Pujato breeds pride for its hero, Scaloni, and joy tinged with mourning

By Rodrigo Garcia

Pujato, Argentina, Dec 19 (EFE).- With almost 4,000 inhabitants and surrounded by extensive fields, Pujato is a friendly and quiet town.

As much as its most illustrious son, Argentine soccer coach Lionel Scaloni, of whom his countrymen could not be more proud and happy, despite the moment of sadness the town is experiencing due to the death of a neighbor in a traffic accident.

Forty kilometers from Rosario, the largest city in the province of Santa Fe and where Leo Messi was born, to get to Pujato one must enter the National Route 33, which divides the town with its countless passing trucks, whose noise mixes with the chirping of birds, the main soundtrack of the municipality on a hot and calm spring day.

“We still can’t believe we are world champions and Lionel achieved all this,” Juan Ezequiel Marcetti, the coach’s second cousin, told EFE, clad in an Argentine shirt signed by him and with another in hand from the coach’s time as a Deportivo de La Coruna player.

One day after the team won its third World Cup in Qatar, Marcetti spoke to EFE in front of one of the murals paying homage to Scaloni in the town, that of Club Atletico Sportivo Matienzo, where he took his first steps in football.

“He is one of the murals that there are of Lionel. There are already four in Pujato. There will soon be a street named Lionel,” he said.

“Pujato has already made its mark. The coach who brought us the third cup. Lionel has already entered history,” he said, adding that his cousin is, as shown, “simple, humble and quiet,” a normal boy and a “very good person.”

On Dec. 9, the day the team beat the Netherlands in the quarterfinals of the soccer World Cup, two boys from the town had an accident on Route 33. Agustin, 27, died, and Ciro, 24, is still fighting for his life in hospital.

After the game, Scaloni himself was remorseful before the press.

“He remembered the two boys. He did not forget that. Agustin and Ciro, who was a friend of mine and is fighting her. (…) Since we all know each other, we are few inhabitants, something happens to someone and we feel it for everyone,” said Juan Ezequiel, who spoke about the “poor condition” of the road.

Fixing it is precisely one of the demands of the Pujato Commune, of which the deceased, collaborator and friend of Mayor Daniel Quacquarini, was an employee.

The name of the town recalls the ex-governor of Santa Fe Candido Pujato, who had promoted the railway branch that passed through the area. Today, agricultural exploitation and cargo transport are the main economic engines of the town.

“This is the main square, where just yesterday a large part of the town came together to celebrate Argentina’s triumph,” said Gustavo San Martín, an ice cream shop merchant, adding that this celebration was very quiet due to the impact of the accident.

This neighbor said that, despite the criticism that Scaloni received from the Buenos Aires press when he was named coach, who said he “had no experience,” his results are plain to see.

“South American champion, played against Italy and won (La Finalissima) and now world champion. What more can you ask for?”

“He does not deny his origins, on the contrary. In each place where he was he has always named Pujato”, he said.

A large part of his family lives in the town – keeping a very low profile – including his parents, to whom Lionel dedicated the cup. EFE


Related Articles

Back to top button