The curious story of the Argentine coach from Honduras, Argentina’s rival in Miami: he is nicknamed “La Barbie” and participated in a Dancing for a Dream

The Mendoza, at the time of being appointed as DT of Honduras

“The Argentine team is going to fight in the next World Cup, but we are going to beat them in the friendly”. In this way, it presents Diego VazquezMendocino coach who commands the team of Honduras.

The Argentine cast will face the Bicolor in the framework of the first friendly that will be played in the United States on the FIFA date, the last testing window before the World Cup. The clash will take place at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami, with the presence of Lionel Messi.

“It is a huge illusion to play against Argentina, which also has the best player in the world; That generates an extra stimulus for us. We are very excited to be able to play a great game and be up to the task”, said the former San Martín goalkeeper, who took over as technical director in May of this year.

“I am the first Argentine to lead the Honduran national team, which had gone 30 months without being able to win a game. When we arrived, we won at home and away. What’s more, we are first in the Nations League with six units. For that reason, we want to continue growing and that they give us the process until the 2026 World Cup,” the 51-year-old pleaded.

The last time the two teams met was on May 27, 2016 in San Juan, with a local victory by 1-0 with a goal from Gonzalo Higuaín. “With this type of rival, the matches are very sporadic. Being a professional you always want to play and measure yourself against the best. It serves as a thermometer for what is to come,” he added.

Personally, Vázquez spent most of his career in soccer in that country. In 2011 he hung up his gloves at the age of 40, after 15 seasons of career abroad. Later, he rubbed shoulders with the environment of the Honduran show business, where it is known as La Barbie. away from football participated in Dancing for a Honduran Dream and in the movie El Xendrawhere he put his voice over to personify an alien.

“I had decided that I was playing the last game on Deportes Savio and we agreed to carry out that reality show. We had a great time. I had fun and it’s not something I regret. Obviously, I was afraid of making a fool of myself and in fact we did, but we laughed and had a good time, ”she remarks from Tegucigalpa, in a heads-up with Infobae.

-What are your expectations for the friendly with the Argentine team?

– The expectation is to continue growing and building things as a national team. Play a good game and enjoy it with a lot of responsibility. We know that the Argentine team is one of the candidates to win the next World Cup. It has the best footballer in the world and they are all positive connotations to take advantage of this friendly.

-What kind of rival will Honduras be for the cast of Lionel Scaloni?

-We hope to be a well-ordered team, that manages the block well and above all, strong. The biotype of the Honduran player is fast and powerful. So, we hope to be up to the task, define a system that works for us and try to harm Argentina as much as we can. It serves as a thermometer for what is to come and with the idea of ​​continuing to grow. I haven’t defined the plan yet, I just started to observe the last matches that Argentina had against Estonia, Italy and those of the Qualifiers.

Diego Vazquez
Vázquez, in his stage as a goalkeeper

-Why is the Argentine national team a candidate for the title in Qatar?

-He’s playing very well. He comes from winning the Copa América in Brazil, he had an excellent Qualifying round and he has players who stand out in Europe, who are having a very good time. Argentina is going to put up a fight in the next World Cup, but we are going to beat them in the friendly. In terms of football, they have tall sides, they fix the defensive line with the insiders, it is a complicated team from the collective and individual point of view due to the quality of their players. But we will see what system we implement to deal with them.

-Do you like to vary the game schemes or do you have a particular favorite?

-In the three games we played we changed. We like to vary so as not to pigeonhole ourselves into a single system. Even during the game we also change. Regardless of any tactical idea, we have to be in good shape to play a good game and rise to the occasion.

-In the Honduran national team, how many soccer players play locally and how many abroad?

-There are eight that play in Europe and in the MLS of the United States, and the rest in Honduran soccer. There are 23 players summoned to face Argentina. We have a list of 30, but seven do not travel.

-What makes you want to face the H?nduraso team

-A dream, an illusion, and something nice to enjoy it. All positive emotions, and that they are calling me from everywhere, it’s also nice. My brothers and my nephew are going to watch the game and they are happy.

-Is it true that you made history as an Argentine directing Honduras?

-Yes, because I am the first Argentine to lead the Honduran national team. In addition, the selected came from 30 months of not being able to win a game, neither at home nor away. When we arrive, we win both inside and outside; We hope to continue growing. We’ve done well so far. What’s more, we are first in the Nations League with six units. For that reason, we want to continue growing and that they give us the process until the next World Cup 2026.

-How did you change the mentality of your footballers who had not won for a long time?

-It was natural. From the emotional part, trying to get rid of all the negatives that we had been having. In soccer, we prioritize the idea of ​​being quite organized and we begin to build things based on having harmony, everyone being happy and many other details that we have carried out since May when we took office. We had the players for 20 days and we were able to take advantage of them. The truth is that it went well for us.

-Is it the biggest challenge of your career to be the coach of the Honduran cast?

-Yes, of course; it is a huge challenge. So far, we have managed three matches and won very well. We beat Canada, which was first in the octagonal over Mexico and the United States, and we beat Curaçao, which has a very good team with players who stand out in the Netherlands.

-What is the difference between Argentine and Honduran soccer?

-It is different and difficult to establish a comparison. The Honduran is very strong, with a lot of power and fast. In Argentina, the game is more technical, strategic and focused.

Diego Vazquez
The testimony of his time as a River player

– Is there enthusiasm in the Honduran people or do they no longer give so much importance to the field of the local team?

-With these games that we played, logically we have to seduce people again so that they get hooked again, because Honduras did not participate in the last two World Cups. Previously, it had. In the last time it was not possible to arrive, but we have to start building everything to qualify for 2026. Honduras is a soccer country and soccer is the main sport. There are 10 teams that compete in the First Division, and they are having good success in the Concacaf League, which is the league that takes place in Central America.

-At what age did you leave Argentina?

-When I was 26 years old. I debuted at the age of 16 in San Martín de Mendoza. Later, I did the lower divisions in River Plate and in Huracán de Parque Patricios. After not being able to play, I went to the United States. I returned to Independiente de Rivadavia and in 1997 I came here. I have been in Honduras for 25 years. I have lived here more than in my country of origin.

-Why didn’t you debut in the Primera de River?

– We were with Federico Vairo and Martin Pando who are category 71. Of my former teammates, Cuqui Silvani, Diego Sicigliano and Padula made it to the First Division. I went to the bench a couple of times with the category 70 of Leonardo Astrada and Juan José Borrelli, among others. It couldn’t happen to me because the Millionaire had about 30 players and if you got injured, you lost ground. Also, I was alone in Buenos Aires and my adolescence was complicated, because I was not aware of what I was experiencing.

-Did the same thing happen to you in Hurricane?

– No, because I got injured. I tore my meniscus and it took me longer to recover. Just when Puentedura and Corrales left, there were Landaburu, la Anguila Gutiérrez and I was the fifth goalkeeper, but I was injured, I underwent surgery and they didn’t make me a contract. In that case, I was unlucky. Later, I went to the United States and returned to Independiente de Rivadavia in 1992.

-How was your arrival in Honduras?

– Living in the United States, I met Jorge Rivera, a local journalist who ran a shortwave radio station in Honduras, where Spanish soccer is given a lot of importance. I met him on a plane where we were sitting next to each other. At one point, he asked me for the magazine The graphic to read, I passed it to him, we chatted for a while, I gave him my phone and some time later he called me to have me auditioned at the Honduran Motagua club. When I arrived, I saved two penalties in the match and then we came out champions.

-What is it like to live in Honduras?

– A tropical and very beautiful country, with people who give you spectacular affection. It has very nice beaches, rivers and mountains; the vegetation is incredible and in the tourist area you have everything. Keep good habits and today I am adapted in Tegucigalpa. It is different from our culture in the gastronomic aspect and in the climate, since if it cools down the temperature does not drop below 15 degrees, for example, in December. It has a lot of nature and tourism that is not fully exploited, and living near the Pacific, two hours away, and four from the Caribbean.

-How is the standard of living?

-It is an economy that has been hit a bit, as in all Central American countries, except for Costa Rica, which perhaps has a slightly higher index in the region. In the sociopolitical aspect, Honduras is also hit.

-What did you do when you hung up the gloves?

-I did the coaching course in Mendoza. When I finished it, Motagua hired me and I returned to Honduras. I have some personal businesses, but as soon as I retired I went back to my birthplace with the idea of ​​being a coach. From then on, I spent 8 and a half years at the Motagua club, where we played international tournaments and played three finals. In that institution, I won 11 titles between player and technical director.

-At what age did you retire?

– At 40 years old. I could have played one more year, but I didn’t want to be away from my family. That’s why I retired. Today I have the coach chip of the Honduran national team and I adapted quickly, but it was not difficult for me to leave football. When I graduated, I found a job, it went very well for me and I took that transition calmly.

-How was your experience in Dancing for a Dream of Honduras?

-Well, I quite enjoyed it. It was at the time when I was retiring. I had decided that I was playing the last game on Deportes Savio and we agreed to carry out that reality show. We had a great time, I had fun and it’s not something I regret. Obviously, I was afraid of making a fool of myself and actually, we did, but we laughed and had a good time. I thought I was going to be ridiculous because I don’t know how to dance and that’s what the program was about, because you have to do it well and it’s not as funny as the one in Argentina.

-Why did you do it?

– I found the proposal interesting, to do something different and with the idea of ​​having a good time. We danced bachata, hip hop, a John Travolta song. There were six galas and I enjoyed it.

– Is it true that you recorded a movie as an actor?

-Yes. It is a film by the Honduran director Juan Carlos Fanconi, who won international awards. It’s called The Xendra. The character is interesting and I put my voice over playing an alien who was in the mind of the protagonist. It wasn’t real, because it’s a mystical theme, with the esoteric and it gets a lot into the mind of the main actor. There were four scenes and we managed to shoot them in one day. I liked the mystical theme, which not everyone likes. The film is very well done by Fanconi who later recorded “A few days in the Caribbean”, a feature film starring Gastón Pauls.

-Why do they call you “La Barbie”?

-Because when I came to Honduras I had long hair. A journalist gave me that nickname because Children’s Day was celebrated and he gave his daughter a black-haired barbie. And when he saw me on the court he nailed me “the barbie” and I stayed (laughs).

Diego Vázquez, as coach of Motagua, where he built a successful career. (EFE/Gustavo Amador/Archive)
Diego Vázquez, as coach of Motagua, where he built a successful career. (EFE/Gustavo Amador/File) (EFEI0342/)


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