Verón grabs global headlines
Stunning decision to come out of retirement by legendary midfielder who agrees contract aged 41
Juan Sebastián Verón has drawn plenty of headlines over his time in soccer — but perhaps none more so than over the last week, following his stunning decision to play once again for his beloved Estudiantes de la Plata.
Verón, who is also the president of the club, announced last week that he had signed an 18-month contract with his club as a player, officially coming out of retirement at the age of 41.
The former Argentina captain, known as La Brujita (“The Little Witch”), will have a dual role at the club from La Plata as their president and a member of the squad in 2017.
“Juan Sebastián Verón signed the contract that ties him to the club as a player for 18 months and officially became (coach) Nelson Vivas’s second reinforcement for next year,” the club said on their website.
Verón, who spent a decade in Europe playing for Parma, Lazio, Manchester United and Chelsea among other clubs, will turn out for Estudiantes in the First Division championship and the Copa Libertadores.
He captained Estudiantes to their fourth title in South America’s top club competition in 2009, having returned home three years earlier from Inter Milan, and last played for the club in 2014.
Verón has been training for several months for his comeback which will begin with a match against Bayer Leverkusen in the Florida Cup friendly tournament on January 8. he will be paid a minimum wage which he will donate towards the club’s development.
Estudiantes are joint second in the First Division standings, three points behind leaders Boca Juniors halfway through the championship which resumes in February after a seven-week break.
Despite the unusual nature of an outfield player taking to the field in his 40s, the decision is not such a suprise. Last year, the Estudiantes legend vowed to come out of retirement if fans managed to fill 65 percent of the boxes at the club’s new stadium.
— Herald with AP, Reuters