San Lorenzo’s Leandro “Pipi” Romagnoli celebrated his retirement this weekend at the Superliga Argentina’s Nuevo Gasometro stadium before 35,000 fans and about 30 former teammates, who joined him for an exhibition match in which he scored his final goals.
The 37-year-old attacking midfielder spent most of his 20-year career with San Lorenzo, helping the club win six titles, including the 2014 Copa Libertadores, told reporters after Saturday’s celebration that he had wanted to take the field one last time since playing in his final official match.
“I dreamed about this moment after I stopped playing, to be able to say goodbye to the people and teammates who shared championships and lots of really nice things with me,” Romagnoli said.
Fans gave a long ovation to Nestor “Pipo” Gorosito, Alberto “Beto” Acosta, Bernardo Romeo, Sebastian Saja, Juan Mercier and Nestor Ortigoza, who were on the squad that won the Libertadores title four years ago.
Manager Edgardo “Paton” Bauza, who is now with Rosario Central but led San Lorenzo to the title in South America’s premier club tournament in 2014, also got a warm greeting from fans.
Romagnoli, who came up through the San Lorenzo organization, helped the Buenos Aires-based club win the 2014 Copa Libertadores; 2002 Copa Sudamericana; 2001 Copa Mercosur; 2001 Superliga Argentina Clausura tournament; 2013 Inicial tournament; and 2015 Supercopa Argentina.
The attacking midfielder played for San Lorenzo from 1998 to 2004 and again from 2009 to 2018.
Romagnoli also spent time with Liga MX club Veracruz and four seasons with Portugal’s Sporting.