River Plate has a vast and rich history in the Copa Libertadores being one of the top winners of the competition. In addition to his four trophies (1986, 1996, 2015 and 2018 -winning the final against his classic rival, Boca Juniors-), One of the nights that will be remembered the most occurred on May 19, 2021.
Product of a coronavirus outbreak within the campus commanded by Marcelo Gallardo, the Millionaire had to risk his future in the continental competition with only 11 outfield players, no substitutes and with Enzo Pérez, who suffered from muscle discomfort, stopped under the three posts.
Among the 15 casualties due to COVID-19 were the four goalkeepers from the professional squad (Franco Armani, Enrique Bologna, Germán Lux and Franco Petroli). In addition, Leo Díaz, who appears against Boca Juniors in the Superclásico for the local tournament, had not been registered. However, the midfielder was one of the heroes of the day to achieve an epic 2-1 win against Independiente Santa Fe with goals from Fabrizio Angileri and Julián Álvarez.
One year after that epic, Where are the mythical green diver and the gloves that Enzo Pérez used that night in the Monumental?
The clothing worn by the former Benfica from Portugal and Valencia from Spain, who usually cut short during training sessions, is currently on display at the River Plate Museum (located next to the Antonio Vespucci Liberti).
The diverwhich was all the rage in Internet sales -a doll of the soccer player with all the goalkeeper’s attire even went on sale-), today can be seen on the ground floor from the venue located at Av. Presidente Figueroa Alcorta to 7509 along with other important shirts, such as those of Atilio Peruzzi, the captain of the River champion of 1920 (there are also his shin guards), an Ángel Labruna shirt, a shirt of the beto Alonso and a very particular one, since it is a shirt that was used only once during a tour of Israel.
Gloveswhich was lent to him by his teammate at the time bean Lux, also went down in history. They have been exhibited since November of last year after the club made a heartfelt recognition of the emblem of the Muñeco campus.
His left glove is framed and displayed on the first floor of the museum next to some used by Franco Armani. “I short cut, Marcelo”, is the phrase that stands out next to the institution’s shield and a photograph of former Students of La Plata and Godoy Cruz with some of their statistics from that night against the Colombians. Those words are not random, they are the ones outlined by number 24 to ask the DT to be the goalkeeper during that extreme situation. You can also see his signature on the garment in question.
The right glove, for its part, is in the house of Enzo Pérez. The same was also framed and delivered to the athlete during the evening in which he was recognized by the Núñez club.
“It’s exciting and I don’t fall. Everything we’ve been through during these 90 minutes… I thank my colleagues and all those who gave me advice. I want to congratulate the commitment and the desire that my colleagues put into it. It is a historic triumph, which will remain in the world of football. And I want to thank all the people for the messages of love, affection, respect and support that I have had in these hours, ”commented the world runner-up with the Argentine team at the time.
Since joining River Plate in June 2017, Enzo has won eight titles: two Copa Argentina, two local Super Cups, one Professional League, one Champions Trophy, one Copa Libertadores and one Recopa Sudamericana. In total he played 171 games, in which he scored six goals and provided five assists. “Everyone knows the love I have for this club. I only came for one thing, which is to wear River’s shirt. Obviously a lot of things have happened, very important things have been achieved in the institution. I do not want to be an idol, or a reference, everything that has happened is through time. And you can either earn it or not, but I’m not really looking for that. I come to enjoy myself, to put on the River shirt, something that I still enjoy today and feel the same way”, he added.
Such was the furor that aroused the green sweatshirt used by Enzo Pérez that during an auction held by the River Plate Foundation, a person came to pay 7 million pesos for that autographed garment (it was not the one used in the match) and some black gloves .