The Venezuelan Soccer League has committed an unforgivable injustice by leaving Luis Mendoza and Stalin Rivas, two of the most technically gifted footballers in the country, who marked an era in the history of this sport, with the designation of the awards they will deliver. from this year to the best Futve player.
This forgetfulness is not new. The old leaders of the country and the old Venezuelan Football Federation, commanded by Rafael Esquivel, always wanted to erase the exquisite legacy of the best 10 in national football; because his irreverence was not only to handle the ball with both profiles with a class that dazzled in the national and international courts.
The name of Luis Mendoza represented fighting for dignity, fair treatment and the presence of players born and trained in Venezuela in the squads of the so-called “colony teams”; made up mostly of footballers from anywhere in South America in search of petrodollar manna.
From the age of 15, when he debuted with the Banco Agrícola shirt in the old Professional League, and until he was 42, when he saved Caracas Yamaha from relegation, putting on his cleats to play alongside his son Luis Enrique, the eternal 10 of football. Venezuelan wasted quality with his masterful passes, the anthology goals with powerful shots that made him an idol in all the teams where he played in his 25-year professional career in Venezuela. Mendocita was the first true hero of this sport in the country.
He won five titles with the uniforms of Deportivo Italia, Galicia, Estudiantes de Mérida and Portuguesa, shone in the Copa Libertadores and was the best 10 in the history of the national soccer team. The heir of Mendocita was Stalin Rivas, owner of an ability to control the ball, enable or put the ball in an unexpected corner with his prodigious left leg that has not been seen later.
The "Magician" got the only title that Mineros de Guayana exhibits, three times he was crowned with Caracas and was líder Copa Libertadores gunner with Minerven.
Juan Arango is the greatest reference of the Vinotinto, a great free throw collector, but technically he was inferior to Mendocita and Stalin Rivas.
He was never a champion in national football, where he only shone in the rise of Nueva Cádiz before making a brilliant career abroad.
The Liga Futve should rescue the memory of Luis Mendoza so that the trophy for the best player of each year bears his name. The most decisive youth should receive the Stalin Rivas award, and reserve the Juan Arango for the most outstanding Venezuelan abroad.