Keeper to keeper: from Carrizo to Casillas
Amadeo ‘Tarzán’ Carrizo
‘El día del arquero’ (Goalkeepers' Day) was a long-standing Argentinian expression that was synonymous with 'never', applied to situations like “I’ll pay you back on Goalkeepers' Day" or “that’ll be finished on Goalkeepers' Day”. Basically, that day never came. In Argentina, the arquero, the keeper, was the slacker, the chunky or useless kid who went in goal, the one with two left feet. That was until the Argentine Senate decided to create Goalkeepers' Day, on 12 June, the date of birth of the late, great Amadeo ‘Tarzán’ Carrizo, a contemporary of Di Stéfano in the ranks of River Plate.
Undoubtedly, this was the source of inspiration for Mono Burgos’s call for something similar in Spain, a Goalkeepers' Day on 20 May, Iker Casillas’s birthday. It was welcomed by Rubiales - I like many of the things Rubiales does to retrieve the romantic side of the game and to me it seems both right and necessary. But I like some things as much as I dislike others, such as the whole fanfare surrounding the broadcast of the Copa del Rey - I can’t see beyond the friendship between Roures and Tebas, something debilitating in the eyes of the Federation in choosing to broadcast the game. Let’s see how it ends.
Carrizo was a great player, a pioneer in terms of dominating the box, setting his team-mates on their way when he had the ball and nimble in a tight spot, to such an extent that he was dubbed ‘Tarzan’. He’s still alive and now in his nineties. Casillas, meanwhile, is the maximum expression of goalkeeping instinct, a reader of situations to prevent goals. There is a third name, Colombian keeper Miguel Calero, who once famously kept out three Palermo penalties. Calero died prematurely and, as a result, had his own Goalkeepers' Day on 14 April, a significant day in Spain for different reasons (the Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed on 14 April 1931). The keeper is no longer the last one to be picked in a team, but rather a figure worthy of commemoration.