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El Diablito Echeverri, is he or is he not? | The star of the Sub 17

In the run-up to the ’78 World Cup, César Luis Menotti had a gem in his hands: an almost virginal 17-year-old Diego Maradona. He had him train with the Argentine National Team until a week before the start of the competition. And in the end, he decided to leave it out. He didn’t want to risk it and feared that the pressure would end up eating him up. As time went by, Menotti admitted his mistake and recognized that this unprecedented and dazzling Maradona could play and win the World Cup.

Twenty-eight years later, for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, José Pekerman had another gem at his disposal: a 19-year-old Lionel Messi with all the hunger for glory. And the decision was equally conservative. The great master of youth football preferred that Messi go little by little and have his first World Cup experience from the bench. In the quarterfinals against Germany in Berlin, he did not play a minute. Although he never made it public, over the years Pekerman also regretted having been so careful. Messi was already ready to make a big noise in that World Cup.

Now, with the explosive appearance of Claudio Echeverri in the Under 17 World Cup in Indonesia, the same debate is taking place again in Argentine football. There are those who maintain that Lionel Scaloni (for now) in the National Team and, above all, Martín Demichelis in River should put aside their reservations and start giving more minutes on the field to the Chaco star to consolidate him in River’s Primera in the face of to the next World Cup in 2026, which he will arrive at when he is 20 years old.

And there are also those who agree with Demichelis and believe that it is better not to rush the processes and not prematurely throw great promises into the lion’s mouth. In the same prudent line as the River Plate coach, the most cautious maintain that Echeverri has been dazzling among players more or less of his physique and age and that the song will be very different if he is sent to play right now for River and the National Team against players from greater skill and corpulence.

It would give the impression that Echeverri (and also Agustín Ruberto, the River Plate goal scorer at the U17 World Cup) are already ready to take the big leap. At least to an important First Division requirement. It’s not about making them burn stages carelessly or throwing them on the grill ahead of time. Nor to give them supercrack status. But one thing is to take them little by little with a wise hand and knowing how to read the climates and the moments, especially in a club with the immensity of River. And it is quite another to delay them by exaggerating care and precautions. Waiting for idyllic situations that rarely occur in football.

In Indonesia, Echeverri and Ruberto stepped forward. They continue to be the best of the best in the future of Argentine football and Demichelis’ restraint is understandable. But they should not stay much longer in the pleasant place of promises. The present is about to arrive and at some point, sooner rather than later, the kids will have to go in to play a big game and show whether they are there or not.

2023-11-29 03:01:00
#Diablito #Echeverri #star

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