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08/12/1956: Boscoli interviews Batatais

Author: Isaque Argolo | Creation Date: 2022-07-29 13:08:35

Data providers: Isaque Argolo.
Ronaldo Boscoli | 08/12/1956

He started as left winger — The split facilitated his transfer to Fluminense — The many titles — "I was not barred from the World Cup and I never had a selection complex" — "From Gentil Cardoso I have the only regret" — "Domingos was the greatest, Plánička the best and Castilho the best Brazilian" — He would return to Fluminense many years later.

It is no longer new to say that Algisto Lorenzato, that complicated name, belongs to one of the simplest men in this land: Batatais. Not even the new generation is unaware of who Batatais was, the fabulously placed goalkeeper with icy nerves. His story begins in the city that bears his name. Hence the consequent nickname "the subject who is born with a difficult name sooner or later gains a nickname".
— But why such a complicated name?
Batatais: The old man was Italian. Perhaps in his homeland, Algisto is as simple as José.
Speaking slowly, Batatais says that he had a very poor childhood. As a boy he chose the profession of carpenter, later he also learned to work with glass. That's in Barretos.
Batatais: That's when I found out there was a vacancy at Frigorífico Anglo. The firm had a little team, and there I started my career on the left wing. It was the position that was always left over.
— And how did it end up in the gate?
Batatais: The goalkeeper got sick, they looked me up and down, "this guy looks like a goalkeeper", and off I went under the post.
Batatais began to be spoken. So much so that an emissary from Ribeirão Preto went to Barretos to get him to defend the Commercial Department in that city. Year 33, when professionalism was officially implemented. His next step: Portuguesa de Deportos, much better paid. Batatais reached the selected faster than one might suppose. He won the titles 33-34-35. In this last year, São Paulo football suffered a violent revolution. Needing to reform its “squad”, and feeling that the moment was that, Fluminense made a load, offered a lot of money to São Paulo clubs. And brought half a team. Batatais came along, of course, as of course he was soon champion. He repeated two more years, thus winning the famous tri (36-37-38). In 38 he was the absolute goalkeeper of the Brazilian team that would dispute the World Championship. After conceding five goals against Poland (we won 6-5) Batatais was barred... (here the old Batatais apart).
Batatais: That's not accurate. It so happens that against Poland the bald camp prevented me from being able to defend with security. So much so that the Polish goalkeeper conceded six goals. I got a cold and suffered from the intestines. That was the explanation I had of Pimenta. So much so that when I recovered I faced (and we beat) Sweden in the last game.
— Is it true that you had a selection complex?
Batatais: No. They say that because in 39 we suffered a spectacular defeat to the Argentines (5 to 1), but I didn't have the physical or moral condition to enter the field.
— Why morals?
Batatais: I had suffered a strong blow in my private life and the consequent physical shock that the fact imposed on me.
— And why did you play?
Batatais: Because I had to. I explained that I could not enter the field. But it was no use. Then the crowd was tagging me. I almost finished that year.
— But you were still champion three years later.
Batatais: Two-time champion (40-41). I didn't hold grudges, I overcame the jokes, I finally had a strong spirit. Of those who hurt me, I have regrets from Gentil Cardoso.
— Why?
Batatais: Because Gentil took me away from the club I defended for ten years, Fluminense. When he arrived at the club in '46, we took a trip north. In order not to pay Gentil masseur has accumulated the duties. He would receive one hundred cruzeiros a game. He offered me half to do the whole job. I got it. When I went to receive, at the end of the season, the coach did not want to pay me. Of course I protested. In a long report Gentil dismissed me, he said cynically, in a certain passage “that boy is only good for massaging, you can dismiss him.” Who knows what that is? After so many years?
— Changing the subject, what's your greatest match?
Batatais: I record two: the first against São Paulo, in a game at night in '43, the other was in a Fla-Flu. In Gávea in 41. I defended everything.
— And the greatest player of all time?
Batatais: Domingos. Playing with him was a breeze. The Master would sing the whole game to those in front and to me. I've never seen anyone with such intuition. Then I quote Romeu, Leônidas, Zizinho and Ademir.
— And the greatest goalkeeper?
Batatais: Plánička. Among the Brazilians, I highlight Castilho, from the current ones. Amauri and Pompéia.
— Is it true that you have a promise from Pirilo to help him again as you did in Bonsucesso?
Batatais: Yes. Nilton Anet also promised me an opportunity.
— So would you return to Fluminense?
Batatais: Sure. I already said that only Gentil I have regrets. What interests me is working, whether in Fluminense or Bangu. My job at ADEM doesn't pay me enough, and the old man here isn't afraid of work.