“It is not true that people stop pursuing their dreams because they get older; They get old because they stop chasing their dreams.” Of what Gabriel García Márquez said or wrote, the Club Mercedes: At 146 years old, the oldest in Argentine football, he finally joined the AFA and will play for the first time in his 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 (for that reason “the Black and White”), was founded on May 12, 1875; the realization of the dream came today, with the officialization of his 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.
In the division will also be Juventud Unida, Centro Español, 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.
For regulatory issues mercedes club he will not be able to ascend in this first season, but for his 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”, expressed the Board of Directors through a statement.
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, both Mercedinos and the second, former player of the club.
Also from the mayor, Juan Ignacio Ustarroz, “Juani”, whose government has sport as one of its main axes.
“From the first day of ‘Juani’s’ administration, 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. The Club is part of this policy in some way, “says Mercedino Sports Director, Juan Martín “Chino” Silvestre.
His younger brother, Matías, a defender, is precisely one of the most famous footballers to come out of the mercedes club. 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 children he jumped to Flandria, from neighboring Jáuregui in Luján); and the participation of mercedes club in the D it is also interpreted by the rest of the local clubs as a showcase for everyone.
“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. They all gave their support to mercedes club from the moment this chance 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 is summed up in the gesture of yielding to the mercedes club, for three years and free of charge, the Mercedina League stadium to play its local matches. 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.
Throughout its 146-year history, mercedes club 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, powerful like Santamarina de Tandil or Kimberley de Mar del Plata and losing in the decisive instance with Germinal de Rawson.
And the memory of Lorusso is also alive, the “crazy” of the town 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.