Saturday, 21 March 2009

Please Release Me

In footballing parlance the goalkeeper is widely assumed to be the crazy and some may say mad member of the 11. 'Mad' could be a word used to describe the mood of ostracised Boca Juniors goalkeeper Mauricio Caranta. Appearing on the football show Gol de Medianoche earlier this week the 30 year old alluded to a secret pact existing between leading clubs not to sign him and rescue him from the Argentine equivalent of being sent to Coventry.

For those not familar with the the saga the first rumblings of any issues came last October when Caranta announced to the media that he had a delicate family problem linked to his daughter. He refused to reveal the nature of the problem but added that coach Ischia 'understands and supports me'. Ischia's support and understanding lasted for approximatley 3 months and came to a grinding halt at Boca's summer training camp when the 'keeper wasn't allowed to enter the team hotel and told that he was no longer wanted. On-line allegations that Caranta had an affair with Ischia's daughter have also surfaced - something that he categorically denies and are unfounded but this has no doubt added to the intrigue. Fast forward to this month which has seen the player win a court case effectively allowing him to be transferred provided a club comes looking for him and not the other way around. Confused? Lanús could well be in the frame to sign him if things go to plan although the AFA and president Julio Grondona may well be called upon to aid negotiations between the two clubs.

To the untrained eye the whole thing seems simple - Boca don't want him (whatever the reasoning) so sell him, marginalise him in the reserves make reference to some disappointing displays in training or his ongoing personal problems. Afterall a club can only support a player for so long, they're not charities or welfare institutions. To effectively bar Caranta from the club is surely asking for trouble? A situation where only lawyers will profit. Whether you're on the side of the player or the club why should he be prevented from working and pursuing his career?

Later on in the TV show he resisted what must have been a strong temptation to talk negatively about Boca 'it would show a lack of respect to speak ill of the club' and concluded that 'I haven't won, neither have Boca, we've both lost'.

We're often told that in modern game the balance of power in football has shifted wholesale from club management and owners to the players. This episode demonstrates that in some instances the opposite is still the case.
Hasta luego!