Faro is the capital of the Algarve. A small city, with beautiful beaches and cozy cafes. There rests the illusion of Feyenoord, finalist against Roma in the Conference League, the new UEFA club tournament, which joins the Champions League and the Europa League. On Wednesday, May 25, the defining game will be held in Tirana, Albania, and an Argentine will be part of the closing. Marcos Senesi is the only Creole footballer who has a chance of lifting a trophy in the European season, and the man from Entre Ríos has an extra personal reason that feeds the illusion: to be part of the list that the coach Lionel Scaloni will deliver for the match with Italy; the Finalissima at Wembley, among the winners of the Copa América and the European Championship.
A game that also turned out to be arm wrestling, because coach Roberto Mancini tried to add him to the team’s plan azzurra. “It is very nice that two national teams take me into consideration, because it means that I am doing my job well. The Italy thing is real: I had contact with Mancini and he told me about the project, and I also had contact with the coaching staff of Argentina, to whom I told him of my intention to play for the national team, of the desire to represent my country. It was more than clear that I decided to play for Argentina”, points out the defender and one of the captains of the Rotterdam team, in a talk with THE NATION.
– Did you doubt at any time?
Look me which two teams that were champions recently is a privilege. Italy did not go to the World Cup is a shame for football: it is the last champion of Europe. And Argentina is also doing well: the last champion of America. But from dream guy to play in the selection and For a year I have gone to bed thinking about having the opportunity in the national team: I think about what I have to do or what I need to be called up… There was no doubt: it was the feeling of playing for my country.
– Is it a new window after the experience in the Sub 20 and Feyenoord’s refusal for the Tokyo Olympics?
-The U20 World Cup, with the squad we had, was frustrating. I felt that way and I feel that way. Every time they ask me about the Sub 20… It was a very bad step that we all had as a team. In the Under 23 level always to be pushed and then the club for various reasons did not release me for the Olympic Games was the only station that was on campus; for the Pre-Olympic I played important instances in Feyenoord, and that was my annoyance with the club: I wanted to play because I considered it important to me. They are competitions that most do not have the chance to play again.
-How do you see the selection process?
-After the 2018 World Cup, a restructuring was carried out. The new generation began to take center stage in the positions that were remaining due to desertions of those who had given themselves for many years at a high level, and it worked. The technician made the changes that he was feeling, and they responded: the results are in sight. The pieces of the puzzle were adjusted, the team was found, the systems that best adapt to the game that the coach wants and make the footballers feel comfortable…
-The list for the World Cup seems to be quite armed. Do you imagine being part of the Qatar squad or are you aiming for the next World Cup?
–The window is open and I am going to climb to get through that window. Later, whether or not I arrive is a matter of evaluations, but I want to give everything to be in the World Cup.
Scissor goal at Feyenoord
–Did you realize that you are the only Argentine flag in European definitions?
-I think we are not being very aware of what we are doing as a team: reaching a European final, of a cup that nobody has because it is new, is the focus. Being an Argentine who is going to play in a final makes me proud, particularly because it is going to be my first European final.
–A final is prepared in the game or in the head?
-You have to prepare both things and then there are the details. We finished the league [Eredivisie] and we are in Portugal doing a mini-preseason to disconnect from the city and focus on the game, on the details, and that is perhaps the advantage we have. Roma are playing games with pressure, important ones, and they arrive with a competitive rhythm. There are advantages and disadvantages for both, because from the head we are possibly clearer and they have the rhythm, the intensity. For many it will be the first final and we want to make history.
–How was the Concordia-Rotterdam trip?
-I tried myself in several clubs and I didn’t stay; I had the chance to play in Boca and I didn’t come back. There came a point where I said that I was beginning to give up football, and at the age of 12 the test came out to play in San Lorenzo. The dream began to revive, and then, cycles: I was about to relegated, we were champions of the Copa Libertadores and today, 12 years after that restart, I am in Portugal, preparing for the final of a European Cup.
–You had a very fast adaptation and you have ascendancy, since you are one of the team captains. Is there a secret?
-I never felt less than anyone and never more than another. I feel like that’s one reason why I adapted quickly. The style of football that is practiced is the one I like, playing with the ball. So that way he would not have drawbacks.
-They distinguished you as the best defender in the Eredivisie, one of your goals was the best in the championship, you are going to play a final against a team led by José Mourinho and measure yourself against rivals that you might have selected on the Play Station… Does the player realize account of the place you are occupying?
I’m normalized, not because I care. I say “we will play against this team, which is very strong, that has this DT and these players,” but no longer a football game and go out to play and win. Sometimes I think I enjoyed the time in San Lorenzo, but just now I’m sorry. At that time, the situation, the environment and generate results that do not enjoy, but one remembers a lot of experiences, costumes, and eventually enjoy it. That happens to me now: I enjoy the competition, the club, the costumes, what we are jugándonos. I just got the club had to play a final and pandemic prevented it. Now, almost three years later, comes another chance.