Nuremberg football legend Javier Pinola is retiring

1. At FC Nürnberg, they still admire Javier Pinola. After all, they gave him a special honor in December 2015, within the framework of the DFB Cup match, they named the 31st block after him. Since then, the fan block at Max Morlock Stadium has been called the “Javier Pinola Block”. During the opening ceremony, tears appeared in the eyes of the Argentinean, fans shouted his name.

For ten years, from 2005 to 2015, Pinola was a football player in Nürnberg, which ties. Back then, it seemed like you could no longer imagine Javier Pinola without 1. FC Nürnberg and 1. FC Nürnberg without Javier Pinola. It was a bit like that at Bayern Munich with Franck Ribery, who also recently retired. For an entire generation of fans, the two were idols at their respective clubs.

Retired to Buenos Aires River Plate at age 39

And like Ribery, Pinola is now retiring at the age of 39. After his last game at River Plate in Buenos Aires, a 4-0 friendly against Betis Sevilla, he told ESPN on Sunday: made me grow up and be a better person.”

As in Nuremberg, as in Argentina, Pinola could not do without tears. “They are tears of joy and pride for my career, which has been very beautiful,” he said. “Now here I am, 39 years old, at the club I wanted to play for all my life, since I was a little boy.”

Winning the 2007 Cup as Nürnberg’s biggest success

Pinola rose to legendary status in Nuremberg largely due to his passionate style of play. His ten years at the club shaped him and the club. He arrived on loan from Atletico Madrid in 2005 and signed a permanent contract the following year.

In total, the footballer, who is mainly used as a left-back, has played 416 games for the club, so he has fulfilled one of the criteria of his own block – more than 400 games. The biggest success with Middle Franconia was undoubtedly the cup win in 2007 under the no less popular coach Hans Meyer, who recently celebrated his 80th birthday.

In 2015, Pinola returned to Argentina

On 26 May 2007, Pinola won the DFB Cup with Nürnberg at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, beating VfB Stuttgart 3–2 in the final. He then completed three UEFA Cup appearances. However, Pinola played most of his 416 games in the Bundesliga with the Glubberer (202 games).

In 2015, the then 32-year-old player returned to his native Argentina after ten seasons with the illustrious club, he went to Rosario Central. Also because his contract was not renewed in Nuremberg. Two years later, River Plate signed him.

Golden career autumn in South America

In South America, however, Pinola was not only to let his career end, but to experience a real rise again, a golden autumn and winter. He became one of the strongest defenders on the continent and won his first championship and the Copa Libertadores, the South American Champions League, with traditional club River Plate.

Pinola’s goal against Newell’s in August 2022 also made him the second-oldest player to score for River Plate at 39 years 5 months 18 days, behind legendary nine-time champion Angel Labruna (40 years 1 day 15 days).

Will Pinola help soon under coach Martin Demichelis?

“I’ve had a career of almost 22 years. It’s been a long time. I told the boys to enjoy every moment because football life goes by so fast,” Pinola said after his last game. “I really enjoyed it and I’m happy. I’ve achieved much more than I imagined and I’m thankful for that.”

He did not reveal how things will continue for him. Rumors have been running rampant in Argentina for weeks. Accordingly, he can lead his heart club, River Plate, alongside former Bayern Munich defender and current FCB II coach Martin Demichelis. Pinola will then become an assistant coach under Demichelis alongside German Lux, Alejandro Saccone and Flavio Perez.

Demichelis flies to Argentina

Marcelo Gallardo, the successful coach of “River”, announced earlier that he is leaving the club at the end of the year. According to Süddeutsche Zeitung, Demichelis temporarily said goodbye last weekend as well. “It is possible that he coached his last game at Bayern II,” he said at the stadium, according to reports. “I’m flying to Argentina, I have an arrangement there, nothing is fixed yet.”

So it’s entirely possible that the big club in Buenos Aires will soon be led by two Argentines of Bavarian and Franconian descent. What Demichelis and Pinola have in common is that they have always been two of the most popular strikers among their clubs’ fans due to their fighting spirit and style of play. And that’s actually not a bad sign for a successful partnership.

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