Paraguayan striker Pablo Velázquez is at Banfield today, but until last January he was part of the Gymnastics squad, where he assures that he lived very special things after Diego Maradona’s arrival at Lobo. “Maradona put out of his pocket for the awards in gymnastics,” said the footballer, among other situations that were experienced in the privacy of the locker room or during training days at Estancia Chica.
“Maradona put prizes out of his pocket, entered the locker room already with a bag full of money and worked our heads before playing. There were even gymnastics games that we did not win and he put money out of his pocket as a prize, “said Velázquez in dialogue with the” Futgol “program on Radio AM 970 in Paraguay.
“Inside the locker room and in the practices it was understood very well what Diego wanted for the games. He approached to harangue and, for example, always made Victor Ayala practice the centers, saying that it was a weapon that we had to use, ”the attacker continued in his story.
Velázquez recalled and appreciated the importance of the arrival of the idol as a coach for the Lobo squad, in addition to highlighting his generosity. “We trained in gymnastics and there was almost no press, but when Diego arrived, he was filled with journalists. It was mobilizing. Even when we were going to concentrate where the Argentine National Team was, in Ezeiza, we were surprised how the doors of the AFA opened because it was Maradona, “he stressed.
Later he continued recounting, “he always had two watches, also rings and glasses. That way they said to him: ‘Diego, what a nice ring’, and he replied: ‘Do you like it ?, take it’, and he gave it to him. He did the same with his watches and glasses if asked. He is very generous, ”emphasized the former player from San Lorenzo and Cerro Porteño, from Paraguay.
He also had his time to comment on some anecdotes about situations with the “Ten”, which are very colorful, within the intimacy of day-to-day with Gymnastics. “He did not like green vests, number 13 and 17. Once he sent a colleague and me to call so that we would not use them and I told him that I had not chosen him and that if he wanted I would use number 90. Later He sent to change all the vests, ”he said laughingly. It is worth remembering that Velázquez had the “17” while the Venezuelan Jesús Vargas used the “13”.
“Inside the locker room and in the practices it was understood very well what Diego wanted for the games”
“Maradona always surprised us. I used to brush my teeth in the bathroom and one day (Claudio) Caniggia appeared, the next day (Gabriel) Batistuta, then actors and others. In one of those I took advantage and asked the vocalist of the band La Beriso (Rolando Sartorio) for a photo, “Velázquez concluded when he recalled his time at Gimnasia, where Diego Armando Maradona, undoubtedly” changed everyone’s life “.
Logically Velázquez was part of the first practice at the stadium of 60 and 118 where the fan Mens Sana welcomed Diego, and was the starter in the first official match he led against Racing. “People camped to see it. It happened to me that when we arrived at a training session with a teammate, they offered us money so that we could let them pass and be able to see it more closely, but we didn’t give them a chance, ”said the forward smiling as one of the many anecdotes that the Maradona effect generated in Gymnastics.
Recall that Velázquez arrived in the middle of last year from the hand of Darío Ortíz, and on the 2nd date of the championship he scored a goal with the Tripera shirt in the 2-1 defeat to Colón, in Santa Fe. And on Friday, March 13 Last when Gymnastics received Banfield in the Forest for the 1st date of the Super League Cup, he played for the Drill.
Meanwhile, Diego Maradona continues to get ready personally. He has lost five kilos, makes a bicycle and started playing soccer-tennis, and continues with the recovery of his right knee. He is in constant contact with his collaborators and with the soccer players through video calls.
They tell from their surroundings that Maradona does not see the time to return to work at Estancia Chica, because also when this happens, his move would also begin. Recall that since the beginning of this year there is a house already prepared in a private neighborhood on Route 2, for Maradona to settle and thus stop traveling from his current home in Bella Vista. In this way, when he moves, Diego will be no more than 15 minutes from the property.