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What happened to the life of Julio César Bayón, the forgotten world champion of the U-20 of Qatar 1995


Highlights: Julio César Bayón was born in San Fernando del Valle, Catamarca. He played in the Primera in the Catamarqueña League. At the age of 15 he was invited to audition for Rosario Central. He was summoned to participate in the 1995 Qatar World Cup, in which he would play 4 games and hang the gold medal. He retired at 45, with a tribute match and they promised to put his name to a grandstand of the CatamARCa stadium for being the only provincial world champion.

At 47, he has six children and five grandchildren. It disappeared from the national media but not in its payment. He retired at 45, with a tribute match and they promised to put his name to a grandstand of the Catamarca stadium for being the only provincial world champion.

Julio César Bayón did not hesitate, the phrase came from his soul. Even today, 28 years later, he doesn't quite know why he did what he did. An impulse assailed him when the elevator door of the luxurious hotel in Doha opened and he observed the youth Raúl González Blanco (yes, the one of Real Madrid), Iván De la Peña (the one of Barcelona) and the coach Andoni Goikoetxea. The scene took place in April 1995, one day before the semifinal of the U-20 World Cup between Argentina and Spain, the great entertainer of the tournament, the one who did not stop scoring. In silence, the four climbed a couple of floors until the Argentine reached his destination. "With this team they play very nice, it's true, but the kick you hit Maradona was bad," Bayón told Goikoetxea, that Athletic Bilbao central scorer who broke Diego's left ankle in 1983. And the 19-year-old Argentine boy got off leaving tension in the air.

"I was born to say that because in the previous one we had in mind the kick to Maradona. Spain was a great team, everyone praised it, and we were able to win 3-0. We went down to the cuckoo," Bayón recalls from Catamarca, his place in the world.

It is worth reviewing the history of Julio César Bayón, the Emperor. Since childhood he played in Defensores del Norte, the team of his neighborhood, El Piloto, there in the heart of San Fernando del Valle. At the age of 15 he debuted in the Primera in the Catamarqueña League. One afternoon, he was invited to audition for Rosario Central: a talent scout was in the area. "First they played the 73 and 74 categories; then, 75 and 76, among which he was. I went before to see the first game and they put me in because there were people missing. I was lucky. The test was in January and in February I was already living in the Central boarding house," he tells Clarín.

In a few months in Rosario, Bayón went from playing in the local league to doing it in AFA. Although it cost him the adaptation. "When I arrived, a guy told me that if I didn't gain 12 kilos I couldn't play. He was very skinny. In three months, with gymnastics and vitamins, I was able to catch up with my teammates," he explains. And he continues: "Shortly after Mostaza Merlo quotes me for some friendlies with the U-20 and then I was left out of the South American 1995, already with José Pekerman as coach".

Bayón's football career was on the rise. He debuted in Rosario Central on March 12, 1995 in a 1–1 draw in Jujuy between Gimnasia and Esgrima. Pedro Marchetta was the coach. He played the classic against Newell's on date 5. Profe Salerio went there to see him. And he was summoned to participate in the 1995 Qatar World Cup, in which he would play 4 games and hang the gold medal. "I didn't get well physically and there I had to do a lot of kinesiology. But I enjoyed it. In Central, Kily González and Darío Scotto lent me boots to play and when we arrived in Doha I signed a contract with Adidas and they gave me 8 pairs. It was crazy," he says.

Did they win that World Cup well?

-Yes. We had a meeting after Portugal beat us in the group zone and from there we improved. We beat Spain in the semifinals, who had a great team, and Brazil in the final. It's no small thing.

-Who were the best players on the team?

-I liked Walter Coyette, that way of carrying the ball was crazy. He broke it. Then, Panchito Guerrero made a lot of difference every time he entered and Juampi Sorín already had a lot of presence, as did Sebastián Pena.

Bayón returned champion to Rosario and continued to have minutes in the Canalla: in total he played 6 games. The future gave him nice winks. He played in the historic triumph of San Lorenzo in the Gigante de Arroyito with the goal of Gallego González. "It was the goal against that hurt me the most in my career because we missed a barbaric prize. I didn't have a contract and only charged per diem allowance, plus a plus per game played. That day we had an extra coming from La Plata. With the goal of the Galician I lost some dollars, "says Bayón laughing.

After that brilliant first semester of 1995, Bayón was greatly affected by Marchetta's departure from Rosario. Ángel Tulio Zof, the new coach, transferred him to the Reserve commanded by Edgardo Bauza. At the end of the year, he was released. "By agreement, I had to return to Defensores, my home club in Catamarca. Jota Jota López, who was Marchetta's assistant, called me to go to Racing. But in Defensores they asked me for 40,000 dollars to let me leave and I did not have that money, "recalls the Emperor.

Those that would come would be the most difficult days for Bayón and not only in football. After recovering the pass after a brief trial, he closed his incorporation to Gimnasia y Tiro de Salta. But in order not to be stopped for a couple of months, he joined Salta Norte to play a regional tournament. And in a game in Andalgalá happened the move that changed his career.

"I was fouled and fell with the ball close to my chest. When I grab it with my hands, already on the floor, I see that a kick is coming to me. My skull cracked. It was a Saturday. I woke up on Tuesday in intensive care," she says.

That injury had him more than 12 months in rehab. "The people of the club behaved very well with me because they took me to Córdoba to take care of me. The doctor decided not to operate on me and wait for me to heal on its own. Some sequelae I still have: I can not be much in the heat because I soften the whole area of the skull "continues the story.

-Did you ever cross the one who hit you? Did you have a grudge?

-No, not at all. I know he lives in a town over here. Once they wanted to cross me on a radio, but for what? He was a bigger guy and had a reputation for roughness. Already in the first leg, on our court, I had got a couple of kicks.

Bayón, with the 16, celebrating the championship in Qatar.

Life went on for Bayón. After more than a year of recovery, he went to try his luck in Chile and then played for El Porvenir and Deportivo Armenio. Tired of the way of life in Buenos Aires (they tried to assault him twice), at the age of 28 he returned to Catamarca never to move again. In his homeland he played, among others, in Obreros de San Isidro, Villa Dolores, Valle Viejo, Américo Tesorieri and retired San Martín del Bañado, in 2021, at age 45.

"How is your life now, Julio?"

-I live in Catamarca and for 17 years I have been in charge of the vehicle fleet of the Court of Auditors. I drive 6 vans and 2 motorcycles, plus the drivers. I like what I do. I have 6 children and 5 grandchildren and I try to enjoy them as much as I can.

-Six children!

-Yes, and the little problem is that they are with 5 different women. But luckily I get along with everyone. They are called Giuliana, Ezekiel, Karen, Juliana, Nazarene and Zoe.

-Could you make a difference with football?

-Silver I did not. I gave myself some treats like buying a car and a motorcycle. Now I am paying in installments for a house that I took out for the Provincial Government. I can't complain.

When reviewing the list of champions in Qatar 1995, Bayon's name is the one that resonates the least. He did not make a career as renowned as the rest of his peers, although he prefers not to give it the nickname of successful. "If you compare me with Juampi Sorín, with Lombardi, with Sebastián Pena or with any of the guys, you could say that I did less career, or that I had less success. But I had many teammates in the Inferiors of Rosario Central who did not even train with Primera and now they do not have such a good time. I choose to look on the bright side," explains the former midfielder.

It could also be pointed out that Bayón is the forgotten champion. Although the most accurate would be to explain that it is forgotten by the big media of the Federal Capital and Greater Buenos Aires because in Catamarca, his land, the Emperor is always present. "They recently made me a farewell match and even told me that they were going to try to put my name to one of the stands of the Bicentennial stadium, although I suppose that can also be a political issue," he says. And he clarifies: "I am the only world champion of the Province".

-Do you plan to go see a World Cup match? Did they invite them as champions?

-Something was said in the group we have, but then nobody said anything else. For me it would be an honour to be able to go see a game and say hello to Mascherano. Another thing I would like is to return to the Ezeiza venue and shake Messi's hand. Hopefully one day it will happen.

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2023-05-29

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