Goal, farewell and ovation for Marco Ruben in his last game as a professional

He had made it clear: He wasn’t interested in a token farewell with a mid-match change to applause. “I don’t like those things,” he said. Marco Reuben he was a starter, he played the match like one more and like in so many others, he scored a goal, number 105 with the Rosario Central shirt. The referee Pablo Giménez, after the final whistle after the 3-1 win over Estudiantes, approached and gave him the ball. His companions, after making him fly through the air in Arroyito, lined up to give him a hug. There were photos, selfies and everything one can imagine. An ovation as huge as the Giant and the family that he entered to give him a shirt framed with the number 262. Thus, the 9 de Oro put an end to a brilliant career.

“Hey, hey, hey, Marco, Marco…”.

The last goal was the third of the Rosario night and he built it Walter Montoya with a climb into the void through his lane, the right, to get the center to the race for the entrance at the height of Ruben’s penalty spot. He took it from the front, but the ball was left there without the goalkeeper being able to catch it because he was still on the ground in his attempt to cut the trajectory. Ruben stopped, turned on his axis and finished off. Goal.

He ran, stood on a billboard and opened his arms to receive for the last time the energy radiating from the people who overflowed the stadium. His teammates lowered him and covered him in a hug to celebrate not only the goal, but to say goodbye to him.

The believers of this part of the world assure that God is everywhere, but he attends in Buenos Aires. Perhaps that is why the retirement of one of the most prolific scorers of this century in vernacular football does not impact as he should.

A rogue fanatic by family design (“my father was the one who injected this madness called Central into my veins,” he told the press conference on Wednesday), he arrived at the club of his loves at the beginning of 2003, at the age of the sixth division, and Very quickly he climbed to the First Division after playing just 33 games and scoring 19 goals between the lower divisions and the Reserve.

At the end of 2006, Ruben closed the first of his three stages in the club of his heart. Upon his return, he won his only title with Central, which also ended a 23-year drought without coronations: the 2018 Copa Argentina that he beat Gimnasia on penalties in the decisive duel at Malvinas Argentina de Mendoza.

But the coronavirus pandemic put football on hold and brought him closer to retirement. “When the pandemic came, I stopped playing football and it could have been definitive. But I came back for a dream, for the illusion of achieving something great with the Central shirt. And incredibly it happened, ”he said this Wednesday at the conference in which he announced his retirement.

By then, he had 81 goals and needed 18 to break the mark that Torito Waldino Aguirre had built in the 1940s. He did it on November 28 of last year with a double in the 2-2 draw with River in Arroyito. That day he reached 99. Since then he added another six to his account, the last one, no less than at his farewell.

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