The Uruguayan Alvaro Recoba has often been a topic when he was still active as a footballer, especially when he played for Inter Milan from 1997 to 2008.
As a footballer, Recoba is a brilliant talent, especially two of his Scudetton titles with Inter have established himself as a great player in the modern era.
Recoba spent 10 years playing for Inter – apart from a half-season loan to Venice. At Inter, his best season was the 2000/01 season when he scored 15 goals in 42 appearances in all competitions.
Unfortunately, he was involved in a fake passport scandal in January 2001 and he was sentenced to a one-year ban, then after an appeal, the sentence was reduced to only four months.
At the time of the scandal, the player whose nickname is El Chino had just renewed his contract with Inter, becoming the highest-paid football player in the world, a title he retained until 2003.
During his time at Inter, Recoba had a lot of success. Besides the Serie A title, he also reaped the sweetness of obtaining the UEFA Cup title in the 1997/98 season, and two Coppa Italia trophies in the mid-2000s. He scored 73 goals in 261 matches.
Alvaro Recoba has indeed shown his quality as a respected striker while playing in the Uruguay League with Danubio and National in the 90s.
Armed with the sharpness, hard kicks, and deadly left foot, the greatness of the player born on 17 March 1976 made Inter sign him in the 1997 summer transfer market when he was 21 years old.
All eyes were then fixed on August 31, 1997, when Inter Milan faced Brescia at the Giuseppe Meaza stadium in the opening match of the 1997/98 Serie A season. In the match, there was Ronaldo, the best and most expensive footballer in the world who made his debut for Inter Milan.
Although at first, the Brazilian came under the spotlight, however, at the end of the match, it was not Ronaldo who received praise. The player with the back number 20. The fresh face got applause from fans instead.
Yes, that night, Recoba made his debut with Inter Milan in a competitive match against Brescia. He marked his debut from the bench and scored two beautiful goals. The second goal by ‘El Chino’ was even born from an amazing free-kick.
Despite their winning, Inter conceded in the 73rd minute through Dario Hubner, the striker of Brescia who had just been brought in that summer. Using the bait of young player Andrea Pirlo, Hubner turned around and then hardly struck his left foot to the goal corner.
Two minutes before Hübner’s goal, Inter coach Simoni was still unsure of his new player, Alvaro Recoba, whose performance in training did not show maturity, but Simoni let him play so that he could increase his power and give him the chance to compete at the highest level.
That would be 19 minutes which meant a lot to Simoni when he saw Recoba’s appearance on the pitch. Entering to replace Maurizio Ganz, Recoba succeeded in capturing Simoni through a classy performance.
In the 80th minute, this young Uruguayan striker stunned the entire Giuseppe Meaza Stadium. Recoba’s first goal for Inter came through the hard work of Benoît Cauet.
Receiving the ball about 25 meters from the goal, Recoba took one touch with his right foot, then he perfectly placed the ball to his left. At that time, when he saw the Brescia player did not stop him, he just thought that it would be best for him to do a hard kick.
Recoba did not waste the opportunity when he got the chance to kick the ball with his left foot which was his specialty. Hard and measured kicks pierced into the left corner of the goal of Giovani Cervone.
The stadium rumbled, Simoni jumped with relief and Recoba was then surrounded by Zanetti and Simeone. It was indeed unbelievable, but there was something else in the next few minutes.
Inter did not want to lose full points so that they tried to launch several attacks, but Ronaldo as the spearhead often got a tight escort from Brescia’s defender. It took something else to win.
When Inter had the chance to take a free-kick from 30 meters in the 85th minute, Alvaro Recoba tried to take the opportunity. The Inter defenders advanced to the penalty box, hoping that Recoba would give them a pass.
However, the young Uruguayans took fast action through his six steps. Recoba wrote his name into a legend. His dreadful left-kick went through the net of Brescia. The ball rolled quickly and headed to the right corner of the net, failed to be reached by Cervone.
Inter goalkeeper, Gianluca Pagliuca, became the first person to welcome Recoba’s success before they celebrated joyfully. Recoba’s two goals helped Inter win three points in their first match of the season.
Two beautiful goals seemed to give a signal to his colleagues that he would become a big player at Inter Milan. Indeed, Recoba continued to play at Inter and became a legend, even though he was loaned out to Venice in 1998.
Recoba has inspired many young players, including Luis Suarez who learned a lot from the Recoba game. Regardless of how Recoba’s career went after, for 19 minutes in August 1997, he was the perfect football player.