on Saturday, November 24, ten minutes before you leave your house to the Monumental to witness the final of the Libertadores Cup, Fernando Cáceres (Buenos Aires, 1969) turned on the tv to be aware of the news of last moment. Then learned that the bus of Mouth, had been attacked with stones and that the Superclásico is the largest in the world went into a wait that will end —or it is supposed to be— this Sunday in Madrid. “I had tickets but I didn’t get to leave the house. What happened was horrible, I was very sad, there are people who go to the court to make mischief,” says the exdefensa of Zaragoza, Valencia and Celtic, one of the 100 players that played in the River and Mouth, and someone who, in an episode infinitely more serious, embodied the violence of Argentina. In 2009, he received several bullet shots, one in the right eye, on the part of some criminals who tried to steal the car. “The country led to what we are living,” he reflects today Cáceres, still in a wheelchair, but moving forward without a pause in his rehabilitation, nine years after being on the brink of death.


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In his house to the west of the conurbano bonaerense, his older brother invites us to enter with haste (“is fucked the thing, over at the Black robbed here some years ago”), and Caceres diagnosed: “In Argentina the passion is confused with violence. I played in an era in which there were problems, of course, but the passion was real. When I arrived in Zaragoza we were told that we had to walk 150 metres of the concentration of the stadium. In Argentina, he was used to that, the bus left us at the side of the wardrobe, between the police and fences. But I started walking and a fan asked me, ‘What about the life, Cáceres?’, and we were embracing each other. That’s when I realized how things should happen. And a visitor asked us for autographs! What’s here is crazy, you do not have to be so”.

In your home hang four memories from his life as a footballer: two photos of his participation in the World cup 94 with the selection of argentina, and two in Zaragoza. The bigger picture shows him lifting the European cup Savoybetting winners ‘ cup in 1995, “that we won at the Arsenal, in Paris, my best years in football.” Caceres was a defense that combined the ferocity with the art of the brand, an original product of the school of Argentinos Juniors, Diego Maradona, Fernando Redondo, Juan Roman Riquelme and Claudio Borghi, but in addition he was loved. I had already played 56 matches in the River between 1992 and 1993 when three years after he signed for Boca, the return of Zaragoza, and yet no one reproached him for his previous step: played 15 games and joined Oscar Ruggeri, Gabriel Batistuta and Claudio Caniggia in the centuries-long list of players who played in the two paths.

“In the River I discovered that it was a big one: it came from argentina and the jump was awesome,” says Black, who also was part of the last title of the selection argentina, the Copa America of 1993. “And in the Mouth, I played with Maradona, Riquelme and Caniggia. It was not a direct path between one computer and another, so nobody told me anything, but it was another time. I never threw stones in the journey to the stadium. Now there are fans who say, ‘we’re going to kill’ and the tv shows. That’s part of the problem, generates violence. People interpret that they are not rivals but enemies.”

Young people without a job

Caceres is not concerned about what happens between the swollen in Spain, but for the future of their countrymen. “In Madrid it will not happen anything wrong. The people behave well, but there will be no environment end, I do not like the Libertadores is set there,” he answers, who in 2004 went on to Alfredo Di Stéfano as the argentine with the most games played in Spain (although it was later surpassed by Ariel Ibagaza and Messi), and who of all your visits to the Santiago Bernabeu still remember a win 1-2 with Celtic in 1998. But when the exdefensa and current president of the Fernando Caceres Football Club returns to refer to the violence in Argentina, and not just the football, its diagnosis is much less promising.

“Not generated work and the young people have nothing to do, they are without alternatives. It is very difficult for a lot of people,” says Caceres, also the spokesperson of a message of reconciliation with those criminals that 2009 will tirotearon the face, I drilled the base of the skull and resulted in the loss of the right eye. “The guys got it wrong, is already. In his life something happened that led them to steal and I crossed paths with them. I’m not who to judge. I wanted to see in jail, to know what had happened, only to ask them that, did not want to have a violent reaction, but did not gave me permission,” he laments.

a few days Ago, while the country was talking about the disaster of the party of the Monumental, Fernando Caceres walked for the first time in the last nine years. “It was very strong, I dropped some tears”, says next to an image of the Virgin of the Pillar that was brought in from Zaragoza.