Alcaraz, the owner of the booties of “Zorro” Cóccaro | The Journal of the Republic

Days go by and Mateo Alcaraz is still excited, happy and unable to believe the experience he had with striker Matías Cóccaro. The 16-year-old Villamercedino, who plays in the Seventh Division of Aldosivi, was as a ball catcher in the match against Huracán, for the 12th date of the Professional League Cup, and left the “José María Minella” stadium with a gift that he would never have expected: the Uruguayan’s boots. A gift that, although he has not used it for now, will help him in the future to achieve the goal he always dreamed of as a child: debut and shine in the First Division.

A warrior. He plays in seventh.

Mateo, who has been in the Mar del Plata club for 3 years, remembers the sequence in which “Zorro”, scorer of 2 goals that day and moved by the midfielder’s humility, handed him his boots: “I was behind the goal Devecchi and they took him out in the second half. He just passed in front of me and I took advantage, I asked him ‘Cóccaro, did someone ask you for the shorts?’ and he says yes. And I say ‘ah, well, thank you very much’. And when he’s leaving I ask him ‘can the shirt be?’ and he tells me no, how many shoes. I replied 42, he came over and gave them to me. Then he told me: ‘Enjoy them, look how they go with goals.’

Mateo has football in his veins. He has been playing since he was 4 years old. His first steps were at the Los Porotitos school, from Sportivo Pueyrredón, and then he went through San Martín, Aviador Origone, Racing, La Ribera and Jorge Newbery, from where he jumped to Aldosivi, when he was 13. He always moved as a striker, but thanks his skill and speed in the “Tiburón” allowed him to grow in the midfield, where he has been getting good performances and is well seen by coach Diego Villar, former player of Unión de Santa Fe, Racing, Godoy Cruz de Mendoza and Aldosivi, among others .

“I arrived as 9, but they saw that I was fast and had a good punch and they changed places for me. They began to try me as a lane and then as a midfielder, on the right and left, and I was 8. The change did not cost me, but it is a position where you run and you have more of the ball, you have to recover and there is more friction. The coach asks me to make my teammates play. He tells me that they depend on me, to look for the ball and defend… the truth is that Villar is a good teacher,” he said.

And he added: “The training sessions are different from what I was used to. They are more demanding. The start, the mark and the control of the ball are worked a lot.”

Mateo Alcaraz is one of the many young people in the province who fight to get to the First of AFA. He understands that the road is long and he is willing to continue working hard in order to meet the first of the objectives.

“I’m looking to be someone in life. To be a good soccer player and get to the First Division. I want to give my parents my first salary, something I always dreamed of as a child,” said the man from Villa Merced. “When you’re there as a ball catcher, you want to come in and play. But you earn that with training and games. They haven’t called me up for the Reserve yet, it’s very fast,” he closed.

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Alcaraz, the owner of the booties of “Zorro” Cóccaro | The Journal of the Republic

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