A very fast, smart winger, and an authentic fighter, this last adjective, in his opinion, because of the place and the way he grew up. And above everything, an absolute advocate of “Living Life”
“ I think it is the most important thing, I believe everyone needs to live well, myself for instance , I play football, so I believe that if life smiles to me, everything is going to be fine playing football. Outside the pitch, I feel things are going well when people around me are okay”
Playing for the under 20 national team of Argentina, he adopted the name that afterwards would became famous with around the world. A teammate, from Rosario like him, remembered they used to call him Pocholo when he was a kid. Since that moment he would start to be known as “Pocho Lavezzi”.
But the speed and magnificent ability to take on and beat an opponent of Pocho began playing for Club Coronel Aguirre from his native Villa Gobernador Galvez, and after playing for the academy of his beloved Rosario Central, where he was surprisingly refused at the age of 15, when he was playing for the AFA team.
This decision made Pocho get very angry and he wanted to “kick the ass” of his agent, because he thought it was a misunderstanding with him. It was a very hard moment, but despite everything, he wouldn’t stop loving Central, to the point of still wishing at some point wearing the colors of the team.
“I am not a resentful person; I don’t feel resentment to the people who didn’t give me positive things in life, those things are useful to learn”
After that, El Pocho tried to join the academy of Boca Juniors, but he was also refused. These disappointments, followed by a few more of them, like when had to go back to Argentina because a problem with the passport during his trial for Pescara of Italy, were the reason why he decided to stop playing football, and start a career as an electrician with his brother.
But thanks to the perseverance of his brother, he decided to try luck for last time in Estudiantes de Buenos Aires, a club from the Argentinian third division, and then he finally became professional when he was 17.
After a very good season in the Primera B Metroplolitana, when he played 39 games and scored 19 goals, he awake the interest of the scouts from Italian Genova, which were fasters than San Lorenzo, another team that was already scouting him, and bought his rights. After signing for Genova, Lavezzi was sent on loan to San Lorenzo.
Already being a professional in the world of football, he decided to buy a house for his mum, and he invited her to leave her job as a cleaner, although two years later, he found out that his mum still working. Maybe because of this, El Pocho reached conclusions. Just because he had had professional success, it was not enough reason to make the people around him to change their lives. Because at the end of the day, everyone wants to feel useful.
(Sentence from one of his tattoos : “He is not richer who the most has, but who the least needs” )
With just one season playing for El Ciclon, his performance was enough to make the club pay the transfer, giving to him an important role in the squad.
He played for San Lorenzo the next three seasons where he had 97 appearances and he scored 26 goal, 7 of which were very important to win the championship Clausura 2007, being indispensable player with other such as La Gata Fernandez in order to get that tittle.
“San Lorenzo gave me the opportunity grow as a player”
After became champion of the Argentinian tournament, he jumped to Europe, to Napoli, a club where another Argentinian and idol of Pocho had written his name with fire in the hearts of the tiffosi. The amazing Diego Armando Maradona.
5 seasons, 188 appearances, 48 goals and one Italian cup was his contribution to return the Napolitan club to the first positions of the transalpine football, and to get a place in the hearts of the Azzurri fans.
After this, it was the turn of PSG in 2012, they paid a total of 31 million of euros in order to get his rights. In Paris, the winger from Rosario stayed for 4 seasons, winning the league every year, as well as 3 national cups, and 2 super cups. To sum up, 161 matches and 35 goals.
But due to the hard competition in the French team, and the few opportunities to show his skills, the 16th of February 2016 he decided to sign for the Hebei Fortune from the Chinese Superleague.
But El Pocho has not had just success playing for clubs. In the last few years his name has appeared in the list of the Argentinian national team.
“When you go to the national team, you have to back down, and leave the ego and those things of feeling a star, because you are for a reason, that it is Argentina, and for me it is the most important thing.”
With the national team he has played 3 Copa America (2011, 2015 and 2016) and 1 World Cup (2014). As well as the Olympics 2008, where he helped to reach the gold medal. His performance with the national team is 51 appearances and 9 goals.
In the future he doesn’t see himself as a manager, but probably his life still attached to the football pitches.
“If there is something that I am not going to be, that is manager, it should be a headache, although I would be a nice member of the staff, (laughs)… “ Dealing with the routine of a footballer is not normal, a lot of players have caprices, a lot of them have rebelliousness. But above all manage big clubs, where there are so many stars and a lot of ego in the middle…”
But there is something we know for sure, and without any doubt he will keep trying to make happy the people around him, with his dribbling, with his joker nature, or by doing social work, like the foundation the he created with his brother to help the children from Vulla Gobernador Galvez.
Because of this we are always going to be big fans of Pocho Lavezzi, and we will remember him as a big one, inside and outside the football pitches.