El Mago Garré, Héctor Cúper, Fino Cañete, Claudio Crocco, Beto Márcico and Mario Gómez.  Great team of Ferro Carril Oeste from the 80's.

Roberto Carlos Mario Gomez feel comfortable working in Armenian Sports. The tranquility that is consumed walking the road to Dique Luján in Ingeniero Maschwitz allows the coach to continue transferring all his knowledge to the players of the traditional team supported by the Nakis family.

That winger who gained notoriety playing in the successful Ferro de Carlos Griguol, today he is 65 years old. There is no doubt that due to the line of conduct of the Cordovan teacher, Gómez was tempering a personality that allowed him to overcome demanding situations. From doing Olympic laps playing in a humble team, like giving a technical talk to established players.

“In Kimberley de Mar del Plata I played as a 5, but When Griguol invited me to participate in the Ferro project with the condition of being a right back, I didn’t hesitate”. This is how the soccer talk started with the man who worked as a young man in the tanguería that his father managed a few meters from Plaza Miter, in Mar del Plata.

El Mago Garré, Héctor Cúper, Fino Cañete, Claudio Crocco, Beto Márcico and Mario Gómez. Great team of Ferro Carril Oeste from the 80’s.

Mario Gómez continues to attach importance to the fact that he had great players from that Ferro modeled by Timoteo as teammates. “You don’t know what it was like to share a practice with Márcico and the Uruguayan Julio Giménez. It was a delight to watch them play.”

His journey as a player at Ferro began in 1980 and ended in 1987. In Verde de Caballito he won two tournaments (1982 and 1984) as part of a defense that came from memory. Gomez, Cuper, Rocchia and Garre.

Professor Gómez, already committed to the coaching trade, clung to the knowledge of his teacher Griguol. With him he took his first steps planning matches.

Time led him to work with an old colleague, because Gómez’s call from Héctor Cúper did not make him hesitate. Together they began to work in Lanús, but time led them to transcend together in Europe directing Mallorca, Valencia and Inter.

With Valencia (Ayala, Pellegrino, Aimar, Kily Gonzalez and Piojo López played), managed to be part of the coaching staff that in 2001 lost the final against Bayern Munich on penalties, at the San Siro in Milan.

At one point in his career he decided to be the head of the group. And his work also had good results. In Lanús he was runner-up in the Clausura 1998 tournament. With Gimnasia de Jujuy he was promoted to the first division where he stayed for 3 seasons. With the “Lobo” he won 2 to 1 against Boca de Basile who had just become champion in the Tacita de Plata.

He passed through Quilmes, Gimnasia y Esgrima la Plata and Belgrano, where he was on the verge of being promoted to first, but in an exciting back and forth he was left wanting against Racing.

This man from Mar del Plata has three names “because my parents did not agree”, He continued his endless journey as a coach in Greece and several countries with little football tradition. Life took him to work in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia.

He managed 16 teams and also the Malaysian national team. His knowledge is evident in every indication he gives to those young dreamers that the team of the Armenian community has. A club that intends to get closer to what it was in the 86/87 season, where it was promoted to first thanks to players who took it to the top such as José Úbeda, Cincunegui and Sergio Silvano Maciel.

Roberto Carlos Mario Gómez takes this new challenge seriously. Far from the noise of the big leagues, but with the indelible teachings that his old teacher, Carlos Timoteo Griguol, gave him.

Mario Gómez, coach of Deportivo Armenio (TN).
Mario Gómez, coach of Deportivo Armenio (TN).

What motivates you to keep training?

-I like to teach, I like to train young players.

Why was it said that Ferro was a team ahead of its time?

-Look, in ’81 we began to see the difference we made over the other teams. Physically we clearly overcome them. Griguol was an advance. At first, we players asked ourselves why we worked so hard, but later in the game we realized that we were taking advantage. We also had Luis Bonini as physical trainer. Another key man in the process.

Ferro was a team highly questioned by a sector of journalism. How did they handle criticism?

-We played our game. We handled the ball with the defense and they criticized us for it. And to think that now they do it worldwide. I remember a game against Hurricane where they charged us an indirect against because the reason was that we had to attack. That team had things very clear and each player knew his role very well.

What did it mean to face Boca de Maradona?

-Even though we lost 1-0, it was indelible. La Bombonera applauded us. With Maradona that day Boca played with 12 players. During the week I offered Griguol to mark Maradona man to man and Griguol told me I was crazy.

Do you regret not having fouled Hugo Perotti?

-Yes. I lost concentration and didn’t follow the ball when Maradona gave Perotti the pass. He should have fouled him. We played the championship and I made a very serious mistake.

How was your first contact with a soccer team, but where you were the coach?

-It was in 1997. It was a game where Lanús played on television against Platense. They raised me from fourth to first and I had to give the talk to Ruggeri, Ibagaza and “Chupa” López, among others. All night I was thinking about how to give the technical talk. I was nervous and stuttered several times. We lost 3 to 1 and I couldn’t impose myself.

What did directing Oscar Ruggeri mean?

-An Oscar phenomenon. It helped me a lot. He retired while I was the Lanús coach. I remember a table talk, he approached me and told me that on Sunday against Estudiantes he would retire. That day we had a penalty, he kicked it, scored a goal and left the field.

Tell me about the 4-0 win over River…

-It was with Lanus in 1998. In the Monumental we beat the River champion Ramón Diaz with luxury. A fantastic night. We played with many kids from the club like Alesandria, Juan Fernández, Kmet, Ibagaza… That day Gustavo Bartelt played a great game and scored two goals. I remember that we brought it from All Boys and it gave us a lot.

What does it mean to work in the big leagues? You did it as Cúper’s assistant.

-I managed to work with the best, but what I rescue the most is that I worked in the elite and fundamentally that I enjoyed day to day. The advantage of being second to Cúper allowed me to get to know the human side of those stars. There were 30 figures that wanted to play.

Are they human?

Yes, they are human. You know that sometimes I begin to review who I was able to work with and I am impressed with the players I was with: Zanetti, Cannavaro, Materazzi, Recoba; Ronaldo, Batistuta, Vieri, Crespo, Mendieta… I feel very proud of where I was able to develop my work.

Tell me some anecdote about Ronaldo…

-I was always very close to the work of the archers. He followed Toldo and Fontana very closely. When Ronaldo came to work with them, he always scored goals for them. how did he make them? Hitting the punt ball. He yelled at the archers and came to hug me.

Héctor Cúper and Ronaldo at Inter in which Mario Gómez was the main assistant to the Argentine coach.
Héctor Cúper and Ronaldo at Inter in which Mario Gómez was the main assistant to the Argentine coach.

Was the Argentina-Brazil competition good?

-Haha… Ronaldo and Adriano were very close. Then they made a pair to hit the crossbar from three quarters of the field. And we with Cúper tried to beat them. The one who lost had to make a gift.

Why is Cuper so distant?

Hector is a kind person. The issue is that he puts a wall on you if he doesn’t know you, but I assure you that he is a barbarian type. Grateful for everything he taught me.

What did they lack to win the Champions League with Valencia?

-I keep wondering. We did the impossible to beat Bayern Munich. In the penalty shootout we were up 3-1 and if Carboni took the penalty we would win the Champions League. It hit us so hard that despite being protagonists of the League, we also lost the Spanish championship.

Does the bubble exist in football or is it dimensioned?

They are millionaires but they have a very normal life. I knew that many players from Valencia and Inter helped in silence. The example of Javier Zanetti with his foundation is a very clear case.

How do you work in Asian football?

-When I arrived, I quickly realized that I had to downshift two gears. If not, it would not last for a short time. I became a more patient man. I had mischievous, skilled players, but not like in Argentina.

Mario Gómez, coach of Deportivo Armenio (TN).
Mario Gómez, coach of Deportivo Armenio (TN).

Which Argentina did you meet?

It’s complicated and that makes me sad. I see people nervous, money is not enough. Sometimes I think about looking for work abroad again but I prefer to be close to my family. Being close I can help my six children.

Which player dazzled you?

Ariel Ibagaza. He had eyes in the back of his head, he looked like Bochini. She played one touch and mentally everything was clear. Cúper put him in second 5 and from that sector he managed the team. He even gave instructions to the older ones and even threw concepts at me, being his technician.

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