Ramón’s Revenge. He’s okay, at the age of 23 Albiceleste threw him into the back room, the very one who in ’79 as a centre-forward had won a World Cup with the Under 20 team and in the one of the greatest in Spain scored a goal against Brazil. Then out, definitely. Him, El puntero sad with the creole face born at the foot of the Sierra Velasca in La Rioja where dad Emiliano in love with football made him travel hundreds of kilometers to take him to Buenos Aires for an audition at the River because he was right. And here Ramon Diaz made his debut at the age of 19 in the Primera Division. Three seasons with the Millonarios, 57 goals, a snake that circled in the opposing area, the River in the head and those of Boca who said that yes, he was good, but he was also unpleasant. River was his cross, Diego was at Boca, little hope of making a career in Seleccion, yet El Pibe was also there in that under-20 World Cup he brought home, but perhaps they never became true friends. He had to come to Italy to breathe, Naples, Avellino, Fiorentina, Inter, 12 goals in the record year in Milan with Trap, then River again, and another 52 in Japan in Yokohama Marinos where he finished.
He returned to River as a coach, 22 years traveling around the world then in 2016 at Al-Hilal and called back to Riad just this year. Who are these Riads? It’s the Saudis who gave 12 players to the French coach of Saudi Arabia to play for the World Cup, the ones who beat Argentina. There was also Ramon in the stands of Lusail, not among those who cried at goals from Al Shehri and Al Dawsari, but not even among those who celebrated, and Ramon had warned his compatriots: Argentina is aiming high, normal, but Beware of Saudi Arabia. I’ve coached them, I know what they’re worth, many from my club have called up the national team and they know my methods. The Saudi federation had already understood this, this would not have been just a World Cup, it will be played in Qatar, an emirate that is not exactly a friend, the proximity of the two countries would then have brought thousands of Saudi fans to the stands. Aware of being the national team in the penultimate place in the Fifa ranking among the participants, they interrupted the championship in October and one fine morning a bus arrived in Riyadh which loaded the entire team and sent it to retreat in Abu Dhabi in eighteen days since his debut, and has forced French coach Herve Renard to train you like a club.
The national team was prepared like a club and that club is Ramon’s Al-Hilal. Renar has done nothing but recycle his methods, they have spoken several times, great respect for that Argentine who took over the club this year when he was eleven points behind the leaders and with six victories in the last six championships he crowned the incredible comeback: I’m Argentinian, of course, but my Al-Hilal players have great qualities and will make life difficult for Seleccion. Pulga warned, 2-1, Ramon’s revenge.