He was always going to leave at some point, but for Racing Club fans in Argentina, this one will hurt. Matias Zaracho, the man destined for European football, has left his boyhood club, but not the continent. The 22-year-old will be playing at Atletico Mineiro next season.
Racing Starlet Zaracho Departs to Atletico Mineiro
Key Figure in Title Win
In 2019, Racing were able to reclaim the Superliga Argentina title, winning for the second time in six years in a notoriously volatile Argentine division. Capable of playing on either wing, in midfield, or even a fullback, Zaracho was a critical member of the team.
At just the age of 21, he showed impressive confidence and maturity to play a big role for the team, leading his side to some important victories with three key goals late on in the season. He may be destined for bigger and brighter things, but Racing has always been a breeding ground for star players. Some of the incredible careers created at Racing have been Inter legend Diego Milito, Sergio Romero, Lautaro Martinez, and Diego Simeone.
The man who stole the headlines, of course, was Lisandro Lopez who, at 36, led the league in scoring and was Player of the Year. Lopez, himself, had a glittering career in Europe, playing many years as a consistent goalscorer for Lyon in France. However, players like Zaracho, Chile international goalkeeper Gabriel Arias, and Argentina international Renzo Saravia, also had a big part to play.
Zaracho, in particular, was named Young Player of the Year and has his whole future ahead of him, and he’ll hope to kick on at Atletico, before hopefully returning one day and ending his career as a champion with Racing once again, just like Lopez.
Already Linked With Many Top Clubs
While he is moving to Brazil, he has already been on the radar of Europe’s biggest clubs.
For example, his agent confirmed that Atletico Madrid were in talks for the 22-year-old last year before he decided to stay for another year or so at Racing. He also turned down offers from AC Milan, Leeds United, and more.
He was planning on staying until the end of the year when the Copa Libertadores would end, but the Coronavirus-induced shutdown paused all competitions, and the group stages are only just being played now. There will be no farewell for Zaracho, but he’ll be back at some point in his career.
Another Racing Product Destined for European Greatness
Many South Americans, especially Argentinian, stars have found success in Europe, most recently Inter’s Martinez. Zaracho may just be the next big thing to come from Racing’s academy if he continues to shine.
He has the creativity, skill, and agility required to make it at the top, and having received his first Argentina call-up last year, his second is not far away. He was and still is, one of the hottest prospects in South America, but he needs to play his cards right. His manner of leaving Racing is a bit strange, especially since he’s leaving to club more or less on their level, but he may feel he can get more exposure in Brazil.
The experience of playing in a different league will do him good and will get him ready for when he’s finally able to make that big switch. And make no mistake about it, it’s coming.
Zaracho is moving on from his hometown club, but this isn’t the last we’ll be hearing of him.