Juan Gilberto Funes
|Full name||Juan Gilberto Funes Baldovino|
|Date of birth||March 8, 1963|
|Place of birth||San Luis, Argentina|
|Date of death||January 11, 1992(aged 28)|
|Place of death||Buenos Aires, Argentina|
|1981||Huracán de San Luis|
|1982||Sarmiento de Junín|
|1983–1984||Gimnasia y Esgrima (M)||9||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Juan Gilberto Funes (8 March 1963 – 11 January 1992), nicknamed "El Búfalo" (The Buffalo), was an Argentine football player, known for his physical style of play. He was born in the San Luis, Argentina.
Funes was a key player in the 1986 River Plate team that won the Copa Libertadores for the first time, in which he score a goal in the first match in Colombia, which River won by the score of 2–1 and at home in Buenos Aires, for the 1–0 victory against América de Cali. Ironically, this was not the first time Colombian teams and fans saw his moves; in the glory days of the Colombian league in the 1980s, Funes played for Millonarios, the team with the most championships in Colombia, where he simply "schooled" other forwards with his opportunistic technique and his attitude.
He first played football for local club Huracán, then Estudiantes de La Plata, Sarmiento de Junin, Jorge Newbery and Gimnasia y Esgrima de Mendoza, and then for Millonarios in 1984. In that year, his team became runner-up of Colombia, and the following year he achieved a record 33 goals in a single season. Nowadays, he is one of the most iconic idols of Millonarios FC.
After Colombia, he played for River Plate, then he moved to Greece and played for Olympiacos. With the Piraeus club Funes scored some very important goals (2 goals in the 1988 Greek Cup semifinal against OFI FC, scoring 10 goals in 29 appearances).
He returned to his homeland for a second time, but he was rejected by Boca Juniors due to his illness. But this did not end his professional career, he joined Vélez Sársfield. However, his health forced him to retire shortly afterwards. He died of a heart attack on January 11, 1992 and a few years later until today the Estadio de San Luis carries his name.
Funes was capped four times by the Argentina National Team.
Millonarios FC has one group of fans called La Barra del Bufalo in honor of the idol of the club.
- Juan Gilberto Funes at Find a Grave
- Futbol Factory profile at the Wayback Machine (archived December 18, 2005) (Spanish)