The story of how the son of a politician is the new hero of Argentine football

BarcelonaCarlos Javier MacAllister explains that, when he was little, instead of telling stories to his three sons, he told them to dream that one day they would get to play in big teams like Boca Juniors. Football was in the air at home. The father played in Primera precisely with Boca Juniors, where he was an aggressive player, one of those who didn’t quite know what to do with the ball, but he did have a clear way of recovering it. Baptized as the Colorado due to his skin color and being a redhead, an inheritance from his Scottish ancestors, MacAllister became an international with Argentina. In fact, in 1993 he participated in one play-off in which thealbiceleste the passage to the World Cup was being played for the United States against Australia. With Maradona in a bad mood, the Argentines prevailed. Now it is his son Alexis who has played against the Australians in the round of 16 of a World Cup. closed circle Now, their dream is to keep marching towards the final by beating the Dutch in the quarter-finals.

Alexis MacAllister took it upon himself to banish ghosts and fears with his first goal against Poland in the final group stage game. At the age of 23, he had been knocking on the door of the national team for some time, after a good enough season at Brighton & Hove Albion, an English club that proves to have a good eye for signing young players before others. For the Argentines, until now, talking about MacAllister was talking about the father, of course. From the popular Colorado. And not only because of his long career in clubs such as Argentinos Juniors, Boca and Ferrocarril Oeste. After he retired, MacAllister entered politics with the right-wing Propuesta Republicana party, with which he became deputy and Secretary of Sports of the Nation in 2015. The Argentine president at the time was Mauricio Macri, the former from Boca Juniors.

Three starting brothers in Primera

There was a time, then, when the three sons of the Secretary of Sports were drawing attention to the grassroots football of Argentinos Juniors. Three footballer projects who always saw that, to talk about their game, they talked about their father’s politics. Now, the reporters who went to the tiny fields where they played noticed immediately that Alexis, above all, had a very different style of play than his father. Alexis knew what to do with the ball at his feet. And, from time to time, the Secretary of Sports let himself be seen in the stands to check how they were playing. The big day of glory came in March 2018, when Alexis, Kevin and Francis started in Primera in the triumph of Argentinos Juniors precisely against Boca Juniors. Alexis was the youngest of them all, but he had such a personality that he scored one of the two goals in the triumph (2-1) and assisted the other goal of the red bug, as the club is known. Yes, colorado like father Everyone knew then that he would be the one who would go the farthest. These days, his two brothers are in Doha to cheer him on. They play in Primera, Francis in Rosario Central and Kevin in Argentinos Juniors. In other words, they are good players. But they know that it is the little boy of the house who cuts the cod.

When Alexis made his debut in Primera, his father, in addition to answering questions about politics, said that everyone’s dream was for him to be signed by Boca Juniors. And this club presented an offer, but Argentinos considered that it was not enough and the player agreed to go to England, to Brighton & Hove. The Argentine press nailed him to a cross, for so many critics. How could he prefer a semi-unknown team before the team with the most fans in Argentina? Alexis MacAllister would be forgiven when Brighton loaned him to Boca for half a year and, when he scored a goal there, he made his family the first ever father and son goalscorers for the team xeneize. He did so well that he returned to England. And then it would be Lionel Scaloni who would call him to the national team. Quite a success. He leads with other players like Enzo Fernández a new batch of young Argentines who want to dream alongside Lionel Messi.

The MacAllisters were meant to play. Before becoming a politician, the father also worked in a player’s representative agency. These days he admitted that in order to get the children to be good at maths in school, he asked them to help him with the statistics of the players he controlled. For the kids, adding up goal assists was more fun than a math book and they happily did it, joking about the day the stats would talk about them. And so it was, first at the Batistas’ football school, another lineage that loves the ball. It would be Fernando, the brother of the world champion in 1986, Sergio, who would first notice Alexis’ talent. It was just a joke and he already told the Colorado MacAllister that one day his son would be worth many millions. He was right.

Now Argentina is dreaming thanks to players like Alexis. And football, as often happens, serves to cheer up a population tired of so many economic crises. Now football also serves to cover up the shame of a country or a character. The colorado MacAllister has so far not been convicted in an investigation into sexual abuse at the football school he founded, CD MacAllister. The mother of a boy denounced the abuse of a coach who ended up in prison, adding that the president of the club, the brother of Carlos Javier MacAllister, had protected her. In fact, she would even receive a letter from the politician pressuring her to stop talking about the issue. It didn’t silence her, but the memory of those events seems half-forgotten.

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