Qatar 2022 World Cup: Gustavo Alfaro, his message prior to his debut with Ecuador and all the Argentines who were in an opening match

Posted 2022/11/19 30 0

“Hunters of impossible utopias” is the title of the book Gustavo Alfaro published on September 15. There the coach of Ecuador tells details of what was the preparation of the team for the qualification to the World Cup in Qatar. He chose a sentence from the emotional and moving speech he delivered on March 20, when Ecuador confirmed its classification. There he said that his players were the architects of this achievement.

“They had to believe. They believed from day one, they stood up, they were patient, they were persevering, they were hunters of impossible utopias. Nobody believed in Ecuador and today Ecuador is on its feet. Today Ecuador says present to the world”, was part of this message. And now the big day has come. since this Sunday Ecuador will appear before the local Qatar starting at 1:00 p.m. in Argentina, by Group A, with the arbitration of the Italian Daniele Orsato, in the Al Bayt stadium, which has a capacity for 60,000 spectators and one of the most innovative designs with the structure of the traditional stores in the Gulf region. They will televise the Public TV and Directv Sports.

“For me, reaching a World Cup is already a success, afterward the illusion (of doing something great) cannot be quantified, but we are very excited”, Alfaro declared this Saturday before journalists. “We always moved behind a dream, which was to play this World Cup,” insisted the DT, who confirmed that he has a healthy squad and that he does not give up the style of play that led him to finish in fourth position in the standings. in the South American zone, only behind Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.

Ecuador coach Gustavo Alfaro during a press conference, on Saturday, November 19, 2022, in Doha, Qatar.  (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Ecuador coach Gustavo Alfaro during a press conference, on Saturday, November 19, 2022, in Doha, Qatar. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

“We are going to go out on the field being Ecuador. Qatar’s favoritism is that they have been preparing this match for more than 12 years (…) and we have had three days, but we will show an identity, although I have already warned the players that what we gave in the qualifiers will not be enough for us, ”Alfaro said at a press conference, statements reproduced by the AFP agency .

The technical director of Ecuador will join to the long list of Argentines who, from Germany 1974 to Qatar 2022, participated in the opening match of the World Cup. The coach, together with goalkeeper Hernán Galíndez from Rosario, will become part of the Argentines who had the privilege of participating in some way in the opening match of the most important sporting event in the world. Starting in Mexico 1970, one match began to be separated from the rest, since in previous editions several matches were played simultaneously during the first day of competition. And the first Argentine who was in an opening match was the referee Louis Pestarinowho officiated as lineman for the Swiss Rudolf Scheurer in the opening match of Germany 1974 played on June 13 of that year by Brazil and Yugoslavia (0-0) in Frankfurt.

Gustavo Alfaro will direct the visiting team in the opening match of the Qatar 2022 World Cup
Gustavo Alfaro will direct the visiting team in the opening match of the Qatar 2022 World CupInstagram: @fefecuador

There were more Argentines who participated in an opening match in a World Cup, a statistic reproduced by the Télam agency: In Argentina 1978, in addition to the venue, our country contributed the arbitration shortlist that was headed by Ángel Coerezza and the lines Arturo Ithurralde and Miguel Comesaña. The Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti stadium hosted the match between World Champion Germany and Poland on June 1, 1978.

Four years later, in Spain 1982the Argentine national team, as the last champion, surprisingly lost to Belgium 1-0 at the Camp Nou stadium in the debut of Diego Armando Maradona in top competition. Argentina was once again the protagonist of the first match of a World Cup in Italy in 1990 when they lost incredibly to Cameroon in Milan.

One of the most curious cases occurred in the United States in 1994 when four nationalized Argentines represented Bolivia in the premiere against Germany world champion. They were Carlos Trucco, Gustavo Quinteros, Darío Rojas and Luis Cristaldo.

Gustavo Alfaro, DT of Ecuador
Gustavo Alfaro, DT of EcuadorChristian Alvarenga – Getty Images South America

The tradition was resumed in Korea-Japan 2002 with the presence of the striker David Trezeguet as a starter in France, World champion, who also gave the note and fell to Senegal. In this meeting there was also the Jorge Rattalino line who was part of the shortlist of the Emirati Ali Bujsaim, who later was in Argentina-Sweden and expelled Claudio Paul Caniggia.

In Germany 2006the last champion (Brazil) was not in the first game and the one in charge of opening the tournament was the host country for the first time since 1970 against Costa Rica under the arbitration of Horacio Elizondo, Darío García and Rodolfo Otero.

Pervis Estupiñán tries to stop Lionel Messi during the qualifying match of the Qatar 2022 World Cup between Argentina and Ecuador
Pervis Estupiñán tries to stop Lionel Messi during the qualifying match of the Qatar 2022 World Cup between Argentina and EcuadorFRANKLIN JACOME – AFP

In the first World Cup on the African continent, South Africa 2010, William Franco, A striker from Corrientes, a Mexican national, he started in Javier Aguirre’s team that debuted against the host. Finally, in Russia 2018, something similar to what will happen to Alfaro happened to him, since John Antonio Pizzi He was in charge of Saudi Arabia in the defeat suffered against the local team. In addition, they were the referee Nestor Pitana and the assistants Hernán Maidana and Juan Pablo Belatti.

Asked about the absence of Byron Castillo, the supposedly Ecuadorian player for whom the TAS sanctioned with the withdrawal of three points in the next qualifying round considering that there were irregularities in his passport, Alfaro was very clear: “Should be here. If he was eligible to play against Argentina (in the last qualifying game) he should be here too.”

Byron Castillo, of the Ecuadorian national team, disputes for the ball from above with Shogo Taniguchi, of Japan, during a friendly match played Tuesday, September 27, 2022, in Düsseldorf, Germany (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)
Byron Castillo, of the Ecuadorian national team, disputes for the ball from above with Shogo Taniguchi, of Japan, during a friendly match played Tuesday, September 27, 2022, in Düsseldorf, Germany (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

After the sanction of the TAS, the Ecuadorian Football Federation decided to leave the defender off the list to avoid possible future sanctions. “It was a very hard blow. If they had seen Byron’s pain and the staff and also the love shown by the staff towards Byron… Byron will be out on the field with us tomorrow! (Sunday), Alfaro said.

After being asked by an English journalist about the complaints received by Qatar for violating fundamental rights, the young Caicedo, a player for Brigthon in the English Premier League, was quickly cut off by his coach. “We are in favor of Human Rights and for the equality of everyone in the world… They are world players, with their dreams and they deserve to be respected for it”, commented Alfaro.

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