“Great Maradona, long live football and long live COTIF”

JL Llagües, l'Alcúdia The organizing team of COT

JL Llagües, l’Alcúdia

The organizing team of COTIF has paid him an emotional tribute today, taking advantage of the framework prior to the match between Valencia CF and the Argentine national team, two of the squads that this year aspire to take the trophy in the men’s sub-20 category.

Previously, the Argentine women’s team beat Elche CF by three goals to nil in the Cañamás Naranja trophy. A photograph and a panoramic “10” shirt welcome the visitor at the entrance to the Els Arcs stadium this year. In addition, the local artist Rafa Ferri -responsible for the sculpture of the Good People Cotif award- has been in charge of modeling a bust that recalls the Argentine star in his youth.

His figure is being well remembered throughout the competition. The act of homage was scheduled in a previous edition, but could not be carried out due to the restrictions imposed by Covid.

Claudio Tapia, president of the Argentine Football Association (AFA), Omar Souto, secretary of the AFA, and Javier Mascherano, former FC Barcelona player and current Argentine Under-20 coach did not miss the appointment. Tapia received from the hands of Eliseu Gómez, president of COTIF, the gold badge of the competition, becoming an honorary member of the tournament.

Salva Gomar, president of the Valencian Federation and vice president of the Spanish Football Federation, and Andreu Salom, mayor of l’Alcúdia, also came to the stadium. Bati March, Vice President of COTIF, and Isabel Madremany, Councilor for Culture of the City Council of l’Alcúdia, completed the list of authorities.

Eliseu Gómez recalled that “Maradona is synonymous with football, passion, devotion”, highlighting the legacy of a player named in numerous prestigious rankings as the best of the 20th century. «He dazzled us all, he ignited the feeling of a town. A tribute to “Pelusa” will always fall short, “Gomez continued.

He also recalled some of the players who have attended the COTIF with the albiceleste jersey in the last decade, such as Icardi, Lautaro or Velerdi. He ended his speech with a message to the players from Argentina who have attended this year: «You don’t come here to hang out, you come to show that you want to play football in the elite. To fight every ball. Great Maradona, look at football, look at COTIF”, added the president of the tournament.

The event ended with a small fireworks display. Then the ball started rolling again. Football does not have time to rest during the COTIF celebration.