Messi was his reserve, today nobody remembers him anymore: Pablo Vitti sells coffee

Raise your hand if you remember Pablo Vitti: yet Leo Messi was once his backup. Then football and life decided differently.

It was a day then Pablo Vitti was the owner and Leo Messi his reserve, a day when Rosario’s superstar rose from the bench when the coach told him to step onto the field and high-fived his coming-out teammate, favoring him in the team’s hierarchies. A preference that didn’t last long, very little, because Messi exploded during the work just below the U20 World Cup that saw Argentina triumph in Holland. It was the summer of 2005the future Ballon d’Or had just turned 18 but his talent was already sparkling, having debuted the previous season in Barcelona’s first team and shown the world what he was capable of.

However, the then confederation coach Francisco Ferraro preferred him in the debut match against the USA to the more experienced Vitti, two years older and who already played permanently in Rosario Central in the Argentine top league. It took Messi a moment to turn things around, he became the owner after taking over that day in the second half in place of Vitti and finished as the tournament’s top scorer with 6 goals.

Since then, things have taken very different directions for the two players: one has won seven Ballon d’Ors and everything he could put on the scoreboard with Barcelona, ​​and also managed to break the taboo with the Argentine shirt last year by triumphing. in the Copa America, the other had an honest football career between Peruvian, Mexican and Ecuadorian teams, before retiring at the end of 2016 – aged just 31 – after wearing the Veria shirt in Greece. From that World Sub 20, Vitti would no longer have worn the Argentina national team jersey: the three appearances in the competition are his only traces with the albicelesti colours. In short, the most classic of broken promises.

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Yes, I started as a starter against the USA and Leo sat on the bench. That anecdote is a point of pride and never goes out of style“, Pablo Vitti laughs today when he remembers that moment when he lived in Holland 17 years ago. And on the bench that day was not only Messi, but also Agüero, who in turn would have made it through the tournament until the decisive penalty win in the final against Nigeria. Many would have also bet on Muñeca Vitti, but the fabric was different and the ball cannot lie for long. Today the good Pablo left the world of football: owns and runs a cafe in the hometown of Rosario, same as Messi. It is one of the only two points in common with Leo: the other is the day he thought he was the predestined one. Life would have said more.

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