Yesterday, Barcelona released centerback Gabriel Milito on a free transfer to return to Argentina and play for Independiente. Gabby, was, among many other things, full of piss and vinegar when playing for the blaugrana, if not always healthy or, in his later years, the player he once was.
I chose the picture above because it basically describes Gabby’s time at Barcelona to a T. The above picture shows what would have been a game-winning goal that was disallowed due to a bogus offside call, though Milito was still giving his all on bum legs because the team was short in defense at the time. Just like the picture, Gabby had tons of promise and executed so very well, but his acts were cut short by forces beyond his control, much like the knee injury that kept him out for 602 days.
If you remember back to the 2007-08 season, Milito was one of the better players that year, but tore his ACL near the end of the campaign, a blow that would keep him out over a year and a half and see him return to a dim shade of his former self, at least in the games. He simply lacked the pace he once had, though his technique was still there when he could summon it despite the injury. Sadly, his 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons were marred with more minor injuries, though he did fill in admirably at the back during the defensive injury crisis last year, and never seemed to complain about his station or his status within the team. From all accounts, he was a class act at all times and wore the colors with pride.
In short, Gabriel Milito is a talented player whose time was cut woefully short by a nasty knee injury that sidelined him for too long and harmed his abilities, though he still worked hard after the injury, playing in many games for Barcelona and for his country, and now he is returning to his childhood club of Independiente. He finishes his Barça career with 1 goal, 10 trophy wins to his name, and other contributions we may never know about.
Thank you Garbiel, we wish you the best at Independiente and with the Argentine national team. Goodnight and good luck sweet prince of Argentina.
Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images Europe