KEIR RADNEDGE COMMENTARY —- Amadeo Raul Carrizo, one of not only the greatest goalkeepers but greatest personalities, in the history of Argentinian football, has died at 93.

Coincidentally Carrizo died on the same date, March 20, as the Russian icon Lev Yashin back in 1990.

Carrizo was the last surviving link with River Plate’s legendary La Maquina team of the late 1940s. His 23-year career with the club meant his iconic team-mates ranged from Jose Manuel Moreno, Alfredo Di Stéfano, Nestor Rossi and Angel Labruna to Walter Gómez and Enrique Omar Sívori then Luis Artime, Oscar ‘Pinino’ Mas and Ermindo Onega.

Amadeo Carrizo . . . River Plate record man

He pioneered the use of goalkeeping gloves in Argentina and had been River’s honorary president since 2013.

Carrizo was born in Rufino, Santa Fe, on June 12, 1926 and was considered the pioneer of modern goalkeeping in Argentina, a commander of his penalty area and beyond but also adept with the ball at his feet after having played originally at centre-forward.

Club record

‘Tarzan’ made his debut with River at 19 on May 6, 1945. It was the first of a club record number of appearances – sources vary between 552, 546 and 521 – ahead of Labruna (514), Reinaldo Merlo (500), Juan Jose Lopez (424), Norberto Yacono (393), Mas (382), Norberto Alonso (374), Felix Loustau (367) and fellow goalkeeper Ubaldo Fillol (361).

Those 23 years brought 184 clean sheets and 618 goals conceded at an average of a mere 1.18. He finally left the Estadio Monumental in 1968 and played for two years in Colombia with Millonarios of Bogota before retiring at the age of 44.

With River he won seven championships in 1945, 1947, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956 and 1957 plus two cups in 1945 and 1947.

Carrizo played 22 times for Argentina. He was the unfortunate goalkeeper on the wrong end of a 6-1 humiliation by Czechoslovakia at the 1958 World Cup finals but returned successfully for the 1964 Cup of Nations tournament in Brazil in 1964. His last game in both the tournament and for his country was a 1-0 win against England.

After retirement he was briefly a coach with minor Argentinian club Deportivo Armenio (1972) and Colombia’s Once Caldas (1973).

In 2000 Carrizo was nominated by the International Federation of Football Historians and Statisticians as the best South American goalkeeper of the 20th century.


A River Plate statement said: “His personality, temperament and reliability signalled out Amadeo Carizzo as one of the best goalkeepers in the history of football, inventor of a style and a benchmark for the generations who followed him.

“The Belgrano media section is named after him and he will forever remembered as a fundamental part of the club, on and off the pitch.”

Old rivals Boca Juniors joined in the tributes: “Boca Juniors says goodbye to Amadeo Carrizo, rival of so many battles and legend of Argentinian football and stands with his family at this time of such sadness.”

Other tributes included appreciations from Diego Maradona and from  Fillol, Argentina’s World Cup-winning goalkeeper in 1978 and a River Plate successor. Fillol said: “He was an example for everyone who love goalkeeping. Not only a wonderful goalkeeper but a great person.”