“This will be my last year as a player”

Leonardo Ponzio, steering wheel River, He publicly stated that 2021 will be his farewell from the fields as a footballer. “We are going to see how we are in June or December, but this may be my last year as a player. I don’t think it will be past December. I really enjoyed it and everything has an ending. You have to know when (to stop), “he began on La Red. And then he confirmed that “I think this year will be my last in football”.

Pontius, 39, admitted that he has already received recommendations from those who have already gone through that situation. “They told me I have to get bored for a while. And then try to find a place where it is useful. If it is River or in another club. Coach I don’t see myself “He admitted, ruling out that in the short term it will be detained, although “maybe six months later the bug may bite me” and reasoning out loud that he does not rule out a place in the managerial plane.

What would be the specific task that Ponzio is aiming for? “I look a lot at the issue of being able to look down, how players are formed, how players get to River from other institutions. It catches my attention because I had to live it: it takes you six months or a year to adapt to River, because you are on everyone’s lips. I would like to go that way, see the place where I can watch players to be on the palate of the club ”. And he added that “I would love to be able to help from that side (that of coordination). I am excited and at the same time I like it ”, but which intends to analyze the situation in the first months after retirement and then define its role in the future.

Likewise, Pontius He raised – referring to the possibility of integrating the Technical Secretariat in the medium term – that he refers to Monchi (“I really like the work he does”) and that “I would like to help those who are already working. And if I can do it, all the better. Always giving them things ”.

On the other hand, he stressed that he sees Gallardo “for several more years in River” although he will have the open doors of Europe when he decides to leave Núñez. And that regarding salary issues “we are up to date” and “we do not have any debt.”


On his retirement: “We are going to see how we are doing in June or December, but this year may be my last as a player. I don’t think it will be past December. I enjoyed it a lot and everything has an end. You have to know when. I think this year it will be my last in football. “

On sleeping the games: “Go tell Suárez or Borré to have it and throw it back: they have the arch between eyebrows. Carrascal too. They have the idea of ​​doing damage for 90 minutes. Yes you can talk, say ‘these mistakes can be corrected’. They are isolated situations in which they hurt us. Being more focused than we have been. But if you put in the balance how you intend to play, if like River or like another team, they take our side ”.

The most outstanding players of the Gallardo era: “I would not focus on just one, but on all those who left River: Funes Mori, Lanzini, Driussi, Martínez Quarta, Pezzella … Those players made a name for themselves among other numbers that came from other side. For the club footballer, having someone else bring him is a stone. But in recent years the player emerged from River was valued and represented, and today we are talking about many who are making a career abroad and want to return. They don’t say, ‘Not because I had a bad time.’ They had a growth and were treated in such a way that they intend to return. And that is the essence that River must have in every sense ”.

On what will be his role in the future. “They told me that first I have to get bored for a while. And then try to find a place where it can be useful. If it is River or in another club. Coach I don’t see myself. I’m trying to prepare. I look a lot at the issue of looking down, how players are formed, how they come to River from other institutions. It draws my attention, because I lived it: it takes you six months or a year to adapt to River. You are on everyone’s lips. I would like to walk that way. See the place where I can watch footballers for River’s palate ”.

On a possible role in the technical secretariat: “I really like Monchi’s work. It’s something that I like. Then there are people who have their position and I would like to help you with what is being done. And if I can help you, better. Always giving him things ”.

Gallardo’s successor. “Everyone is waiting for the one after Gallardo to be a Ponzio or a Maidana. It’s not that you change coach for coach. Marcelo prepared before. We have to prepare. It’s not that tomorrow I put on the suit, and send it here, there. At six months maybe the bug bites me and there I will prepare. I will take tips and examples to get back to my idea: today I don’t have my game idea. Maybe if you ask Pinola he will say yes. On the pitch we handle situations or give directions because we are present and we can provide solutions ”.

On being a manager or coordinator: “Yes. I would love to be able to help from that side. I am excited and I like it. Today I tell you from the mouth out, but outside the dressing room everything looks different ”.

Whether to retire in June or December is up to the Libertadores. “I do not have anything to hide. If we are doing well in the Copa Libertadores, I would love to continue. Nor do I want to be a pebble on the road for other kids. You put kilometers on your legs and you are not in a club where you can do the plank ”.

If River twisted the arm of history and is a cupbearer. “I played Libertadores in 2007 and in 2008, also the South American. At that time you entered to play a Cup in River and it is not the same as I feel now. There is a respect that was earned because we are really going to play the games in the same way. We feel the respect that the other team transmits to us. And previously it did not feel that way. I don’t know if because if we had a good year, a bad year, and then everything was half indecipherable. And today we twisted our hand to that because the groups that we have formed since the first South American have liked to play international cups. We know what we want ”.

On what has happened in local tournaments: “We have had the opportunity to fight local tournaments at times and, at the same time, be in decisive phases of the Cup. And out there we have not been up to the task. Headlines or non-headlines, we are still on top. With two competitions at the same time, we can regularly say that we have not won it. And some are going to escape you ”.

The future of Gallardo. “When you have a purpose and, at the same time, everyone is there, it is difficult to want to leave. I think Marcelo is in that place. But the day I say ‘this is where I came’, the doors of Europe will be open. When it happens (that he decides to leave River) it is because he took advantage of everything. I see him in Argentina or in River for several more years, and then making a career in Europe for a long time. And it enters into the thought if he will direct the National Team or if not, and if he will return to River ”.

On the desire that Boca go round to face him in Cups. “When your eternal rival plays, you want him to lose. If you have to face it, you enjoy it. There were many classics and you have to value it. That the two teams face each other in the most brilliant classic is good and above all that it is seen at the level of Libertadores. It is the maximum. Now, to say ‘I want him to win’ … Those messages that I want to face you, that’s it: every year are new classics and there is no revenge ”.

The ranking of the three most important victories of the Gallardo era: “The first Libertadores, then the second and finally, the Argentine Super Cup. Why 2015 over 2018? Because one makes the other stronger: there are two in a cycle ”.

The worst defeat: “The situation we experienced against Lanús lasted a couple of months. We had played very well at home, we started well there and everything went away… It was another dream opportunity ”.

Why, if there are conflicts, they do not come to light in River. “Everything here is talked about. We have a way of representing the club. It is very great when in River you do things right or wrong. And it has its repercussion. There is a before and after being able to manifest. Nobody has to deviate from who we are or plant flags alone. Neither manifest if it was already spoken within the group. We respect the institution ”.

About how you talk to young people. “We talk a lot with the greats. And when we have to do it with one of the youngest, the idea is to do it one or two. Do not send them to the front but generate links. So when something happens, they are the first to apologize. Group meetings serve to see our faces, to see what we think. But we have a fairly healthy coexistence. I want to go to training every day ”.

The talk with the reinforcements: “We welcomed the reinforcements, we talked on a day-to-day basis, how to deal with the press, out there a statement as soon as you get out there is uncomfortable, you have to be ambitious with the work and not with the statements It is a different world from the one they came from “

Up to date with salaries? “We are perfect. There was a pandemic situation, where we agreed, but it is over and we are up to date on everything. We are not in debt “.

Biscay as future DT: “I don’t see Matías or Pollo (Buján) making their way alone. They do not have that purpose. If Marcelo goes to Europe, China or wherever, and they are not in a position to follow him, it will be something else. But I think Matías is Gallardo’s right arm, Biscay the left, and they complement each other very well. They have known each other since they were kids. What is generated between them is worthy of admiration ”.

Back to Newell’s: “At the time I have thought about it. I had to have a chat in 2013 when I wasn’t playing with Ramón Díaz. But it is not in my head today because I found my place in River. I have the utmost respect for Newell’s because he raised me, I owe him a lot, but today my place is this. I’m going to end up here ”.

Do captains support Santiago Silva? “We want to see how the Tank is. What happened, he will have his explanations, but from where we can help him welcome. We cannot go out to plant a flag. We do have the word of a trusted colleague, but we don’t know what might be behind. I was talking with Maxi Rodríguez: we got together, the topic came up and nothing else ”.


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