Vélez Sarsfield coach Pablo Cavallero has spoken of what a loss Fernando Gago’s retirement will be to his team. Speaking with Closs Continental as reported by Marca, Cavallero explained that “it’s something hard and difficult to accept.”
“We know the level of demand that Gago transmits [to his teammates]. His retirement is a very big loss. He made a great effort to recover and really showed his dedication. We’ve lost a very important player. It’s a decision made, but it would be great if he could stay with us day-to-day even without playing. We’re going to invite him to stay with us until December.”
AHORA #ClossContinental | Se retiró #Gago | 🎙 Hablamos con Pablo Cavallero, manager de #Velez: "Fernando nos dio muchísimo más de lo que imaginábamos. Cuando la pelota pasaba por él, el ruido era diferente" 📻 FM 104.3 📻 AM 590 pic.twitter.com/W6HLY6674i
— Closs Continental (@ClossAM590) November 10, 2020
Gago began his career with Boca Juniors, making his debut in 2004 and soon drawing the attention of Real Madrid, who signed him in 2007. His status at the Santiago Bernabéu waned as the decade progressed, however, and by 2011 was sent to Roma on loan before joining Valencia on a four-year deal.
His time at Mestalla was short-lived, however, and he ended up joining Vélez on a six-month loan deal before signing for Boca for a second time. He found his frequency at La Bombonera, but injuries complicated the latter stages of his career and an injury suffered against River Plate in the 2018 Copa Libertadores final led him to terminate his contract. Retirement was rumoured, but he signed for Vélez for one last dance in June of 2019.
Fernando Gago has finally decided to throw the towel in. Probably the most talented Argentine midfielder of his generation, but cursed with horrific injury misfortune. Actually that probably above is unnecessary, he was awesome.
— Daniel Edwards 💚 (@DanEdwardsGoal) November 11, 2020
With Argentina, Gago debuted in 2007 and played in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, eventually making 61 appearances. Jorge Sampaoli was going to take him to the 2018 World Cup in Russia only for injury to scupper the idea. He also played in the 2007, 2011 and 2015 editions of the Copa America, and won a gold medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing alongside Lionel Messi, Éver Banega and Sergio Agüero.
“A player with notable technical quality end his career,” wrote Marca. “After struggling with so many injuries, the good news is that he was able to say his goodbye on the field of play – his greatest wish.”
A deep-lying playmaker with intelligence and a passing ability that enabled him to dictate the play, Gago was in many ways the typical Argentine “five”, often drawing comparisons to another Real Madrid man, Fernando Redondo. During his time at the Bernabéu Gago won two LaLiga titles, one Copa Del Rey and one Spanish Super Cup.
Featured image courtesy of Transfermarkt.