Martín Demichelis, his first Superclásico as coach, his story against Boca and the night he chased Riquelme all over the field

At 42 years old, Martin Demichelis lives the great dream of his life after retiring as a footballer: be a River coach. He is in the place he wanted since he started taking the coaching course and directing the training divisions of Bayern Munich. And now, he finds himself facing the most anticipated match. Micho will face on Sunday at the Monumental its first Super classic.

And it is an important test. Not only because the matches against Boca score, but because River comes to the match against its eternal rival in an unsuspected situation just a week ago, with a hard blow in the Copa Libertadores, where he was thrashed 5-1 by Fluminense in Brazil.

Therefore, before him first major setback Since Millionaire took over as coach, Demichelis, in addition to daily football and tactical work, has aimed in the last few hours to have in-depth talks with his players with the intention of quickly raising their spirits.

As far as he could find out Clarionthere was self-criticism, the mistakes were reviewed, and they promised to redouble their efforts to not lower the intensity and not lose concentration at key moments so that what happened on Tuesday at the Maracana does not happen again.

Martin Demichelis did not have a good time in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes.

Even so, River continues to be the leader -with 34 points- from the Professional League, in which they won eleven games, drew one and lost two, they are the highest scoring team in the tournament with 25 goals and one of the fewest goals conceded (6), they take 6 points to his escort, San Lorenzo and 16 to his rival on Sunday, Boca.

So, with the intention of bringing out the sacred fire in the Superclásico, Demichelis’s message to his squad was also addressed to the good that the team has been building in the League and that there has been so much praise in recent weeks for a reason.

For Micho it will be his first Superclásico as a coach and now in a suit and standing on the other side of the lime line he will experience sensations that he has not had for 20 years, when he played his last match against Boca with the red band on his chest.

As his sale to Bayern Munich happened quickly, less than two years after his debut in the First Division, Demichelis played just three Superclásicos officers. The first of these was on March 10, 2002 at La Bombonera, when the team led by Ramón Díaz thrashed Maestro Tabárez’s team 3-0, the afternoon of Ricardo Rojas’ Vaseline. The current coach Millonario entered after 22 minutes of the second half in place of Víctor Zapara.

Andrés D'Alessandro, Micho and all their happiness, the afternoon of

Andrés D’Alessandro, Micho and all their happiness, the afternoon of “the Vaseline” by Ricardo Rojas, in the Bombonera.

More than seven months later, on October 27, 2002, in his second official Superclásico, Demichelis was unable to celebrate again as River (led by Manuel Pellegrini) lost 2-1 (two goals from Cello Delgado for Xeneize and Esteban Fuertes had temporarily equalized for the local) against Boca at the Monumental.

And the third and last one was played on June 1, 2003, at La Bombonera, and he did not have a good memory because he was sent off 36 minutes into the first half by Héctor Baldassi, after Guillermo Barros Schelotto simulated an offense that the The referee bought and took the second yellow card from the central marker. River won 2-0 but Boca raised it and ended up tied 2-2.

Micho jumps with Chelo Delgado, figure of the classic that Boca won in October 2002.

Micho jumps with Chelo Delgado, figure of the classic that Boca won in October 2002.

They were not, however, the only classics that Demichelis played. He also did it in four others, of a friendly nature. And the first of them, in which he made his debut against Boca, almost five months after having debuted in Primera, left a particularity: He made a man-to-man mark on Juan Román Riquelme.

21 minutes into the second half, at Mario Kempes in Córdoba, where that summer friendly was played, on January 30, 2002, which River won 1-0 with a goal from Fernando Cavenaghi, Ramón Díaz sent Micho onto the field game by Guillermo Pereyra to play as a central midfielder (his position before becoming a defender) and ordered him to pursue the current vice president of Boca.

Demichelis, expelled in the Bombonera.  Photo: DYN/TONY GOMEZ.

Demichelis, expelled in the Bombonera. Photo: DYN/TONY GOMEZ.

“’Kid, forget about the ball and everything,’ Ramón told me. When I came in, I bothered Riquelme, I blew on him, I talked to him… The game ended, we stayed close and I threw my hand at him, but he looked at me, he didn’t even answer me and we didn’t greet each other,” Demichelis told in some interviews before becoming in River coach.

The curious thing was what happened some time later when they met again at a concentration in Argentina. “In one of my first summons to the National Team, one day Román called me and said ‘come on, kid’ and made me tell all my teammates about the pushes and things I had done to him in that game to put him in trouble. He remembered as if he had a computer in his headDemichelis narrated.

Demichelis and Riquelme, good vibes as teammates of the Argentine National Team.  Photo: EFE.

Demichelis and Riquelme, good vibes as teammates of the Argentine National Team. Photo: EFE.

In addition to that game in Córdoba, the former defender also played three other friendlies against Boca. One was on June 15, 2002, in Miami, in which Micho started in River’s 2-1 victory. The other, on January 25, 2003, in Mar del Plata, in which he also started from the beginning and played the whole game. It ended 0-0 and on penalties -Micho deflected his- Boca won 5-4 and the rest, two weeks later (on February 7, 2003), in Mendoza, where they tied 3-3 and Xeneize won 5 -3 from the twelve steps.

The next chapter will begin to be written next Sunday, from 5:30 p.m., at the Monumental stadium.

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2023-05-05 09:01:04
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