The respect of the Boca fan: “He treats me well, I feel that they respect me. I tell them that nothing happens when they are from Boca. I never went out to speak. It seems to me that I fall very low.”
How did you feel the day after retiring? “I felt it when the boys returned to the preseason. I saw images with them back and you see that you are not there. Our day to day, the one that organizes you and tells you this, I was not going to have it anymore. I the last two years mine was weekly. I played little, I trained well. Now I do everything. I wanted to play in my town and I injured my knee. That put me in focus, I train and I like it.
Her future: “I put on the sign, ha. The first option after this game and year, I would like the first option to be River. River has the pieces in place and one wants to be there to be and work and not be there to be. I have an age to not be like a vase. I’ll wait for the moment and, if not, I’ll look for a place. I like the technical secretariat. Coach I don’t feel it. He has a before and a 24-7 that is more than a player and I avoid it”.
MORE PONZIO PHRASES ON THE MILLIONAIRE PAGE
The best and the worst dunk starter he had in River: “Two goalkeepers: Barovero brewed very good mate because he was neat and the one who had no idea was Julito Chiarini… Sweet mate drink. He drank alone, you couldn’t drink it.”
The funniest partner: “Characters always appear in the locker room… The most kids, in general, due to unconsciousness. But Julio Chiarini… the Cordovan was quite jodon.
Ponzio, idol of River (Guest FTP).
The most serious or quiet: “Mati Suárez was quiet, but he was a good person. Edu Tuzzio was also very quiet.”
The best player with whom he shared a dressing room: “It’s difficult… I shared with Ariel and saying Ortega for River is the greatest thing there is. I shared with very good strikers like Fer Cavenaghi… I always emphasize that I shared with kids who grew a lot. From the Lanzini to the Julián who left now.
River Libertadores 2015 or River Libertadores 2018: “There are two differences. In 2015 there were six or seven players from the same game, tough, running and scoring. That made us take the handle on how to play the Copa Libertadores. In 2018 defensively it was not the same, but there were players with different feet and forward they played differently than in 2015. Surely a tremendous match would be put together, but one was made through strength, scoring, running and always being present, and the other with a different game, which was better to see.”
The title that most celebrated: “We celebrated the Mendoza Super Cup a lot because it was the first title beating the classic rival and then the celebration that means a lot to us and to the people is the Libertadores”.
A goal in River: “I had the opportunity to score two goals against Boca, I liked the second one a lot.”
The most painful defeat: “In 2017, against Lanús. It was a pretty big match because of how the game had gone. In 2019 (vs. Flamengo), having played well, having been superior, that leaves you with something. But in 2017 we played well and at one point it was like everything was turned off and when we realized it we found ourselves in the locker room after having lost everything”.
The best game in River: “Surely with Cruzeiro there, in the 2015 Libertadores, which we won 3-0. It was a good match, we went out to pressure them, to put them in from all sides. I played a little looser, not as a positional 5”.
The worst in River: “We went to Bahía Blanca, an ugly match with Olimpo (0-4 in the 2007 Apertura). After one we lost 3-1 with San Martín de Tucumán (2008 Apertura), a very hot day… We lost badly.
Almeida: “He is very similar to me, very human. He grabbed a moment when I had to accompany him.”
Ramon: “I didn’t have the opportunity to play the first tournament, the second just a little bit and then technical decisions meant that I didn’t play anymore. And that’s as far as it went.”
Gallant: “He caught me at the right time, a little over 30 years old, where one could start to think differently. He taught me to play as a 5, to have judgment on many issues and it was a large part of what I did at River”.
“For me, the happiest moment was being able to become champion. It made me very happy. It was the desired ending.”
Ponzio retired with 17 club titles.
You will be able to see Ponzio’s farewell on STAR + follow minute by minute in Olé.