Recoba: I’ve taken to Toro
Monday 17 September, 2007
Enigmatic striker Alvaro Recoba scored his first goal in a Torino shirt against Palermo and seems to be enjoying life in Turin.
The Uruguayan marksman arrived from Inter on a loan deal after a period of ups and downs at the San Siro.
Despite his obvious talent, El Chino was often sidelined with injury problems and frustrated the Nerazzurri faithful, with many feeling he didn’t merit his generous wage.
Having slid down the pecking order in Roberto Mancini’s squad, Recoba left to try and reassert himself elsewhere and he seems to be ready to do so in the Granata shirt.
The 31-year-old’s maiden Toro goal was a powerful strike after a superb move involving young star Alessandro Rosina.
“It’s great linking up with Rosina,” Recoba grinned. “It’s a golden combination and we are something special as a pair.
“I can really say now that I feel at home here. We are becoming a proper team with determination and character.
“The defence is great and Sasa Bjelanovic had a really good game, it’s a shame we didn’t win. Palermo weren’t as aggressive as we expected, after we went level they gave us space and we could have taken all three points.”
It may be that Recoba’s days at Inter will come to an end with Beneamata President Massimo Moratti reportedly set to negotiate a more permanent settlement with Torino counterpart Urbano Cairo in January.
“Let’s not forget the good things that I did at Inter,” the ex-Venezia man concluded
“But at Toro I have found a special atmosphere. My teammates have pushed me forward and are so supportive.”
Atletico Madrid Move Almost Done
The Inter striker is set to leave the club this summer, but talks with Atletico Madrid have been put on hold as the Colchoneros concentrate on securing a Uefa Cup spot on the final match-day.
The Uruguayan could, however, complete his move next weekend, when his agent will travel to Madrid to finalise the details.
Recoba admits it will be difficult to leave Inter Milan after 10 long years, but believes that if he had to, it was best he played outside Italy.
He also revealed that Massimo Moratti had agreed to hand him a free transfer if he does not move within Calcio.
"There has not been an official offer yet, but my agent Paco Casal will be in Europe next week and will meet [Atletico Madrid chief] Miguel Angel Gil, with whom he has an excellent relationship," Recoba told AS.
"To play for Atletico is an extraordinary opportunity, they are a great club and I want to join them, even if they don’t qualify for the UEFA Cup.
"I arrived 10 years ago and I have always played here, except for a short spell at Venezia. I grew up with the Nerazzurri, but now it’s time for a change and Atletico offer me this chance."
"I spoke to Moratti last week, before I left [for vacations]," he continued. "He is the reason I stayed here so long, but this time we looked each other in the eye and agreed this is the right moment to leave.
"We have always had a special relationship and he will let me go for free, even if I still have a year on my contract, as long as I don’t move to another Italian club."
Recoba begs for Toro switch
Sunday 3 June, 2007
Alvaro Recoba had the best season of his career with Walter Novellino and wants to resume that partnership. “If Inter say it’s OK, I’ll join him at Torino.”
The Uruguayan has become notorious for his inconsistency in a decade-long spell at the San Siro, but much of his reputation as a great talent was built at Venezia.
Joining on loan from Inter in January 1999, he almost single-handedly rescued the Lagunari from certain relegation with 10 goals in 19 games.
It’s a tally he has only ever been able to match a season later for the Nerazzurri and the time has come to move on.
“My friends just told me that Novellino has been appointed the Torino Coach,” he said from Australia, where he secured a 2-1 victory over Australia.
“Massimo Moratti confessed to me it would be awful to see me play in Italy with another jersey. He deserves all my respect, but nothing is certain. The fact Novellino has become the Torino boss changes things, as everyone knows I’d love to be part of his squad.”
Il Chino had already been linked with a switch to Sampdoria before Novellino walked away at the end of a five-year spell, but Toro provide a new haven for both men.
“To make my dream come true, I would need Moratti to give me the all-clear. I don’t want to push him into anything, as it has to be a spontaneous act,” continued Recoba.
“The President knows full well how close I feel to the Coach and I hope he will take this possibility into consideration.”
The fact that he would be joining a side that will not rival Inter for the Scudetto could have an effect on that decision.
“What do you mean?” laughed the Uruguayan. “With my arrival Torino will become as competitive as Inter, Roma and Milan!”
Recoba: Now it's my Scudetto
Sunday 29 April, 2007
Alvaro Recoba scored his first goal in a year and perhaps the last in an Inter jersey. “I wanted to net tonight as all my family was here.”
The Uruguayan curled in directly from the corner flag in the 3-1 win over Empoli this evening and it was a very special moment.
He had not scored since his brace in another 3-1 result against Lazio on March 19, 2006, and was yet to give his contribution to the Scudetto season.
“I swear I was already happy just to get on the field,” he smiled after the final whistle at San Siro.
“I was particularly eager to score because my children were here with my mother and father. I played and scored, so I got to be a real part of this celebration. It’s a great night and we have the entire Inter nation here with us.”
The Scudetto was secured last Sunday with victory away to Siena, so the first match at San Siro since that result was turned into a carnival.
There were fireworks, balloons, giant banners, anthems and all the players brought their children out wearing special Inter jerseys for the pre-match team picture.
Yet it is bittersweet for Il Chino, who has worn this shirt for 10 years and is on the verge of a summer switch.
“I said that I want to enjoy my football. We will see what happens from here until the end of the season. The problem is that if I cannot play regularly, then I don’t feel an integral part of the team. For now I’m focusing on the Copa America, then we will see.”
AFTER TEN YEARS...
Friday, 16 March 2007 19:56:01
Uruguayan striker Alvaro Recoba, who turns 31 on Saturday, was interviewed by Sky Italia ahead of Friday morning's training session at the Centro Sportivo Angelo Moratti:
Recoba: your best goal in ten years with Inter?
"The one from the halfway line against Empoli."
And the least spectacular one?
"Against Bologna in the Coppa Italia. A team-mate headed a corner to me and I scored with my hip."
The friendliest team-mate you have had?
"There have been a lot of friendly people. Taribo West was perhaps the friendliest of all. In terms of personal friendships, Matias Almeyda was the one I got on best with, and the one I'm still in contact with."
And the team-mate you hit it off with least?
"There have been many players in ten years at Inter, and I have got on well with more or less all of them. There have been a few lads, like Keane, for example, who only spoke English, so we didn't talk that much. But I have never had any problems in personal relationships. The only person I've had a big argument with was Francesco Toldo, and we're almost like brothers now."
The strongest player after Recoba?
(smiles) "Ibra has really impressed me a lot because he's so, so strong. Messi of Barcelona is doing well at the moment. And Kakà impressed me in the derby, even though we won. There are three or four very strong players, like Ronaldinho, for example."
Can we compare Ibrahimovic to the Ronaldo you played with at Inter?
"No. They are two different players. In those years you couldn't give Ronie a yard of space, or you had to have a five- or six-metre advantage to keep up with him. You have to stay very close to Ibra because he does what he wants when he gets the ball. They are two different champions, and I have had the honour of playing with both of them."
A player who joined Inter and turned out to be less strong than expected?
(smiles) "I thought I was very strong, but I haven't played for two years... Jokes aside, each one of us does what he can, and there are those who get more publicity than others, like Beckham for example. And I say this without wanting to take anything away from him. Each person has what he deserves."
And the nicest coach?
"Lucescu. I remember he wanted to play me in midfield in front of the defence, and two weeks later I joined Venezia. But I remember him for his likeableness. Zaccheroni wanted to play me in that position too. They tried..."
And the most disagreeable coach?
"Perhaps it was Tardelli, maybe because there was talk of my big contract... But not in terms of the personal relationship, because we have seen each other since and there have been no problems. I have had a lot of coaches who when they have seen me again have told me I was the best player they had. Jokingly, I always reply that they could have thought about it before... However, I have never had any big problems with any coach."
And the most capable coach?
"The most capable coach is always the one who gets you to win. A coach can be the most loved or the nicest person, but in football he is dismissed if you don't win. I haven't won much at Inter, but what I have won has been with Mancini. The best is always the one who gets you to win. In terms of sentiments, I got on very well with Novellino at Venezia. I had six unforgettable months there and we avoided relegation. Look at Capello now: he's one of the best coaches in the world and he is being criticised because he's not getting results."
In your case, Massimo Moratti deserves a separate chapter. Do you agree?
"At this point I have said everything I could say about the president. He has always supported me, even through the most difficult times. I would have liked to have played a bigger part in this season in which we're doing well because I know he wants me to do well. But I have never taken advantage of the situation. If I have been criticised in these ten years, it means he hasn't pushed for me to be played. It has always been the coaches who have decided. Moratti has never put himself in the middle."
Moratti wore your Inter shirt under his jacket during the Champions League qualifier against Shakhtar two years ago...
"I want to point out that I have never taken advantage of the situation. People think that if he does this it means Recoba goes to his home every day, or that I'm always calling him, or because I often invite him for dinner. But I have never done these things. I think there's a good relationship because I have never made an issue of money, despite what has been said. On the contrary, when the time came to reduce my salary, I accepted without any problems because I knew it was an important issue for the president and the club in general. The president is a man who understands these things immediately and knows I have never thought about anything else apart from football. I have always considered myself lucky to have come to Inter. I have never taken advantage of this situation."
Could this be your last season at Inter?
"Yes, unfortunately I believe so. But it's not as if I'm ending my career because I'm fifty years old... I would have liked to leave by playing and helping the team win, and I haven't succeeded in doing that so far because I have often been injured. I'm not saying now that I will definitely leave, but the time has come to understand what I really want to do. I certainly don't want to stay here and play ten to fifteen matches a year. My goals are different now. Most of all I want to play football. Whether it's for a bigger or smaller club it doesn't matter, but I want to feel happy again. I want to be honest: I'm not saying this would be resolved one hundred percent if I went to another club, but I think that with a bit of continuity I would manage to be fitter."
From a physical point of view it has been an unlucky season for you, because you have been decisive each time you have played. But in what is such a good league season for Inter, can you still manage to be happy for what the team is achieving?
"I'm pleased because things are going well for the team. But I'll be honest. I can't say I'm jumping with joy; to be happy I have to play. I repeat: I'm happy for the team because they have a big chance to win, this year like never before. But I can't lie; I can't say it's fine like this and that winning is enough even if I play a minute in each match. It could have been like this at the start, but I can no longer say this now I have been sidelined for so long. But I want to say again that I am very pleased with what the team is managing to win."
Could these remaining eleven matches of the championship be a turning point for your season and make you change your mind?
"No, I don't think so. And I say this because the decisive moments of the season have already passed. We have to continue to do well until the end to celebrate the objective we have had since the start. I have been feeling in good shape for ten to fifteen days. I don't have any problems, and I'm at the service of the coach. But I don't think these eleven games will change the situation. I need to play football, not just concentrate on feeling good and staying at Inter because life is good or because you earn well. It's hard to go home on a Saturday or Sunday when you haven't played even a minute or when you have been in the stands. But for now I'm here and I'm proud to have been here for many years, so we will see what happens. I could even make a life choice and return to my country. We will see."
March has always been your month. Your birthday is in this month and you have always done well at this time of the year...
"This is true. And I felt good in training today too. Let's hope the coach saw me and plays me on Sunday, and that I can do well. I haven't even scored a goal this year. It's time to score a few in this last bit of the season."
What do you think about when you look back at these ten years at Inter?
"Our biggest mistake was in that match against Lazio on 5 May. If we had won that Scudetto, everything would have changed - and I considered myself a protagonist of that season because I had done well, particularly in the last part. Losing in that way was a harsh blow; it took us a while to recover. I'm not saying that championship affected many things, but if we had won that championship certain opinions would have been very different."
Do you think Inter have already won this championship?
"Yes, I think so. And I say this without taking anything away from Roma who have had a superb championship. We have done what we needed to do, we have won the decisive matches and dropped very few points along the way, while others have dropped them. We might not have won it yet, but we have a good ninety-five percent chance of winning it. It's true that you never know in football, but all our big games are at home and we have a sixteen-point lead over the second-placed team."
Has this season been easy or difficult?
"Victories always help you win. There are always problems, and there always have been in the dressing room. There have been a few small things this year, but they only come out when you haven't won. We're winning now and everything is going well, and it's right like this. Even the small things are going well and the other teams realise this because there have been some matches in which we have fallen behind and then come back as if nothing had happened. We are a very strong team, but the others have suffered a bit psychologically, which perhaps happened to us in previous years. We always score at the right time and we know the result will come sooner or later. With the players we have at Inter, everything is much easier."
What went wrong for Inter in the Champions League?
"In Spain there are four teams who play very well: Seville, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Valencia. In general, they play better in Spain than in Italy. Maybe it's because of the pitches or other things. You can see the difference if we compare the last Inter v Milan, which they said was very nice, and the last Real v Barcelona. We faced a team (Valencia) that was playing well and we found it harder. Everything might have changed if we had scored a second goal in the first half, but everything was more difficult with the draw to overturn in the return leg. And in any case they weren't an easy team to face and we were without a very important player in Vieira. We weren't inferior to our opponents; we were punished for our small mistakes. Unfortunately we got a 2-2 draw at home and a 0-0 draw away."
Is your goal now to score a goal that decides the Scudetto?
"My team-mates have already scored many decisive goals, like Hernan's at Roma and Cruz' in the derby, for example. I would be content with playing in these final matches. I still feel I'm part of the squad, but I don't feel I can say I am unless I have played at least five matches."
Decade of despair
Inter started the season with the Scudetto logo on their shirt and striking options that would make any club jealous. So its hardly surprising that few people have been talking about Alvaro Recobas tenth season at the club. His love affair with Inter began in the first home game of the 1997-98 campaign against Brescia which was also Ronaldos debut. The Nerazzurri trailed 1-0 with 20 minutes remaining until Gigi Simoni sent the Montevideo-born forward on and he turned the game with a 30-yard screamer and a long-range free kick.
In the same campaign he scored from the halfway line against Empoli with a strike reminiscent of Diego Maradonas famous goal against Verona. However, it was a spell on loan with Venezia where Recoba truly came to life after Walter Novellino made him the teams leader. At home with the Lagunari, the much-maligned marksman hit 10 goals in 19 games and played a vital role in their survival. However, on his return to Milan, Recoba struggled to find that form again.
The truth is that his time at Inter has been as frustrating as it has been successful. The 30-year-old has experienced some of the lowest points in the clubs history. He was there for the famous game against Juventus in 1998 when Ronaldo was denied a crucial penalty by referee Piero Ceccarini before the Bianconeri went on to win the match and the Scudetto. He was there for the bitter 4-2 defeat against Lazio in 2002 that cost them a title they had looked set to win, the terrible 6-0 derby drubbing and the humiliating defeat against Villarreal in last seasons Champions League.
Despite being heavily criticised for his poor workrate and lack of match fitness, Recobas future at the club has always been assured thanks to his uniquely close relationship with the clubs patron Massimo Moratti. However, there have been rumours in Milan that Moratti in charge again after the death of the great Giacinto Facchetti is looking for a new prot The oil tycoon is reportedly captivated by the promise of two young Brazilians. The first target is Rafael Sobis, recently signed by Real Betis, who has attracted widespread interest in Europe. The second is Under-21 international Kerlon Souza, best known for a trick called the seal dribble where he keeps the ball balanced on his forehead while running.
Nevertheless, there are still many fans of El Chino in Milan. One of these is Ilaria, the founder of the first Inter fan club dedicated to the Uruguayan hit man. To start the club we needed at least 50 members and we reached that number very quickly thanks to our appeals on the Recobamania and Chinolandia websites, she explains. Support didnt just come from Milan, but from all over Italy. Im not surprised because I think Recobas the greatest talent ever to arrive in Serie A, after Maradona. The fans know it, but the Coaches dont. The only tactician brave enough to play him regularly, Hector Cuper, came so close to winning the Scudetto. The real problem has always been a lack of time on the pitch. But looking at the statistics, Alvaro has scored once every 180 minutes a record thats second to none.
However, surely not even the most passionate members of the Recoba fan club can block out the bad memories like the missed penalty against Helsingborgs that sent the Beneamata crashing out of the Champions League in August 2000. Thats true, admits Ilaria. But youve got to remember that Recoba was the only player that day with the guts to take the penalty.
Aside from inconsistency on the pitch, El Chinos thick wage packets have been the biggest stick for his detractors to beat him with. Recobas contractual dealings with Inter have been decidedly strange. When his first agreement expired, his agent Paco Casal told Moratti that his client should be considered a free agent and could sign for the club again. Moratti was happy to pick up the bill to stop his favourite from going elsewhere. Despite subsequent wage cuts, Recoba is still regarded as a symbol of Inters wasteful nature.
Another stain on his career was the case of the fake passport that led to sanctions against the club and director general Gabriele Oriali. It was a controversy that returned to the headlines in the last few weeks when Luciano Moggi under fire from Calciopoli accusations tried to direct the finger of blame towards the Uruguayan. Whenever people claim that Inter were robbed of a penalty by referee Ceccarini in 1998 they forget that Recoba shouldnt have been allowed on the pitch, Moggi insisted. His fake passport was a clear violation of Article 1 of the sporting justice code.
Nonetheless, Attilio founder of the Recobamania website only remembers the players great days. How can you not love a player of his ability? he maintains. Besides the goals against Brescia and Empoli, I remember the Roma and Piacenza games in 2002 and the recent comeback against Sampdoria from 2-0 down where El Chino inspired the turnaround. I was disappointed that he didnt get to the World Cup. Uruguay got level with Australia thanks to Recoba, but the Coach took him off before the shoot-out and they lost.
Disappointed by the blow of missing out on the biggest tournament on earth and struggling to regain his fitness, Recoba would have been able to leave Inter on a free transfer. Instead he decided to stay loyal to the Nerazzurri a choice that pleased another South American turned Milanese, Javier Zanetti. Alvy is a complete player with such talent, said the skipper. Unfortunately, because of injuries and various misunderstandings, he hasnt always been able to show his true abilities, but hes a great teammate who can pop up at the decisive moment.
Keen to play a part in the Scudetto race and the Champions League, Recoba turned down offers from Palermo and Sampdoria in order to complete a decade at the San Siro. Everything that happened this summer has made me even prouder to be an Inter player, explained Recoba. I have been since the first day at the club, but now things are even clearer. At times weve slipped up, but more often others have robbed us.
Admittedly Juve have been stronger than us recently, but in the last two years weve won consecutive Coppa Italias, two Italian Super Cups and this Scudetto that we accepted without any great celebration. However, before I leave I want to win something important on the pitch or I wont feel like Ive finished the job.
Words: Lorenzo Zacchetti
Recoba makes Inter pledge
Thursday 25 May, 2006
Alvaro Recoba has confirmed that he will put pen to paper on a new contract with Inter this summer.
The Uruguayan’s future at the San Siro was in doubt given that his present deal expires in June and he has failed to convince boss Roberto Mancini of his abilities.
However, Recoba has met with owner Massimo Moratti – his biggest fan – and has decided to stay with the outfit.
“I’m staying here at Inter,” the former Venezia player is quoted as saying on Thursday. “I can now go on holiday in peace.
“I haven’t spoken to my agent recently with regard to any possible solutions for me should I leave,” he added.
“I wanted to meet with Moratti first because it has always been my desire to end my career here with this club.
“It took just a minute for us to decide that we would be going into the future with each other,” he concluded.
Recoba, once the world’s highest paid player, joined the Milan giants in 1997 from Nacional Montevideo.
Recoba offered new contract
Wednesday 19 April, 2006
Alvaro Recoba may be a hate figure for some Inter fans, but there are reports he has been offered a new three-year contract worth £1.4m per season.
The Uruguayan arrived in 1997, but in nine years at the club has never become a first-team regular, instead turning into a symbol of at times infuriating inconsistency.
Nonetheless, among talk of another revolution within the Nerazzurri with everyone from Adriano to Francesco Toldo and Julio Ricardo Cruz on the chopping block, Il Chino looks set to remain.
There are newspaper reports in Italy suggesting that Recoba has been offered a new three-year contract worth £1.4m per season, extending a deal that will currently expire in June 2006.
It's claimed that over the last few days there has been a top-level meeting between Inter directors and agent Paco Casal.
Club patron Massimo Moratti has always been an avowed fan of Recoba and refused to sell him even when he failed to convince.
The Uruguayan, who spent six months at Venezia before settling into his position at the San Siro, has scored 81 goals between Serie A and Cup competitions with Inter over nine years
thirty years old
After this morning's training session, birthday boy Alvaro Recoba did some extra aerobic work with fitness trainer Claudio Gaudino. "I did some running after training because I need to improve my physical condition," El Chino said on Inter Channel. "I have been out for a long time with various injuries, and this extra work helps me regain my physical form. We have an important final phase of the season ahead of us so we need to be in the best condition possible. You always have to be ready, and for me this extra work after training is important. It will help me feel good in the final two months.
"I'm thirty years old today. They might be a few, but the main thing is to always have the same spirit. When I think that nine years have gone by since I started my adventure at Inter, I realise that time has passed quickly. Us footballers grow up more quickly for many reasons, especially because of the many responsibilities we have. First and foremost you need to be men to play football at a high level. A thirty-year-old boy, for example, thinks about having fun at the weekend, whereas us footballers have to think about playing and doing our job. But if you enjoy your football it helps you keep a young spirit. I don't know when I will stop playing, but football has definitely helped me become a man. I'm also lucky to have a fantastic wife and splendid children who have always been by my side in everything."
Alvaro Recoba is ready to commit himself to a new contract with Inter even if he does seem to be postponing the addition of his signature to the deal.
"There are no problems regarding my renewal," said the Uruguayan whose current agreement expires in June. "I am ready to stay here for life."
"Inter owner Massimo Moratti is like a father to me, but he knows about the doubts and uncertainties I have."
Recoba, who is wanted by Brazilian outfit Flamengo, is concerned that he will continue to be a fringe player at the San Siro if he accepts to stay.
Flamengo admit Recoba interest
9 February, 2006
Inter forward Alvaro Recoba is a confirmed transfer target for Flamengo, the Brazilian club have stated.
Flamengo chief Kleber Leite admires the enigmatic attacker and hopes his friendship with the player’s agent could prove decisive.
“We have an excellent relationship with his representative,” Leite revealed on Thursday evening.
“Recoba is now 29-years-old and has been playing in Europe for many years. At this stage of his career, he might have the desire to return to South America.”
The Uruguayan international left his homeland in 1997 and has been at Inter ever since, apart from a six-month loan spell at Venezia.
Although Recoba is by no means a regular in Roberto Mancini’s plans, he is a firm favourite of patron Massimo Moratti.
Recoba, who scored in the 2-1 defeat at Fiorentina last night, is in the middle of contract talks seeing as his present agreement expires in June.
Alvaro Recoba spoke on Inter Channel after Wednesday evening's 2-1 defeat to Fiorentina. He said: "We certainly didn't deserve to lose. They had two shots and scored two goals. We tried everything until the end but we didn't manage to overturn the result. It's a shame because we haven't taken advantage of Juventus' draw."
The Uruguayan forward pulled a goal back at the Artemio Franchi in his first outing for Inter since returning from injury, scoring in the 84th minute with a curling free kick. "I hit it well and I'm pleased about the goal," he said. "I wanted to see how I was after the injury, and I have to admit that I'm not one hundred percent, but for what I did I think it went well."
Recoba wants Inter future
Alvaro Recoba has reacted to speculation over his future by reiterating his desire to commit himself to Inter.
The 29-year-old striker is set for contract talks with club owner Massimo Moratti shortly and despite rumours that Fiorentina’s Valeri Bojinov may arrive in January to replace him, the Uruguayan has insisted that he wants to stay put.
"I am going to spend the next two or three years with Inter, then I will return to Uruguay and finish my career with my first club Danubio," Recoba stated.
While it has been suggested that his wage demands may cause problems, Recoba reacted with frustration to claims that he earned mega-money last season.
"It’s not true that I earned £5.5m last year, I’ve never seen that kind of money," declared the South American.
"I want to stay because I like it here. This is the best job in the world and I don’t care what I earn."
Recoba set for Inter extension
Inter chief Massimo Moratti has hinted that Alvaro Recoba will be handed a new contract at the San Siro.
The enigma’s Nerazzurri future is in doubt given that his present deal expires at the end of this current campaign.
Talks regarding a renewal have yet to take place but Moratti, who is a known admirer of the Uruguayan, has suggested El Chino will be sticking around.
"Recoba’s contractual situation is between the club and the player, but I think they will meet up soon," stated the club owner.
"He is a player with great quality," continued Moratti. "He knows how to be decisive and he is a pleasure to watch."
Moratti’s vote of confidence in the South American has coincided with a much-needed return to form for the 29-year-old.
He’s recently broke back into the starting line-up and scored the opener in the 2-1 win at Messina on Sunday.
Recoba, once the world’s highest paid player, has been at Inter since his 1997 switch from Nacional Montevideo.
However, his best spell in Serie A arguably took place during his six-month loan spell at Venezia in 1999.
The attacker scored 10 goals in 19 games to keep Walter Novellino’s side in the top-flight at the time.
FOR ME AND MY URUGUAY
Friday, 11 November 2005
He's the only Inter player currently away on international duty with a competitive fixture to think about. Separating Alvaro Recoba's Uruguay from a place at Germany '06 is a two-legged play-off tie with Australia, with the South Americans at home in Saturday's first leg. "We will have to give our all in these two matches," Recoba said to Inter Channel. "We're a bit sorry because with the team we have we could have qualified for the World Cup without going to the play-offs. We made mistakes in too many matches, but we still finished fifth in the South American group, and now we have this chance in the play-off. It will be difficult because we'll play two matches in just four days, with the trip between Uruguay and Australia in between. We'll have to try and get a good result at home so we can play away to them with more tranquillity. And in these matches it's important not to let in any goals when you're playing at home."
Uruguay and Australia faced off four years ago in the play-offs before the Korea/Japan World Cup. But that time Australia were at home in the first leg, and there was no lack of controversy although Uruguay made it through. "Everything started from the fact that we played the first match in Australia, and to come back there was only one plane and we asked to let at least eleven of our players who played travel first class," El Chino recalled. "But they wouldn't listen and only Australia travelled first class, while we had to make a twenty-hour trip in different conditions after playing a tough match. Our bad moods started from that and there were arguments. Many things happened, but in the end it was us who deserved qualification on the pitch. My country lives for football, our opponents won't find an easy environment, but only as far as the fans are concerned. Ninety thousand tickets have already been sold."
Recoba continued: "There was a time when I wasn't doing very well in the national team, then I fractured my ankle. I had put myself to one side for a while. Now I'm expecting us to qualify. I'd really like to get to play my second World Cup, also because the first took place in strange countries like Japan and Korea. And I think that me and several of my team-mates didn't get the best out of it. To give you an example, we were a three-hour flight away from the stadium we were playing in - really difficult conditions. So I would like to play another World Cup, and also become the most-present Uruguayan national team player."
Inter - Livorno 5-0
"The important thing is that the team wins, then it's even better if you score as well," said Alvaro Recoba, who captained Inter against Livorno on Sunday and rounding off the scoring with his first of the season. "For my goal I was a bit lucky, but the goal convinces me that I'm on the right path. I'm pleased with my performance because I wasn't at my best. I was worried I wouldn't be able to last because of the tiredness, but I gave everything to help the team. I feel good now; I will try to take advantage of the chances I have to play and I hope I continue like this."
URUGUAY snatch PLAY-OFF spot
Uruguay's hopes of making it through to next year's World Cup finals remain alive thanks to Alvaro Recoba's goal against Argentina in Montevideo last night. The South Americans now play off against Oceania group winners Australia for a place at Germany 2006.
"It was a very difficult match," Recoba said to the Uruguayan press. "Argentina played to win the match, just like we did. The difference was that we managed to impose ourselves in what was a hard but fair match. The play very well, but that's no surprise - they qualified with four or five matches still to play."
El Chino continued: "I think I can say I scored the most important goal of my career, but only if we qualify for the World Cup. If we don't it won't be of any use."
Alvaro had a special dedication to make: "It's for my whole family - my wife, my children, my parents and my brothers and sisters. It's them that suffer when things aren't going for the best. I'm also dedicating my goal to the whole of Uruguay and all the people who love me."
Recoba ‘blocks’ new striker arrival
24 August, 2005
Alvaro Recoba believes he can make an impact at Inter this season so long as the club don’t sign another striker.
The Uruguayan has developed into something of an enigma during his nine years at the San Siro, but is eager to finally deliver on a consistent basis.
"The only important thing this year is Inter, not Recoba," the Uruguayan told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"I won’t cause any trouble if I’m left out of the team or after being substituted. I won’t question any of Roberto Mancini’s decisions.
"I will just work as hard as I can so that I make it tough for the Coach to leave me out of the side.
"We are breathing new air at Inter now as everyone is just thinking about what is best for the team.
"On paper, we seemed to have narrowed the gap between ourselves and Milan and Juventus. We’ll now see what the pitch says."
Recoba’s chances of featuring more often have improved following the summer departure of Christian Vieri to Milan.
However, there is talk that the Nerazzurri are still looking for a fifth striker to add to Recoba, Adriano, Obafemi Martins and Julio Cruz.
"I am convinced that four attackers are enough," the former Venezia man added. "I think that is the ideal number to keep motivation high."
El Chino must fly
It’s been another season to forget for Alvaro Recoba at Inter. But as Antonio Labbate suggests, the expensive flop may just need a change of surroundings to finally illustrate how good a player he really is.
If there is anything more unbelievable than Alvaro Recoba’s unique footballing talent, it’s the remarkable way in which that ability has been wasted during his eight-year stay at Inter. Perhaps no other player in the club’s history has had the potential to promise so much but deliver so little. Surely the time has come for the Uruguayan to unshackle his Nerazzurri chains and finally prove himself at another club.
There is little doubt that the 29-year-old is one of the modern game’s greatest enigmas. Branded a "genius" by his biggest fan, Massimo Moratti, disgruntled supporters prefer to use the word "inconsistent" when asked to describe the Uruguayan international. It’s a term they use begrudgingly because it shows they are well aware of what he is capable of doing.
Recoba made a dream start to his Inter career. Making his debut on the same day as Ronaldo, the then unknown youngster scored two fantastic long-range goals to seal a 2-1 win over Brescia. He followed that by netting from the halfway line at little Empoli just a week later.
It bode well given his outstanding scoring record in his home land. Inter were one of a number of clubs alerted to him in 1993 after he burst on to the local scene as a 16-year-old for Danubio. He notched an impressive 62 goals in 58 games, many of which were scored in style thanks to his delicate yet powerful left-foot. A £3m transfer from Nacional Montevideo followed in the summer of 1997.
Recoba has developed into an unkept promise at Inter though, perhaps through no fault of his own. Although it is admittedly he who walks on to the field of play, Recoba is the kind of player who needs to be consistently selected week in, week out, no matter what. Perhaps he is even so good that a side needs to be built around him in order for Recoba to make a difference when it matters.
After all, this is the player who single-handedly kept Venezia in the top flight during a six-month loan spell in the 1998-99 season. The forward, known as ‘El Chino’, led the club from certain relegation to a mid-table finish. He scored 10 goals and grabbed nine assists, illustrating that he had the quality to make an impact on such a stage.
Recoba understandably caught the eye of some of Europe’s top clubs but he committed his future to Inter after they handed the international a new mega-contract, one which initially made him the highest paid player in world football. "I am really happy, I am staying at Inter just like I wanted," he said at the time. "Now I have to repay the club." Yet Recoba was more often than not simply overlooked by whichever tactician was in charge at the San Siro and never given the chance to fulfil his desire.
While his exclusion from the starting line-up in the early days was understandable given the competition for places - Christian Vieri, Ronaldo, Ivan Zamorano, Roberto Baggio, Youri Djorkaeff, Andrea Pirlo, the list could go on - the club itself never looked to remedy that problem. Instead of sitting down at the start of a season and pinning their hopes on Recoba, the outfit simply brought in the latest big name sensation in a desperate attempt to finally ‘buy’ their fans the Scudetto.
Recoba needed nurturing, allowed time to mature, not simply thrown in at the deep end and then heckled for being an overpaid underachiever. The truth is that he’s not to blame for the amount of money he earns, that particular finger should be pointed at his club.
Recoba has never been given the chance to consistently perform, an opportunity to turn those deafening whistles from the Inter ‘support’ into long rounds of applause. Another major handicap has been the constant coaching changes during the Moratti era. The South American has worked under a host of tacticians, some who believed in him and others who just didn’t understand what to do with him.
Is he a second striker or an attacking midfielder? Hector Cuper’s answer was to stick him on the left hand-side of midfield to little effect. Current Coach Roberto Mancini is just the latest to struggle with the enigma. "He’s a genius but like all geniuses, Recoba has the ability to make you jump for joy or make you angry with rage," stated the tactician, who has not hesitated to send Recoba into the stands at times this term. "We should just appreciate those moments in which his head and his feet are working in tandem."
The reality of the situation is that Recoba, who is contracted at Inter until 2008, will never prove himself by staying where he is. Only Moratti’s affection has kept him at the club for this long, a love which has arguably hindered his career and increased the already substantial pressure on his shoulders. Recoba should look at what Clarence Seedorf and Pirlo have done on the European stage since they decided they’d had enough of the view from the Nerazzurri bench.
Inter may be the right club for him but the last decade hasn’t been the right time to be there. Recoba is approaching 30 and there may not be too much time left for him to finally silence those critics once and for all. A number of clubs would be interested in his services but there is one man who could realistically ‘save’ Alvaro’s career.
Walter Novellino may have struggled to pronounce his nickname during their time together at Venezia, but he’s made no secret of his desire to have "El Cigno", as Novellino calls him, in his Sampdoria side for the new season. Qualification for the Champions’ League may be the only hurdle Doria must jump in order for that dream move to happen.
Recoba suffers ankle fracture8 March, 2005
Alvaro Recoba could be facing a lengthy spell on the sidelines after the Inter player fractured his ankle.
It was initially believed that the Uruguayan had only twisted ligaments during a fall in training on Wednesday.
But the attacking midfielder underwent a series of tests today that have highlighted the new problem.
It is unclear at this stage how serious the injury is, but whispers suggest that he will definitely be ruled out of action for at least a month.
That is a massive blow for the South American who has already struggled to make an impact this term.
He’s failed to convince boss Roberto Mancini of his abilities and has often watched games from the bench and the stands this season.