The oldest club in Argentine soccer debuts in the First D

“It’s not true that people stop chasing their dreams because they get old; they get old because they stop chasing their dreams.” The Mercedes Club took due note of what Gabriel García Márquez said or wrote: At 146 years old, the oldest soccer player in the country, he finally joined the AFA and will play for the first time in its history in D.

“It is a dream that we have to fulfill and it makes us very happy, but for which many people worked for a long time,” summarizes the current president, Guido Pisoni.

Club Mercedes, t-shirt with black and white canes (that’s why “the Black and White”), it was founded on May 12, 1875; the realization of the dream It arrived this Thursday, with the officialization of its arrival in the fifth category of football directly affiliated with the AFA and the draw for the fixture. He will debut as a visitor against Muñiz, on Saturday, May 7.

They will also be in the division United Youth, Spanish Center, Sportivo Barracas, Yupanqui, Defensores de Cambaceres, Central Ballester, Lugano, Argentino de Rosario and Deportivo Paraguayo. The last team to join the AFA tournaments had been Real Pilar, currently in the First C, in 2017.

Due to regulatory issues, Club Mercedes will not be able to be promoted in this first season, but for its people it is a triviality and the city is moved, excited: “It is a historic day and an opportunity for the growth of the institution and of local football,” said the Board of Directors through a statement.

Lucas Biglia emerged from the Mercedes student club
Lucas Biglia emerged from the Mercedes student club.

For the realization of this long-pursued longing The support of the Minister of the Interior, Eduardo “Wado” de Pedro, and the Undersecretary of Municipal Affairs of the Ministry of Government of the Province of Buenos Aires, Eduardo “Lalo” Révora, was essential. both Mercedinos and the second, a former player of the club.

Also from Mayor, Juan Ignacio Ustarroz, “Juani”, whose government has sport as one of its main axes.

“From the first day of the management of ‘Juani’ we tried to give all the clubs in the city the support they deserve, understanding sport as an extraordinary tool for inclusion and a school of values ​​such as camaraderie and solidarity. Club is part of this policy in some way”, says the Mercedino Sports director, Juan Martin “Chino” Silvestre.

His younger brother, Matías, a defender, is precisely one of the most famous footballers to emerge from Club Mercedes. He debuted in Boca in 2003 and then developed his long career in Italy (Catania, Palermo, Inter, Milan, Sampdoria, Empoli and Livorno, in addition to Virtus Entella in the third division in which he still plays).

Closer in time are the cases of midfielder Santiago Sosa, who appeared in River’s Primera in 2018 and was quickly transferred to Atlanta United, of the United States MLS; and striker Daniel “Keko” Lucero, also a “millionaire” and on loan at Deportivo Macará, from Ecuador.

From other Mercedino institutions emerged Lucas Biglia (Students), Fernando Moner (Quilmes) or Emmanuel Culio (from childhood he jumped to Flandria, from neighboring Jáuregui in Luján); and the participation of the Mercedes Club in the D is also interpreted by the rest of the local clubs as a showcase for all.

“It is a historic event for all of our football. I am sure that it can mark a before and after for our sports community and it is a new time for everyone: players, managers and clubs. Everyone gave their support to Club Mercedes from the moment when this opportunity to play in the First D arose”, explains the president of the Mercedina Football League, Esteban Marcelo.

The support of the city’s soccer community can be summed up in the gesture of giving Club Mercedes, for three years and free of charge, the Mercedina League field to play their home games. A few days ago, an inspection by the province’s Sports Violence Prevention Agency (Aprevide) left a series of demands to leave the stadium completely in good condition.

The directors of the Mercedes Club
The directors of the Mercedes Club.

Throughout its 146 years of history, Club Mercedes has participated in Regional, Federal and other competitions, and in the city the memory of what happened in 1993 is still alive, when it was at the gates of the First National B after eliminating, among others, to powerful like Santamarina de Tandil or Kimberley de Mar del Plata and lose in the decisive instance with Germinal de Rawson.

And the memory of Lorusso is also alive, the town’s “madman” and his number 1 fan, who was recounting the goals of “La Loba” Bomaggio while riding a bicycle, knocking down walls making the ball bounce off the buses that passed through the street and maybe he knew, like all “black and white” and like a good “crazy”, that dreams are to be fulfilled.