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December 5, 2021 8:39 am

Juan Veron And Gabriel Milito Call Time On Football Career

The 15th June weekend witnessed heart-warming scenes as two of Argentine football’s most loyal servants over the past decade played their final match in front of their home fans. While Juan Sebastian Veron bid farewell to the Estudiantes faithful after years of wonderful service, Gabriel Milito also ran out onto the Independiente pitch for the final time having decided to cut his career short.

Veron in Action

Gabi’s story will unfortunately end with the looming question of what might have been. The strong, cultured defender shone in his formative years for the Rojo, the highlight of his first spell an Apertura title in 2002. During that epoch he faced a unique rival in the shape of brother Diego. The elder sibling grew up in the youth system of arch-enemies Racing Club, and the Milito parents must have despaired in those early years as the pair often came to blows on the field during particularly tense clasicos, putting loyalty to the shirt above any tenuous grasp of brotherly love.

Moves to Zaragoza and then Barcelona followed for Gabi. He was touted to be a great rock in defence. But fate was to intervene: a devastating cruciate ligament injury in 2008 put

Gabi Striving forward

him out of the game for almost two years, and he was never the same even after making a comeback.

Veron himself returned to his first club in 2006 after spells with Lazio, Parma, Inter, Manchester United and Chelsea and he immediately set about making the La Plata institution great once more. Some seasons he refused to take a salary; in others, he would put his own funds at the directors’ disposal to improve youth facilities that . What a gentleman.

Definitely, there were cheers and tears as Milito and Veron signed off on glorious, trophy-laden careers, both in Argentina and in Europe.

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