Argentina struggled to find a regular goalkeeper for their national team for ages. After the legend Sergio Goycochea saved two penalties against Yugoslavia and two more against Italy on the way to the 1990 World Cup Final, his myth got bigger and bigger as years went past. Frustrations with Luis Islas, Carlos Roa and Pablo Cavallero in 1994, 1998 and 2002 deepened the crisis.
When José Pekerman became the new coach in 2004, he projected 32-year-old Roberto Abbondanzieri from giants Boca Juniors to the 2006 World Cup. After a solid performance despite leaving the field with an injury against Germany in quarter-finals, he remained for 2007 Copa América. Then, the young blood came up rotating with Mariano Andujar.
Oscar Ustari was doing superbly in the 2008 Olympics until he picked a serious injury that conditioned his career forever, then, Sergio Romero’s chance came up. From the Gold medal, he jumped straight to the senior national team. And he never left his place for four years. He became the new Goycochea in the 2014 World Cup semifinals saving two penalties against Netherlands. Despite the defeat in the Final, he reached the top of popularity. An injury prevented him to be in Russia, and barely returned to the team.
But his playing time in Manchester United never helped him to stay in the national team after going through Eredivisie’s AZ Alkmaar, AS Monaco in France and Sampdoria in Italy. His contract is ending by the end of June, and he seems to be set to return to his homeland. His childhood club Racing could welcome him onboard again, on his way to turn 34 years old.