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Print - IN MEMORIAM ‘EL TRENCHE’ KARLOVICH

''EL GITANO'' ZADNJI NOGOMETNI ROMANTIČAR

5. 6. 2020.
IN MEMORIAM ‘EL TRENCHE’ KARLOVICH

Tomás Felipe Carlovich, odnosno Karlović, zvani "El Trinche", preminuo je nažalost 8. svibnja ove godine, kao još jedna žrtva svakodnevne nesigurnosti koju donosi život u Rosariju u Argentini. Bio je argentinski nogometaš hrvatskog podrijetla, a igrao je na poziciji veznog igrača. Igrao je u mnogim argentinskim timovima, ali legenda je postao igrajući za Central Cordobe, nogometnog kluba iz Rosarija, svog rodnog grada, gdje je igrao u četiri sezone.

Autor: Stefano Cherubini
Prijevod: Milica Kuzmanović

Dana 6. svibnja, Karlović je vozio bicikl u blizini svoje kuće, kao što je činio svakog dana, kada mu je prišao pljačkaš i udario ga po glavi kako bi mu ukrao bicikl. Karlović je pao na zemlju i onesvijestio se. Pretrpio je moždani udar, koji je prouzrokovao komu. Karlović je umro u bolnici dva dana kasnije, u 74. godini života. Osumnjičeni, 32-godišnji Juan Ariel Maidana, trenutno se nalazi u pritvoru. Manjak sigurnosti općeprisutna je pojava na ulicama Rosarija i drugih velikih gradova u Argentini.

Iako je odigrao samo tri utakmice u argentinskoj prvoj ligi, imao je nevjerojatnu i jedinstvenu nogometnu tehniku. Postao je legenda i o  njemu su se prepričavale mnoge priče. Diego Armando Maradona, najveći nogometaš u povijesti, opisao ga je kao boljeg od sebe. I druge nogometne ikone, poput Joséa Pekermana, koji je na prošlom svjetskom kupu predvodio Kolumbiju, smatrale su ga "najčudesnijim nogometašem." Daniel Passarella, koji je bio svjetski prvak s Argentinom 1978. i 1986. godine, izjavio je kako se, kada je igrao u klubu Sarmiento de Junin, “zaljubio” u Karlovića, te kako je Karlović bio najbolji nogometaš kojeg je ikad vidio prije nego što je dospio u prvu ligu. Passarella ga je opisao kao jedinstvenog igrača, te je izjavio kako bi i sam volio igrati kao "El Trinche".

Dok se pripremao za Svjetsko prvenstvo 1974. godine, argentinski sastav je odigrao utakmicu protiv tima sastavljenog od igrača iz Rosarija, među kojima je bio i Karlovića. U prvom poluvremenu utakmice tim iz Rosarija postigao je tri gola. Vladislao Cap, trener argentinske reprezentacije, zatražio od trenera ekipe iz Rosarija da zamjeni Karlovića drugim igračem. El Trinchen je igrao toliko dobro, da je Vladislao Cup procijenio kako za moral igrača reprezentacije Argentine ne bi bilo dobro ako izgube tu prijateljsku utakmicu, neposredno prije Svjetskog prvenstva. Vratar Fillol, prisjetio se kako je sjajni ‘El Trinche’ igrao te večeri, uspoređujući ga s Redondom ili Cambiassoom.

Karlović je rođen 20. travnja 1949. godine u Rosariju, u Argentini, kao najmlađi od sedmero braće. Njegov otac Mario bio je hrvatski radnik koji je izdržavao obitelj obavljajući poslove vodoinstalatera. Njegova majka Elvira bila je domaćica. El Trinche je imao teško djetinjstvo. Njegov svijet bio je ograničen samo na naselje Rosarija, Belgrano. Tamo je igrao nogomet u ogradi, na malim igralištima. Kad njegova obitelj nije imala novca za nogometnu loptu, zabavljao se s krpenim loptama koje je sam pravio, a kada nije imao tenisice, igrao je bos.

U nogometnom timu Independiente Rivadavia dobio je nadimak "El Gitano" (“Ciganin”). Taj nadimak je dobio jer nije bio tipičan nogometaš. Ako danas pitate bilo kojeg mladog argentinskog nogometaša gdje bi želio igrati u budućnosti, odgovorit će vam u Europi - možda talijanska A Liga, možda španjolska La Liga, engleska Premier liga ili njemačka Bundesliga. Karlović je bio suprotnost. Predstavljao je antisustav, nije bio ambiciozan ni pohlepan nogometaš. Vjerojatno je bio jedan od posljednjih romantičara nogometa, jedan od onih koji su igrali iz strasti, a ne zbog novca ili slave.

Iako je nekoliko puta imao priliku otići u inozemstvo, odbio je. Prema njegovim riječima: "Uvijek sam igrao na isti način, s istom žarom. Možda bi odlazak u Francusku ili Cosmo (SAD), prilike koje su mi se u nekom trenutku pružale, promijenile moj život. Ali za mene je igrati u Central Cordoba bilo poput igrati u Real Madridu."

Puno puta morao je odgovarati na pitanja zašto nije uspio. Zašto je poznat kao "Maradona koji nije uspio"? U vezi s tim, rekao je: "Što je to uspeti? Istina je da nikad nisam imao drugu ambiciju osim igranja nogometa. Jedna od najvažnijih stvari za mene nije bila da odem daleko iz svog susjedstva, od kuće svojih roditelja, od Vasco Artola, jednog od mojih najboljih prijatelja koji me odveo da igram u Sporting de Bigand. S druge strane, ja sam samotnjak. Kad sam igrao u Central Cordoba, više sam volio presvlačiti se sam, nego u svlačionici. Volim biti opušten."

Jednom ga je Cesar Luis Menotti, koji je 1978. godine bio menadžer na Svjetskom prvenstvu koji je osvojila Argentina, pozvao da igra za reprezentaciju Argentine. Međutim, El Trinche se nije pojavio na treningu. Kad je Menotti zatražio objašnjenje, rekao je kako je zaboravio na trening te je umjesto na trening otišao u ribolov.

"Svojom skromnost si nas sve nadigrao, Trinche. Ne mogu vjerovati da te nema, nedavno smo se vidjeli, a sada si otišao. Moja sućut obitelji, nadam se da će pravda biti zadovoljena. Počivaj u miru, maestro", tim riječima na instagramu Maradona je rekao posljednje zbogom „El Gitanu“. 

Grad Rosario će u čast Karlovića imenovati po njemu ulicu u kojoj se nalazi stadion nogometnog kluba Central Cordoba, u kojemu je postao legenda. Također, u njegovu čast, u unutrašnjosti stadiona postaviće spomen ploču.

Karlović, odnosno Carlovich, ‘El Trinche’, ‘El Gitano’, kako god ga želite zvati, bio je legenda, igrač jedinstvene tehnike, jedan od posljednjih igrača koje nije zanimalo ništa drugo osim ljubav prema sportu, pravi nogometni romantik. Primjer kako život ne mora uvijek biti stvar materijalnog bogatstva ili postizanja uspjeha, već može biti i stvar sreće. Njegova se sreća nije mjerila novcem, uspjehom ili postignućima. Bio je sretan igrajući nogomet u rodnom gradu. Tako je živjeo, a tako je i umro, sretan.

 

 

Tomás Felipe Carlovich, nicknamed “El Trinche“, sadly passed away on the 8 of May of this year as another victim of the everyday insecurity that Rosario suffers from. He was an Argentinian football player, Croatian descendant, who played as midfielder. He played in many Argentinian teams, but he became an idol and beloved figure of Central Cordoba of Rosario, his hometown, where he played in 4 cycles.

On the 6th of May, Carlovich was riding his bicycle around his neighborhood as he did every day, when a robber approached him and hit him on the head to steal his bicycle. He crashed into the ground, unconscious but with his eyes open as a consequence of the attack. He suffered a stroke so he was induced into a coma. He died two days later in the hospital, at the age of 74. The suspect, 32-year-old Juan Ariel Maidana, is currently in preventive prison. This kind of insecurity is quite common in Rosario and most Argentinian big cities.

As a football player, even having only played 3 matches in the Argentinian first division, he had an incredible and unique technique. He became a legend, with many stories behind him. Diego Armando Maradona, the greatest football player in history, described him as being better than himself. Other football icons such as José Pekerman, who in the last world cup managed Colombia, considered him “The most marvelous football player I have ever seen.” Daniel Passarella, world champion in 1978 and 1986 with Argentina, said that when he played in Sarmiento de Junin he fell in love with Carlovich. The best football player he ever saw before making it to first division. Unique, and he would have loved to play as “El Trinche”.

While preparing for the 1974 World Cup, the Argentinian Squad played a match against a combination of of Rosario players, including Carlovich. The first half the match scored 3-0 in favour of the Rosarinos, and El Trinche was playing so well that Vladislao Cap, the Argentinian National Squad Coach, asked the Rosario Squad coach to sub Carlovich, as it was not good for squad moral to lose a friendly match just before the World Cup. Fillol, the goalkeeper, remembers how great El Trinche played that night, comparing him to the likes of Redondo or Cambiasso.

Carlovich was born on April 20th, 1949, in Rosario. He is the youngest of seven brothers. His father, Mario, was a Croatian worker who supported his family thanks to his work as a plumber. His mother was named Elvira and was a housewife. El Trinche had an austere childhood. His social context did not go beyond the margins of the Belgrano neighborhood. There, he played in the paddock, in small fields. When his family did not have money to buy a football ball, he had fun with rag balls he made himself. And if he didn't have sneakers, he played barefoot.

It was in the Independiente Rivadavia football team that he got the nickname “El Gitano” (The Gypsy). This nickname was based on the fact that he was not the typical football player. If you ask any Argentinian young football player today where he would like to play in the future, they will give you one answer: Europe. Maybe the Italian Serie A, maybe the Spanish La Liga, the English Premier League, or the German Bundesliga. Carlovich was the opposite of this. He portrayed the image of the antisystem, neither ambitious nor greedy football player. He was probably one of the last romantics of football, of those who played for pure passion and not for money, fame or even glory.

He had the opportunity to go abroad a couple of times, however he rejected. In his words: “I always played the same, with the same eagerness. Maybe going to France or Cosmo (USA), opportunities that I had at some point, would have changed my life. But for me, playing in Central Cordoba was like playing in Real Madrid.”

Many times, he had to answer the question why he didn’t make it. Why is he known as “the Maradona who did not make it”? Regarding this, he has said: “What is it to make it? The truth is I never had another ambition than playing football. And one of the most important things for me was not to go far away from my neighborhood, from the house of my parents, from the Vasco Artola, one of my best friends who took me to play in Sporting de Bigand. On the other hand, I am a solitary person. When I played in Central Córdoba, I preferred to get dressed alone in the props instead of the locker room. I like to be chill.”

One time, Cesar Luis Menotti, who would be the manager in the 1978 World Cup won by Argentina, called him to play for the Argentina National Squad, however El Trinche did not go to the training. When Menotti asked for an explanation, he said he forgot about it and went fishing instead.

“With your humbleness you “danced” (outplayed) us all, Trinche. I cannot believe it, I met you not long ago and now you are gone. My dear condolences to your family and I wish justice will take place. May you rest in peace, Maestro.” These were the words used by Maradona to say the final goodbye to El Gitano in an Instagram post.

The city of Rosario will honor Carlovich by giving his name to a street that sorrounds the Central Córdoba stadium, the club in which he became an idol. They are also going to put a plaque in his honor inside of the stadium.

Carlovich, El Trinche, El Gitano, as you want to call him, was a player with a unique technique, a legend, one of the last players who weren’t interested in anything else but love for the sport, a true football romantic. An example that life is not always about materialistic things, about being successful or achieving something, but it can also be about happiness. His happiness was not measured in money, in success or achievements, he was happy just playing football in his hometown. He lived and died that way, happy.

 

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