Garnero, one of the most winning DTs in South America: "They criticize the player who went from traveling on the train to buy an imported 0KM, and did someone prepare it?"

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Tetracampeón: Olimpia de Garnero won the last four local tournaments in Paraguay (IG: @ el.danigarnero)
Tetracampeón: Olimpia de Garnero won the last four local tournaments in Paraguay (IG: @ el.danigarnero)

It was the last bubbles of the sparkling wine that Jorge Burruchaga served him that convinced him in the middle of the family reunion. The ones that unlocked his head. Dani had spent his retirement from football up to that point in "nothing". Simply pushed by boredom and his friends to take the DT course. As a mode of dispersion. “I am sincere, I see. If I don't like it, after two months I'm leaving … ”, he warned before taking command of the Arsenal reserve. 17 years after that night, Garnero is one of the few coaches who achieved the longevity of victory on the continent, sharing that terrain with monstrous surnames such as that of the unbeatable Marcelo Gallardo or with more forceful effects such as Jorge Jesús in his recent season at command of the Flamengo. Without the glamorous reflectors of the media bombardment that weigh on the heads of other DTs, the former 10 of Independiente is lord and master in Paraguay: he reaped a tetrachampionship with Olympia and the pandemic stopped him fighting again the local contest and the group stage of the Libertadores.

– From which side do you lead? From seduction, motivation, imposition?

– First I want to be clear and simple … Obviously this is still a game, I always say the same thing: this is a game and everyone plays it as they think. The objective is the result, without a doubt. Are there ways? There are a thousand ways! I want the footballer to understand that to achieve a result, you have to find a way. I'm going here, I invite you all, come, get on the train. I pass the one who stands in the middle of the road, ha. Without a doubt it is so, unfortunately it is so. It did not touch me much that they do not agree. We try to play, that the team is aggressive, fast, that is dynamic, that each individual puts his team at the service of the team, but in a context, in a clear idea. Everyone understands it. The most unbalanced man understands it, the scorer knows that we are going to throw it all for him to score, he who assists knows that the scorer will be …

– And the central marking? Because there you will have problems with that idea …

– We have a way that we demand a lot from the plants and they have to be very technical. And that cost us everywhere we went. Today in Olimpia you find another quality of footballers and other individual hierarchies, who have not done much in their career out there, but you explain and they like it … Because the player likes to play, eh! It is a lie that the central hits him up. Yes, if every day you tell her to hit her up and you pay her the prize, she will kick you up. But if you say to him: "Look, if you do this … ', they like it. We are lucky to have great soccer players on the squad, to whom it is very natural what we propose. When we go looking for soccer players, We are going to look for something very punctual. Knowing that we have a very good squad and that we must generate that healthy competition among them, that the one who is best going to play. I have nothing for or against anyone, I want to get along with everyone , have a good relationship but the one that I think is better is going to play. Nothing more and nothing less than this.

Daniel speaks from an Assumption that strikes with his heat at all times. On the other side of the zoomHe takes out a mate and regrets having forgotten the tereré because the temperatures shake the atmosphere even though it is already more than six in the afternoon. The man who even sounded to take the reins of the Paraguayan team in 2019 speaks naturally, with closeness. He does not abuse complex words or force a stance because he is on a winning streak. He makes jokes and is sincere to relive the two moments in which his head was "locked".

– Between you retiring and starting your job as coach of the Arsenal reserve there is an empty space, how was your life there?

– There was nothing there! But nothing at all. Two years passed and I had no intention of getting into soccer. I did the course because a friend from the neighborhood told me 'go ahead, I'll come with you', and was going to leave my house a little. I had a group of very funny boys, it was the time of the 2002 World Cup, we were talking about soccer. He entertained me and I did it for that. Then I ended up using it …

– There is a common factor among footballers after retirement, that it does not matter if they were more or less successful in their career, but it seems that the environment does not prepare them …

– No, football doesn't prepare you. The formative stages of football should be preparing you for what may come to you: playing first, scoring a goal in an important match, the economic part. They are questioned by the boys who are hanging from the train, play five games in the first and appear in an imported 0KM car. But do you prepare them for that? Soccer does not prepare you. As life itself you grow to the tumbles. The post football, if you had the possibility of having saved some mangoes, perhaps you can invest or choose what to do, but it is not to look for it as it was at the beginning.

– You mention that you go from traveling on a hanging train to driving an imported 0KM, what do you say to a kid who comes into your hands on these issues?

– Today we have a litter of footballers with experience in Olympia and I try to support each other with their teammates. It is a guarantee that they will be well advised. Occasionally Roque (Santa Cruz) or Julio César (Cáceres), people who have a tour and are excellent people. They are going to want to advise them well, not only financially: in their sporting life, in their care … As everywhere else, here in Paraguay boys arise and great possibilities appear to them. Some sleeves in your pocket already give you access to things you didn't have before. Then there may be confusion. So I think that in the formative stages you have to put a lot more emphasis and there has to be someone who speaks to you and tells you that this can happen to you. It can happen that from one day to the next your life changes! Well, you have to be prepared for that.

– What criticism would you do to the football environment today? There is a classic that is that players are all day with technology and do not watch football …

– I think that those who are interested really watch soccer. He doesn't watch it, but many you see like that on his cell phone are watching soccer things, eh. Not all obviously, there are many who are bludendo. To me, what strikes me is entering the locker room and having everyone on the cell phone. It is something that time passes and I am not used to it. I can not believe it. Finish the game, talk to your partner! On top you won, you made a goal and are you wanting to send messages? Talk to the one next to you, that the one who gave you the ball was the one next to you. Then you will celebrate with friends, family, wife, children, with everyone. I make jokes to them all the time: I love how they are talking! And they are all like this (ducks his head as if using the cell phone) I like this that they talk among all … They are all, each with their cell phone. But against that you cannot go, it is reality. But it is today that I cannot believe it. You are with the one next to you and you are not talking to him, you are texting yourself with one who is 15 thousand kilometers away. Technology say that's it, right? It brings the one who is far away and the one who is near away.

Dani Garnero lasted a few games as DT for Independiente in 2010 (FotoBaires)
Dani Garnero lasted a few games as DT for Independiente in 2010 (FotoBaires)

The Dani was Bochini's partner in his epilogue, the heir to the heavy 10 of Independiente and some even dare to praise him as the one who best bore that weight. Winner of four titles, he lived most of his life dressed in Red except for two brief games at Universidad Católica de Chile one year and Toros Neza de México a few months. Choose the Rolfi Montenegro and Pocho He insuades as those who best followed that legacy of the emblematic ten and confesses about the raw pain he felt when he lasted just eight games on the Independiente bench in 2010, with just one victory in the South American Cup that the team would later lift under the command of Turkish Mohamed.

– At the time you said that when you left Independiente you didn't want to direct anymore, was that so?

– Yes, that was very so. Unfortunately … What happens is that Argentine football is a carnivore sincerely. To talk nonsense there are many people who do very well. I heard so many things that I was outraged by the nonsense I was listening to. I understand that the results were not good, nobody can say any of that. But I heard so much stupid things that I said 'I'm not going to get mad here.' After time passed, I joined my coaching staff and the possibility of San Martín de San Juan arose. He had never been to National B as a player or as a coach, he went to a place where he did not know much. But I preferred that because what was going to come to me? At first I could get to touch a team that fought the descent. Nor was it something that had never happened in my career. There are coaches who even specialize in fighting downhill. So there I decided: I prefer to go to fight for a championship. It is a minor category, but since I was a boy, in all my life, all I did was play to win and be champion. Playing and not winning anything, I prefer to be champion. And well, I always say come out champion because what happened in San Martín de San Juan was a championship, although we won by promotion (2011 against Gimnasia de La Plata). Having achieved that was a caress after so many sticks. There I stabilized myself and said "I'm going to be a coach."

– You repeated several times the theme of the things that were said, what was the most painful for you at that time?

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– I don't remember, but I remember that they said things that … They invented, that's what bothers you. I understand journalists, there are more and more news programs, the media, they have to say something and then they invent. I don't remember exactly what it was, but I do remember that it had affected me a lot and I didn't really want to go back. To me, this Independent thing made me harder, in my character, in my crust. I already take things differently. I was wrong there because I didn't make decisions that I should have made. All those internal analyzes that I do make me grow and be much more confident to make a decision now.

– What is your view of Independiente's global soccer process from the first round to the present?

– You in this profession have a lot of time or you don't have time. Once I am competing, time is dedicated to my work. Many times match times coincide. Or we travel and I don't see. Not that I follow Independent on time. I do have a glimpse of Argentine football, but I'm not too upset either because time is dedicated to who I must dedicate to Olimpia. It would be very unfair to do an analysis without having seen much. I did see that in the Holan period people were happy, euphoric, they saw a team that played very well. Afterwards, unfortunately, there were coaches that the few games that I could see from Independiente saw them play well, generate a lot and have little concretion. For a time this Independent part had that: processes of coaches that were growing from the sporting aspect without being able to achieve an important objective such as a championship or the South American one like Holan, which gives them peace of mind, security for what is to come. Independiente is a very demanding club. You don't win the championship, you come out second and they want to kill you. After two championships pass, you are below the middle of the table and you say che, it was good when he was second. That not only happens to Independiente, it happens to everyone. The second seems to be a disaster, you're a jerk. If you come out second you are a jerk, if you came out champion you are a phenomenon, the most beautiful. And it is neither.

In his last stage as a player, he shared the squad with Forlán, Cambiasso and Milito, among others (Photo Baires)
In his last stage as a player, he shared the squad with Forlán, Cambiasso and Milito, among others (Photo Baires)

– You were a partner of Cambiasso, Forlán and Milito when they were just starting, why did they end up being world class?

– The other day I was looking at a photo that must have been one of the last teams that I formed. See how the moments are: that Independiente had many kids and was questioned. There were five World Cups! Tanito Pernía, Gaby Milito, Esteban Cambiasso, Diego Forlán and Matías Vuoso. Was such a bad team? Wasn't it necessary to have a little more patience? It is not that instead of shouting boludezas it is necessary to say "para, calm that this year not, but we hope to the one that comes". It is not possible, if it is not now it is not useful. Unfortunately for thinking that way later you have big complications. Next year you bring, you invest and if it doesn't go well you get into debt. Stay with the kids. If you don't have kids who play well, it's one thing. But they showed that they played well. We didn't end up being a great team, no. But they were great Players, have a little more patience. Forlán surprised me from the first day, one day he comes to train with us and one of the first balls I give him, he turns around half the court and hits the right two more plays, the same left-handed, but he kicked from 50 meters! I say to him: 'Are you going to kick all the shots from here?' 'No, no …', he told me half scared. But you realized that he had a power and a punch with both legs that was known to be level world. And Esteban and Gaby, the same. You could tell.

– Tell me about Milito's leadership, was he seen since he was a boy?

– Without a doubt that is so. I got the start of Independiente when el Pato (Pastoriza), all these people said it was an Independent family. And I tell you the truth: it was transmission. They were boys from the club who passed on to you everything the club was. Luli Rivers, Moncho Monsoon, Gringo Giusti who was not from the club but stayed so long. That happened to me and then we transferred it to Gaby. And this was always happening from generation to generation. Gaby at 18 was noted to have a very strong personality, above all an excellent footballer. And it was known that Gaby was going to be captain.

– Did you get to share costumes with Bochini in your early days?

– Yes, we played a couple of games! I left him 10 and I used 9, haha. I grabbed the last leg of his career. By characteristics I was looking for more to be shown and I was to give it; and the Bowling the same. So, he would look for me and I would pull back as if to play and he would say "go." I was playing with 9, it looked like I was going to score goals. Playing at that time with such an important guy in the club made you uncomfortable, he is very overwhelming, it made you uncomfortable in the sense that you want to do well. If I wasn't good at someone else, I didn't care, but at Bowling I had to give it perfect. On top of that I asked you: Fuerte Strong, strong! ’. To give you the chance to play a tap. That characteristic of catching the ball and looking, needed people to show, rather than people to go out and play. And I went out to play. No, go ahead, he told me. It wasn't many games.

Garnero and Rambert at the end of their careers with the Independiente shirt: today they share the coaching staff (Fotobaires)
Garnero and Rambert at the end of their careers with the Independiente shirt: today they share the coaching staff (Fotobaires)

Garnero is a paradigmatic case. A man who twice fought against his own destiny, refused to read the written story and finally gave in to that ubiquitous force that pushed him to a place of unexpected and consistent sporting success in Paraguay, where he was also champion with Guaraní in 2016 before to be chosen to revive an Olympia that walked from disagreement to disagreement.

– You are passing a stage of constant sports success, what is the best and what is the worst of that?

– The truth is that I do not analyze it much success. One as the protagonist is always behind the achievements. I do not know if the word success … I like to propose something and achieve it. In daily matters, not only in the workplace. To achieve things that I set out to do is something that gives me enormous satisfaction and I really enjoy achieving those things internally. But I don't analyze success. I like to go behind the goals. I do what I have to do within the legal and normal issues to achieve it. It gives me pleasure to achieve it, it reactivates me to continue doing it. I cannot relax. I cannot understand that after an achievement there is a relaxation, I cannot understand it. Let's go for more. And the truth is that we can propose it – I have it in my head and without a doubt that I try to transmit it – but the reception of the team is essential. I have great players, of great hierarchy, of trajectory, that we are aligned. Not that I propose this and they were going the other way. No, we are all in the same, we all think the same and the only thing that gives us feedback is to try to win again.

– What can you tell me about the experience with Adebayor?

—Ema, you saw how he is, it cost him. A great kid, a very open boy. With the language difficulties and everything, it makes you want very fast. An excellent person. I was starting at the time of this great stop to really join the group, the team, so a pity that there was this recess because we were in the process of joining. As much as he is a player with a barbarous career, an incredible experience, he came to a football unknown to him. Different customs and language. It was known that it would take a while. When we were grabbing the rhythm it stopped. He is eager to come, but there is the complication of the transfer that is going to be a barbaric mess. Let's hope he can come. The truth is that the experience with Emmanuel is excellent, he is a great boy, I hope he can come to do what he likes the most and can give Olimpia the hierarchy he has.

– What would you say today to the Garnero who left Independiente and said "I don't direct anymore"?

– That you have to give yourself a second chance, you don't have to be so strict. I don't know how to hide feelings: at that moment I was wrong and I didn't want to. The springboard was San Martín de San Juan. He reintegrated me and I wanted to, he motivated me. He told me that there are the bad ones and the others. We are going to put aside the bad and go down the path of good.

– When you say you were wrong, what do you mean?

– I was emotionally wrong regarding my profession. I was always lucky to have spectacular family support. In my house it was impeccable, but it stuck my head in a moment. When I quit soccer too. Soccer saturates me at times. So I am very cautious about everything. At parties, I am effusive at home. I want to have distance with those kinds of things, that they don't hurt me. Nothing that comes from outside does me wrong. Because when things go well, they go well up there. I don't believe anything either. When I'm not doing well, so far. Nothing more than that.

Garnero with his coaching staff including Sebastián Rambert and Andrés San Martín
Garnero with his coaching staff including Sebastián Rambert and Andrés San Martín

I kept reading:

Sebastián Rambert, the Plane that marked an era in the 90s: Maradona's unforgettable gesture and the day he kicked a criminal against God

Juan Cruz Komar, profile of a different captain: "In the locker room we debate abortion, homosexuality and the feminist movement"

From the goal to Brazil in the World Cup final and being one of the greatest promises of Argentine football, to retirement in Cyprus: the story of Panchito Guerrero

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Lisa Durant

Lisa has been a freelance journalist who has worked for various print magazine online. After years of spent working in the field of journalism, she took a plunge and founded Asap Land sharing the latest news bulletins from the field of Business and Technology as well as general headlines. She writes mostly the General US Headlines and Business News.

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