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Benfica paid a warm tribute to Nicolás Otamendi, but “forgot” about Enzo Fernández who was not called up

It was before the 1-0 against Portimonense, for the Portuguese League, in which the former River did not even go to the bank.

One of lime and one of sand. Benfica beat Portimonense 1-0 this Friday, in a match valid for the 15th round of the Portuguese League. There, with the gold medal on his chest and an indelible smile on his face, he was honored Nicholas Otamendione of the figures of the team selected in Qatar 2022. However, none of that happened with Enzo Fernándezthe other Argentine who shone in the Middle East, who was not only called up by the German coach roger schmidt after his not allowed New Year’s Eve getaway, but also could not have his reception as world champion.

“It was something very important for me and for my family. In this case, Enzo couldn’t be there, but I think he’s going to have his tribute because he’s part of Argentina and he’s part as a group. We’ll try to continue in this way. tribute here in our stadium and our people is something that I will remember for the rest of my life because I got a very important title for my career and they are also part of this”, held an emotional Otamendi, 35, who played the 90 minutes for the Lisbon team.

Otamendi, former Vélez Sarsfield, has played 69 games in Benfica and scored just one goal. After finishing his participation in the World Cup, the defender received a proposal from Martín Demichelis, River Plate’s coach, to return to Argentina, but he preferred to continue in Europe, where he registered passes through Porto, Valencia and Manchester City, with a brief interruption due to his loan to Atlético Mineiro in 2014.

What happened to Enzo Fernández? After escaping to spend New Year’s in Argentina, the midfielder voted the best young player at Qatar 2022 received a slap on the wrist from Schmidt, who did not like him leaving Portugal without permission.

Everything happened in the midst of rumors of his millionaire transfer to Chelsea, which had reached an agreement with the player. However, despite the fact that it seemed a fact that he would make use of the termination clause -which amounts to 120 million euros-, the London club wanted to take him away for less money and the operation is currently down.

“There is a club that wants our player. It knows that we don’t want to sell him and that he can’t sign him if he doesn’t pay the clause. It’s a very clear situation”declared Schmidt when asked about the issue at the press conference prior to the match against Portimonense.

“What the club that wants to sign Enzo does is disrespectful towards all of us at Benfica and I cannot accept it. It drives the player crazy, expects him to pay the clause and later negotiate. I think this is not what is considered a good relationship between the clubs”added the 55-year-old German, who also warned Fernández.

“He did not have permission to go to Argentina and he missed training, that is not acceptable, so there will be consequences.”, warning. And in the end he didn’t even call him for the game… Could that have been the punishment?

The point is that Enzo was conspicuous by his absence in the 1-0 win over Portimonense. The goal for Benfica, which achieved its 13th victory in the tournament and is a leader with 40 points, six more than its escort Sporting Braga, was converted by the Portuguese midfielder João Mário, 29, from a penalty, nine minutes into the first stage.

Benfica has qualified for the round of 16 of the Champions League and on February 15 and March 7 will play the round-trip matches against Bruges, from Belgium.

Source: agencies

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