River’s No. 10 jersey is not for everyone: it is only for the chosen ones. Having the honor of being able to wear that number on the court is the dream of many players, although it is true that it also carries a responsibility and a weight of its own that not everyone can bear. However, Marcelo Gallardo knows what it is about and before the departure of Ignacio Fernández that emblematic number will now be owned by Jorge Carrascal. The Colombian midfielder of 22 will be the new 10 of the team and the DT hopes that this 2021 will be the year of his takeoff in River. Yes, JC10 will be the sixth player to wear that mythical T-shirt in the MG cycle. Who were the others? Come in and see.
Carrascal, on his return to the ring at River Camp. (photo: River Press)
The first of all was Manuel Lanzini, the midfielder who today plays for West Ham in England. And his story is more than particular: he could barely play an official match with Gallardo on the bench and it was in the premiere for the Argentine Cup against Ferro, in 2014, that ended with victory after the definition by penalties. After that meeting, Lanzini emigrated to Al-Jazeera in the United Arab Emirates.
Lanzini, the first 10 of the Gallardo cycle.
The second was Tomás Martínez. The midfielder that emerged from the River Inferiores – today a reinforcement of Defense and Justice – and that was part of the champion teams of the Sudamericana 2014, the Recopa Sudamericana, Libertadores and Suruga Bank 2015, wore the 10 in 4PJ of the Sudamericana before the game by Lanzini.
Tomás Martínez, with the 10.
The third who wore that number was one of the players who left his indelible mark on the Gallardo cycle with one of the most memorable goals in history: Gonzalo Martínez. Yes, the author of 3-1 to Boca in the final of the 2018 Libertadores in Madrid – he won eight titles – took possession of the 10 and left it high. What’s more, Pity became one of the six top scorers of the current Gallardo cycle, with 35 shouts.
Pity Martínez left his mark in Madrid. Image: Luciano Canet
And boy, after his departure to Atlanta United, one of the issues that generated debate was who should succeed Martinez with that emblematic number. And Marcelo Gallardo did not hesitate: he chose Juan Fernando Quintero, another who polished his left foot and became a great driver until last year he left for Shenzhen in China. Then again the 10 was vacant …
Juanfer, a real crack.
Gallardo and Nacho, an eternal relationship. Diego Haliasz / river press
But it was Ignacio Fernández who took it and continued adding quality to it. Nacho, who has now completed his transfer to Atlético Mineiro from Brazil, became – for many – the best footballer in Argentine soccer. And now, before his departure, Carrascal is the one who hopes to continue with that legacy and bring all his imprint and all his football to River.