Pablo Solari, the story of the River Plate jewel who also shone in handball: “He faced the big men, he was the captain and a benchmark”

Pablo Solari, the story of the River Plate jewel who also shone in handball: “He faced the big men, he was the captain and a benchmark”

Barely seven years ago, Pablo Solari, today a great figure in River Plate, wept with frustration at not being able to win the departmental handball final. His school, Malvinas Argentinas No. 23 in his native Arizona, fell to a linajudo establishment. El Pibe was the banner of the team, where he wore the horse and stood out for his speed and conditions for this sport.

“We played against a school in a very big city that had 3,000 or 4,000 students and they were all strong kids, who played basketball and had a different point guard. We had 80 students in total and hopefully we had seven or eight to play. And Pablo that time threw himself on the ground crying, when he saw that we were losing. He faced the big guys, he was the captain and reference. He was an animal. He ended up crying because he knew we weren’t going to win it, but he never gave up. That is the memory I have of the last game that left before going to Talleres. And I think he shows the same thing in football, he always wants more, ”he recalls. Federico Villa, his godfather and teacher.

Pibe himself recalled in an interview granted in September of last year to Sporting his time in this discipline. “I really like handball. I played a lot when I was in my town, because my godfather was a handball teacher and he played for the school. I haven’t played for a long time, but I follow it a lot”, he told about that unknown past.

His coach and godfather points out that football helped the attacker a lot to stand out in this discipline. “He already played as a boy in lower soccer divisions, and on Saturdays and Sundays he played for teams from larger cities, where he perfected himself as a soccer player. Nevertheless, During the week he attended the school where I teach, and that physical, technical and tactical work that he did in these clubs in the province of San Luis and La Pampa, caused him to do very well in handball. It was a consequence of his coordination and work in football”, he maintains.

“The school had a total of 80 students and in his category there would be about eight. He knew he was physically superior; he was the first to score and the first to run, because he understood that he was the one in a position to do it. In addition, losing bothers him a lot, he is very competitive and always going forward. He was very fast, with a long stride, like now. Then, the cons were lethal, because he ran from arch to arch. We’re talking about when she was 13, 14 years old.”He says.

Víctor Solari, father of the strikerHe complements that “he played in high school in the inter-school Olympics”, and believes that this discipline also benefited him in his career as a soccer player. “It is (a sport) very dynamic and quick-thinking. I think it has helped him a lot.”Add.

About him currently, the godfather affirms that the moment that the striker is experiencing today “is not a coincidence, it is a matter of having worked since he was 14 years old, when he left home.” And he confesses: “I only met him playing soccer when he started playing in Colo Colo, because on weekends he didn’t play in Arizona, but in cities that were 200 or 300 kilometers away.where the parents made a terrible effort to carry it. And when he played in Córdoba, I could never see him in a game of the reserve or the sixth of Talleres. I knew he was a striker, but I didn’t know well. The only thing he wanted was for him to do well.”

Federico Villa was at two key moments in the history of El Pibe: when his story began in Colo Colo and when it ended. “I had to be there the day he flew from Córdoba to Chile, with a stopover in Buenos Aires. We accompanied him to the airport with his parents and I took the photo that he has with them and later put it on a shirt that he showed when he scored a goal. The mother was crying because she was leaving, and I told her, ‘Susana, don’t get in trouble. In six months she will be back.’ I’ve never been so wrong.”he says, between laughs.

The second episode had quite a few similarities. “In the week that everything about River was triggered, I was in Chile, I went to visit him and I was able to see the last game (against La Serena), where he scored a goal. I was with him all week. I experienced all of this first hand. And when it happened, I told him ‘you go to River, it is very big, you may eat six months of bank’. And again I couldn’t be more wrong. What happens is that I was preparing him for difficult moments, because changing from the comfort of Colo Colo, where he was a total idol, to a team as big as River, where there could be the possibility that he would not play, could be complicated, since that when he doesn’t play he gets angry, because he is very competitive”, he indicates.

Pablo Solari, celebrating one of his conquests with River.

Today with seven goals and four assists in eight games, Solari is the great revelation of Argentine football and the Cacique rubs his hands with a future sale abroad, since in the Monumental they kept 32% of the footballer’s pass. In fact, River shielded it with a clause of US$ 20 million and that increases to US$ 25 million if the business is closed 10 days before the closing of the market of trans-Andean passes. If it were run this way, in the Monumental they will receive US$ 6.4 million.


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