The message stayed for a few hours on Instagram and then disappeared. “Thanks to you from Conmebol for this. All the blame is entirely on you !!! If a person dies, what are you going to do? What they only care about is MONEY. Is the player’s life worth nothing? (sic)”. Marcelo Martins Moreno (Santa Cruz de la Sierra, 33 years old) wrote against the organization of the Copa América.
Martins Moreno, captain of the Bolivian national team, attacked the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) on Tuesday after the detection of 52 coronavirus infections among the delegations of Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela. The historical top scorer of his team, who tested positive at the weekend and missed the debut of the Verde In the 1-3 loss to Paraguay, he accompanied the message with a photograph of a teammate who was undergoing a PCR test. After a second examination and another positive result, the top figure of the Andean team will miss the second game of the group stage, this Friday against Chile. Following Martins’ message, the Conmebol Disciplinary Commission has begun an investigation against the striker because he violated the code of conduct and affected the “loyalty, integrity and sportsmanship” of the competition.
The Brazilian Ministry of Health had reported on Tuesday that the detection of some isolated infections had risen to at least 52 positives among players, technical staff and workers of the tournament organization. 33 of the cases correspond to players and members of the national teams and the other 19 to employees of the contest. The most affected so far has been the Venezuelan delegation, which registered 13 cases, while Bolivia confirmed the contagion of three players and one person from the coaching staff. Conmebol, so far, has not offered a message in this regard.
The Bolivian Football Federation has not revealed the names of the infected footballers, but Martins’s father, a regular in the local sports media, confirmed that the Bolivian-Brazilian striker was one of them. “He was eager and happy to play the Copa América and in the end it fell like a bucket of cold water, but God knows why he does things; Maybe it is low now, but Bolivia can qualify for the World Cup, which is the most important thing, ”Mauro Martins told the newspaper. Duty.
Martins is a rare bird in the Bolivian national team. The fourth of the seven children of a Brazilian soccer player who landed in Bolivia in the 1970s, the forward made his debut in local soccer at age 16 and migrated to his father’s country before reaching the age of majority. With his dual nationality, he played 15 games and scored 11 goals in the lower divisions of the Brazilian team. He was the first foreigner in more than 63 years to achieve a place in a Brazilian national team. Martins was two-time regional champion with Vitória, a team that was then active in the Brazilian third division, and signed as a promise for Cruzeiro at the end of the summer of 2007. A year later he became the “most expensive Bolivian in history” by signing by Shaktar Donetsk of Ukraine for $ 14 million. While Brazil’s senior team shone with Ronaldinho and Adriano at the helm, Martins accepted that he would not be called back to play in the Canarinha and opted for the offer of the national team of his mother.
On November 17, 2020, Martins, who turns 34 this Friday, became the historic scorer of Bolivia. While his team brings disappointment and has spent the last 30 years dreaming of returning to a World Cup from the bottom of the knockout table, its latest figure rubs shoulders with Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Neymar among the top scorers. The Flecheiro, As they say in his two homelands, he accumulates six goals in the qualifiers for the Qatar World Cup 2022 as the top scorer in the competition.
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Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.