Norberto Alonso

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Norberto Alonso
Norberto Alonso-AN.jpg
Personal information
Date of birth (1953-01-04) 4 January 1953 (age 64)
Place of birth Vicente López, Argentina
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 12 in)
Playing position Attacking Midfielder
Number 10
Youth career
River Plate
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1970–1976 River Plate 168 (68)
1976 Olympique Marseille 17 (6)
1977–1981 River Plate 142 (63)
1981–1983 Vélez Sársfield 73 (14)
1983–1987 River Plate 64 (18)
Total 464 (169)
National team
1972–1983 Argentina 19 (4)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of May 2007.

Norberto Osvaldo Alonso (born 4 January 1953), known colloquially as "Beto" Alonso, is an Argentine former football midfielder, who played the majority of his career for the Argentine club River Plate.[1] He remains one of their most iconic players.[2][3][4] He stands in fifth place in River Plate's all time goalscoring records with 149 goals [5] and in 7th place in their all time appearances record with 374 matches played.[5] Alonso is considered the best attacking midfielder in the history of Argentine football for many experts.

Club career[edit]

Alonso was born in Vicente López, Buenos Aires province, but grew up in the poor suburb of Los Polvorines. An attacking midfielder, he rose through the ranks of River's youth divisions as the team was undergoing its infamous dry spell (18 years, 1957 to 1975, without a championship title). When Angel Labruna took the reins in 1975, Alonso was the team's anchor and holder of the No. 10 jersey.

With reinforcements Roberto Perfumo and Ubaldo Fillol, and the maturing of players like Daniel Passarella, Carlos Morete, J. J. López and Reinaldo Merlo, Alonso led the squad that won both the Metropolitano[6] and the Nacional[7] tournaments of 1975, ushering in a series of seven local titles in the period 1975-1981.

In 1976, Alonso was transferred to Olympique Marseille, but he was unsuccessful.[8] River Plate arranged for his return in 1977.

Between the years 1979–1981, River won four local titles,[9][10][11][12] and became one of the most expensive teams in the world, with a first team (Alonso-Luque) playing in league games and an equally prestigious second team (Carrasco-Ramón Díaz) used mostly in Copa Libertadores matches.

During the 1981 "Nacional" tournament (which River would eventually win), Alonso often clashed with then coach Alfredo Di Stéfano (who seldom selected him for the first team and instead put younger players such as Carlos Daniel Tapia and Jose Maria Vieta in his position). After the Nacional, Alonso was put on the transfer list and was sold to Vélez Sársfield on 1982. After playing alongside veteran Carlos Bianchi, he returned to River Plate once again for the 1984 season.

Many talented midfielders emerged from River Plate's youth system during Alonso's reign, including Alejandro Sabella, Néstor Gorosito and Pedro Troglio.

Alonso was a key player of the successful team of 1985-1986[13] that won River Plate's first Copa Libertadores[14] and Intercontinental Cup. In 1985, his main partner was Enzo Francescoli. By the time he retired, he had scored 166 goals in 464 matches.

International career[edit]

Although he was included in the Argentine squad, Alonso was not in the plans of coach César Luis Menotti for the 1978 FIFA World Cup.[15][16] Menotti gave Alonso only a few minutes of play during the tournament, as Argentina went on to win the competition on home soil.

In 1983, national coach Carlos Bilardo gave Alonso some playing time, but eventually used younger players Diego Maradona, Jorge Burruchaga, and Carlos Tapia in his position.

Post-retirement[edit]

After retiring from the pitch, Alonso opened an insurance agency. He was also a partner in several commercial ventures, even though he was not an advertising figurehead: his appeal for non-River fans was limited, and Maradona was Argentina's poster boy after his exploits in the 1986 World Cup.

Together with Merlo, Alonso coached River Plate in 1989, but the duo was dismissed mid-season when new club president Alfredo Davicce made good on an election promise to bring in Daniel Passarella as coach. River eventually went on to win the championship.

World Cup numbering[edit]

For the 1978 World Cup, Argentina numbered players alphabetically, and as a result Alonso (a midfielder) wore the number 1 jersey (usually reserved for goalkeepers).

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

Individual statistics of Norberto Alonso in championship
Club season Metropolitano Nacional Total
matches goals matches goals matches goals
River Plate
 Argentina
1971 10 1 13 2 23 3
1972 26 12 15 9 41 21
1973 16 3 10 6 26 9
1974 10 1 14 6 24 7
1975 28 20 12 7 40 27
1976 14 1 0 0 14 1
Total 104 38 64 30 168 68
Olympique de Marseille
 France
19761977 17 3 17 3
Total 17 3 17 3
River Plate
 Argentina
1977 0 0 14 6 14 6
1978 14 15 17 8 31 23
1979 13 8 13 5 26 13
1980 24 7 16 8 40 15
1981 20 6 11 0 31 6
Total 71 36 71 27 142 63
Vélez Sarsfield
 Argentina
1982 24 2 13 2 37 4
1983 24 4 12 6 36 10
Total 48 6 25 8 73 14
River Plate
 Argentina
1984 27 7 9 3 36 10
1985 9 3 9 3
19851986 15 5 15 5
19861987 4 0 4 0
Total 46 12 18 6 64 18
Total 464 166


Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

River Plate

International[edit]

Argentina

References[edit]

  1. ^ BDFA player profile
  2. ^ (Spanish) "River homenajeó al Beto Alonso a 30 años de la pelota naranja". cariverplate.com.ar. Retrieved 20 March 2017. En la previa del partido entre el Millonario y The Strongest, por Copa Libertadores, se le entregó a una de las glorias del Club una plaqueta, una camiseta conmemorativa y una pelota. 
  3. ^ (Spanish) "Una nueva edición de "Conocé a tu ídolo" con "Beto" Alonso". cariverplate.com.ar. Retrieved 20 March 2017. Los 25 ganadores del concurso de Somos River disfrutaron de un encuentro íntimo con el "Beto"; le hicieron preguntas, conversaron y se fotografiaron con el ídolo. 
  4. ^ (Spanish) "Los 64 del Capitán Beto". cariverplate.com.ar. Retrieved 20 March 2017. Uno de los jugadores más inspirados de la historia del fútbol argentino, Norberto Alonso, festeja este 4 de enero sus 64 años. 
  5. ^ a b River Plate Website
  6. ^ "Campeonato Metropolitano 1975 (Metropolitan Championship)". Prepared and maintained by Osvaldo José Gorgazzi for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 20 March 2017. 
  7. ^ "Campeonato Nacional 1975 (Nacional Championship)". Prepared and maintained by Osvaldo José Gorgazzi for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 20 March 2017. 
  8. ^ (French) "Alonso Norberto (1976/1977) (La saga des Argentins de l'OM)". om.net. 3 February 2015. Retrieved 20 March 2017. 
  9. ^ "Campeonato Metropolitano 1979 (Metropolitano Championship)". Prepared and maintained by Osvaldo José Gorgazzi for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 21 January 2006. Retrieved 20 March 2017. 
  10. ^ "Campeonato Nacional 1979 (Nacional Championship)". Prepared and maintained by Osvaldo José Gorgazzi for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 21 January 2006. Retrieved 20 March 2017. 
  11. ^ "Campeonato Metropolitano 1980 (Metropolitano Championship)". Prepared and maintained by Osvaldo José Gorgazzi for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 31 December 2005. Retrieved 20 March 2017. 
  12. ^ "Campeonato Nacional 1981 (Argentina). Ferro Carril Oeste (BA) 0–1 River Plate". Prepared and maintained by Osvaldo José Gorgazzi for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 15 October 2005. Retrieved 20 March 2017. 
  13. ^ "1985–86 Argentine Primera División". Prepared and maintained by Pablo Ciullini for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 1 January 2005. Retrieved 20 March 2017. 
  14. ^ "Copa Libertadores de América 1986". Prepared and maintained by Pablo Ciullini, Karel Stokkermans and John Beuker for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 20 March 2017. 
  15. ^ "Argentine Squads in the World Cups. FIFA World Cup 1978". Prepared and maintained by Héctor Darío Pelayes for the Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. 16 January 2009. Retrieved 20 March 2017. 
  16. ^ "FIFA World Cup 1978". fifa.com. Retrieved 20 March 2017. 

External links[edit]