The news surprised almost midnight from Wednesday to Thursday: Juan Carlos Cárdenas , el Chango , died . One of those men who go down in history for a specific event, beyond permanent virtues: he was the scorer of the most important goal in the history of Racing . The one with which the Academy defeated Celtic 1-0 at the legendary Centenario stadium in Montevideo , and was crowned European-South American champion . Something that for a long time was considered to be world champion.

And of which the white and blue fans are proud, especially since theirs was the first Argentine club to achieve such an achievement. After obtaining the Copa Libertadores in 1966, that Racing, “José’s team” , led by Juan José Pizzuti , settled the “Intercontinental” cup , on the same stage where the first World Cup in history had been defined, Uruguay 1930 A high left foot from three quarters of the court, who put the ball at an angle to the Scottish side’s goal, was enough. For the Academy to reach the maximum glory of its existence – today, 119 years old – and for Chango Cárdenas to remain immortalized. So that his figure and his feat transcended the death that tonight surprised the field of football.

Of such magnitude was the conquest of Racing, that Cárdenas was there to commemorate it on the Centenary itself, 50 years later. In 2017 he had the pleasure of reliving that day that to this day has had no equivalent in white and light blue history. At that time he was 72 years old. He was lucid, happy. “I still see the faces of the 25,000 Racing fans celebrating” , he celebrated at that moment on the lawn of one of the temples of world football.

That day, intimate, Cárdenas told LA NACION in detail what he kept in his memory about that experience never covered by Avellaneda’s painting. “It was like a script, you see? Like a movie. As if everything was armed. After kicking I was left with my arms raised, just to the side of the bench where Pizzuti was. I ran out there. I hung above him. And Coco Basile joined; he had been expelled and he was right at the exit of the tunnel. Behind them were the thousands of Racing fans who had come. He had them in front of him, celebrating. I don’t forget it anymore,” he recounted. Of course I would remember it forever. Nothing else is possible.

“Hasta siempre, Chango”, he was fired at 11:47 p.m. on Tuesday by the club he took to the top. “We are very sad. We regret to announce the death of Juan Carlos “El Chango” Cárdenas, scorer of the most important goal in our history. Racing Club embraces all his family and friends,” the institution reported on Twitter, with a photo of its iconic player, the European-South American Cup and Cárdenas’ year of birth, 1945, next to the infinity symbol.

At 76 years old , the man from Santiago surprised this Tuesday with his departure as much as with that shoe that moved countless racing fans more than half a century ago. The 25,000 present at the Centennial, the thousands of others who listened to him on the radio and the millions, even non-academics, who watched the repetitions of his memorable, inexhaustible goal. Black and white, yes. But with the warm color of an indelible feat.

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