Wednesday 29 September 2021, 19:00

Borruto: It doesn't matter who scores Argentina's goals

  • Argentina edged Brazil 2-1 to reach the Lithuania 2021 final

  • Cristian Borruto registered a goal and an assist

  • He discusses the success and dressing-room celebrations

“There’s music playing, people singing and shouting, and there’s water everywhere,” Cristian Borruto told when asked about the celebrations taking place in the dressing room. Only a few minutes have passed since Argentina eliminated Brazil in the semi-finals of the FIFA Futsal World Cup Lithuania 2021™, a result that sent the reigning champions into their second consecutive final.

“I’m sure they’re singing the usual song,” he said. “There’s a load of versions, almost all cumbia-style.” Now that they have knocked out their eternal rivals and are in the final, the Argentinians are almost obliged to continue the tradition of singing ‘their’ song. Given that the players have been performing it on every coach trip to the stadium for games and again after every victory, it did not take long for it to start echoing out from the changing room.

As has happened in many Argentinian stadiums, Borruto and his futsal team-mates have come up with their own amended version of the ubiquitous Enamorado Estoy (I’m in Love). Specifically, they have changed the chorus to ‘Today we must win, this gang wants to celebrate, we’re going to be world champions, we’ll have to do a victory lap’, and the final part of the verse to ‘The only thing I want is for Argentina to be champions and for us to add another star’, making their all-conquering intentions as clear as possible.

And that was their ultimate target when they arrived at the tournament, as the pacey 34-year-old forward – who, in his fourth World Cup, gave the Brazilian rearguard the run-around in Kaunas – confirmed: “We came to Lithuania to lift the trophy. "We’re going to have a think about who we might play and then we’ll get ready for the final. Now’s the time to get some rest, recharge our batteries and then wait to find out who we’ll face on Sunday. Whoever it is, we’re going to play in our usual style.”

During the post-match celebrations, it was surprising to note that the diminutive No9 did not immediately join his team-mates in hugging each other and chanting triumphantly. Reflecting his more introverted nature, his thoughts appeared to be elsewhere when the hooter signalled the end of the last-four clash. “I’ve got a few things on my mind, some problems, and I’m not one for celebrating that much anyway,” he said, his eyes glazing over. “I should be excited, though, because I’ve been working towards this goal – reaching the final – for a long time.”

Although he has trouble acknowledging it, Borruto was Argentina’s outstanding outfield player in the first half, giving his side a clear advantage. He pounced to score La Albiceleste’s second goal, and he could even have had a brace, had Constantino Vaporaki not helped his goal-bound shot over the line for the opener. But the Italservice Pesaro star does not seem in the slightest bit perturbed. “It doesn’t matter who gets on the score-sheet," he said. "All I’m interested in is that we win. Whether it’s Constantino’s goal or mine, winning is the most important thing.”

Despite his stated indifference, it is Borruto’s prowess in front of goal that has ensured that he will be recognised as a key figure in the history of the Argentinian national futsal team. Against A Seleção on Wednesday evening, he increased his tally in Lithuania to four, which, when added to his goals at Colombia 2016 and Thailand 2012 (he did not find the net in 2008), brings his overall Futsal World Cup total to 13.

With that figure, Borruto has reaffirmed his status as Argentina’s all-time leading goalscorer – by quite some distance – at the tournament, having surpassed the legendary Carlos Sanchez (nine goals), a former team-mate of his, after scoring against USA in the opening match.

“I played with Carlos at Napoli and at the World Cup in 2008, but I’m not in much contact with that older generation of players," said Borruto. "I was a newcomer at that tournament. “I’m very happy with my 13 goals, though, and being the all-time top scorer. Although I wasn’t looking for that title, it’s a nice thing to have.”

With his goals having secured him a place in Argentinian history and with a second World Cup final in a row – and the chance to add a second star to his jersey – just around the corner, the Buenos Aires native has much to be cheerful about. But first things first: “I’m looking forward to chatting with my kids and my friends, and then celebrating with the boys when we go out for dinner.”

With that imminent get-together in mind, Borruto has one small wish that coach Matias Lucuix and his backroom staff will almost certainly grant. “It would be nice to be able to have a glass of beer tonight,” he said with a smile.

Borruto shoots for 1st goal