One of the most unpredictable players of the last 20 years, Alvaro Recoba, has announced that he will retire from football at the end of this month.
A unique talent, the Uruguayan playmaker scored 72 goals in his 248 appearances for the Nerazzurri, picking up a UEFA Cup and two Serie A titles along the way, although a lack of desire to train meant that he arguably never truly fulfilled his enormous potential.
Thursday, March 31 will see the 40-year-old say goodbye to football, with big international stars coming to Montevideo to bid ‘El Chino’ farewell, including former Nerazzuri teammate Christian Vieri, who was unlikely to turn down the opportunity to party with the man to whom he owes at least 50 of his goals for Inter.
Recoba was signed for the Nerazzurri when then Biscione President Massimo Moratti saw a videotape of the young attacker scoring a Maradona-esque goal for Club Nacional de Montevideo.
With that strike, he demonstrated an impressive combination of speed, strength and excellent technique by taking the ball around the halfway line and gliding past defenders with ease on his way to turning the ball past the opposition keeper.
That same summer, the club made the marquee signing of Ronaldo and the Uruguayan made his debut for the Nerazzurri during Inter’s pre-season friendly with Bologna in 1997, coming on for the Brazilian striker and making an immediate impression on the Inter faithful.
“80,000 came to see Ronaldo Luiz Nazario da Lima,” said the radio broadcaster on RTL 102.5. “But instead they have discovered Alvaro ‘El Chino’ Recoba with his left foot of dynamite.”
Having played his final game for Inter in 2007, Recoba spent a year with Torino before making his way back to Club Nacional via Greek side Panionios and first club Danubio, picking up 155 career goals for club and country along the way.
Adapted form an article by Mirko Graziano in La Gazzetta dello Sport