Minute 56. Argentina equals 0-0 with Mexico and time seems to be the enemy number 12 of the South American team that sees, at that moment, how the chance to stay alive -and depend on itself- in the Qatar World Cup is slipping away 2022. At that moment, Lionel Scaloni decides to remove Guido Rodríguez to put Enzo Fernandez, the 21-year-old midfielder who made his debut just two months ago but was called up because he is simply a star. There is no further explanation.
Because to be crack you not only have to have category but also personality. And that has plenty of it. He entered, changed the face of the team, participated in Lionel Messi’s goal with which he opened the scoring and, at 87 ‘, he scored his first goal officer with the Albiceleste for the 2-0 against Mexico. In a World Cup, at a very difficult moment, with the immense pressure they must feel after having lost the first game. That only makes a crack.
His name carries with it a tribute to Francescoli, the Uruguayan Prince who made River Plate his kingdom between 1983 and 1997. Fan ‘Millionaire’, clearly, he was always one of the best prospects in the Núñez team’s youth system. In fact, Marcelo Gallardothe winningest coach in the club’s history, became captivated by the midfielder during a practice session at River Camp in early 2019.
Enzo, at that time, was only 18 years old and played 13 minutes in the team Reserve, but he broke it and was summoned to be part of the main roster in the preview of a match against Patronato, on January 27, 2019.
The product of an overpopulation of midfielders, the youth player was loaned out shortly after to defense and Justice, where in a short time his last name was engraved on fire. In the Falcon she gained filming and prominence from the hand of Hernan Crespo and then under the technical leadership of Sebastián Beccacece.
With the green and yellow jersey, he played 32 games, in which he scored one goal (Bahía de Brasil) and provided two assists (Palmeiras and Independiente del Valle). He also won the first two international titles of the institution: South American Cup 2020 and South American Cup Winners’ Cup 2021.
Before returning to River Plate to become champion and then being sold to Benfica of Portugal -his current club- for 18 million euros for 75% of his father, Enzo played in the Cup Libertadores 2021, his last tournament with those of Florencio Varela. And there, in that contest that he could not win up to now, he faced in the group stage Sports University.
Enzo Fernández before the ‘U’
The 2021 Copa Libertadores was peculiar for an Enzo Fernández who played the group stage with Defense and Justiceand the next phase with River Plate, a club to which he returned to reinforce it precisely in those defining instances. Although he was later eliminated in the quarterfinals against Atletico Mineiro.
But in the group zone, Varela’s men were in a complicated zone along with palmeiras (then current monarch who would achieve the two-time championship), Valley Independent Y University of Sportsthe Peruvian cast that reached the Cup after being a finalist in League 1 the previous season.
Led by Sebastián Becaccece, who was Jorge Sampaoli’s technical assistant at Boys, Bolognesi and Cristal, on April 24, 2021, Defensa y Justicia comfortably beat the ‘U’ 3-0 at the Norberto Tomaghello stadium in Buenos Aires. Enzo did not score a goal (the goals were from Pizzini and Bou twice), but he was chosen the second best man of the match along with the scorer.
The second meeting took place at the Monumental stadium on May 12. Those led by Ángel Comizzo managed to counteract the Argentine and equalized 1-1 thanks to the goal of the Panamanian Alberto Quintero. The ‘U’ had started winning, but they let them tie. The point did not help much because they were eliminated from the tournament in last place, leaving Independiente del Valle to qualify for the Copa Sudamericana by a single point advantage.
But that night Enzo Fernandez He was more content. He did not create scoring chances, he had no assists, he could not show the best of his repertoire. The ‘U’ of Comizzo imposed a rough game on him, cut, trying to be physical at times.
This year they also faced a Peruvian team: Lima Alliance, the compadre. He was present in the 1-0 at the National Stadium and in the remembered 8-1 at the Monumental. Incredibly, in a few months he left South American football, made the leap to Europe, shone in the Champions League (Benfica qualified for the round of 16 first in its group that it shares with Messi, Neymar and Mbappé’s PSG) and today he is one of the great heroes of Argentina in Qatar.
I have worked in the news industry for over 10 years. I have a keen interest in sports and have written for many different publications. I am currently working as an author at 24 News Recorder. I cover mostly sports news but also write about other topics such as current affairs and politics. I have a strong interest in social media and how it can be used to engage with audiences.