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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Juan Sebastian Veron

Updated: Aug 24, 2023

Juan Sebastián Verón was born in La Plata, Argentina, on March 9, 1975.

Verón left school in 1993 and signed for Estudiantes. His father Juan Ramón Verón had also played for " Los Pincharratas" (The Rat Catchers) and was nicknamed " La Bruja" (The Witch). Veron senior scored a goal against England in Argentina's 2-1 world cup at Old Trafford in 1966. Juan Sebastian became known as "La Brujita" (The Little Witch) after his father.


Veron played three seasons for the Platense club, with 60 appearances and 7 goals. In 1996 he moved to Buenos Aires and played one season for Boca Juniors with 17 games and 4 goals.


In the summer of 1996 he moved to Europe. He signed for ambitious Sampdoria in Serie A. He played two seasons in Liguria, the first under manager Sven-Goran Eriksson and the second under César Luis Menotti and then Vujadin Boskov. He made 68 appearances with 7 goals.


In 1998 he signed for Parma, at the time one of the best teams in Italy. He stayed in Emilia only one year but he won the Coppa Italia and the UEFA Cup. He made 42 appearances with 4 goals.


In 1999 he was reunited with manager Eriksson when he joined Lazio. In his first year he won the UEFA Super Cup (Manchester United 1-0), the Scudetto and the Coppa Italia (Inter 2-1, 0-0). He played 47 games (31 in the league) with 10 goals.


In his second year he played less due to a few injuries, he made 32 total appearances (22 in Serie A) with 4 goals and Lazio won the Italian Supercoppa (Inter 4-3).


After only two years and much to Lazio fans sadness he left for Manchester United for 80 billion Lire (approx 40 million Euros). Under the guidance of Sir Alex Ferguson he won the Premier League In 2003. In his two seasons for the Red Devils he played 82 games and scored 11 goals. His time in Manchester however was not a roaring success and he moved down to London.


In 2003 he joined Chelsea, managed by Italian Claudio Ranieri. Veron scored on his debut against Liverpool but never repeated his Lazio days, also due to a serious injury. He only played 14 times (7 in the Premier League) and scored 1 goal.


In 2004 he returned to Serie A and joined Inter. In two seasons he played 74 games (49 in Serie A) and scored 4 goals. With the Nerazzurri he won a Scudetto (2006), 2 Coppa Italia (2005, 2006) and a Supercoppa Italiana (2005) under Roberto Mancini, his former Sampdoria and Lazio teammate.


In 2006 he returned to Argentina and Estudiantes. He won the Torneo Apertura 2006 and in 2008 reached the final of the Copa Sudamericana (lost to Brazilians Internacional). In 2008 he won the South-American Player of the Year Award. In 2009 he won the Copa Libertadores and was again voted Player of the Year. In 2010 he won the Torneo de Apertura. In this period he played 189 games and scored 24 goals.


He then announced his retirement but decided to continue. He played a season for Coronel Brandsen at amateur level (28 games-7 goals) and then returned to Estudiantes in 2013 and played a further 22 times. He then played 8 games for amateur Estrella de Berisso (where he was already manager) and then in 2016-17 one final game for Estudiantes (where he was already President) in a Copa Libertadores tie against Ecuadorian Barcelona Guayaquil. At 41 that was La Btujita's last ever match.


At International level he played 72 times for the Albiceleste, scoring 9 goals. He played in three world cups and in one Copa América. He won an Olympic Silver medal at Atlanta 1996.


After retiring between 2014 and 2021 he was President of Estudiantes and is currently Vice-President.


Veron was a fantastic player. He was a midfielder who played behind the forwards. He was capable however of playing anywhere on the field and even organizing the game from the back. He had exceptional vision and would not hesitate in taking risks to open up opposition defences. He possessed good athleticism and could cover large areas of the pitch. His technical skills and his right-footed passes put many a forward in front of goal. He had an excellent use of the outside of his feet and also an accurate long-range pass. With his long legs he was able to dispossess opponents and immediately create dangerous opportunities for his teammates. He was also skilled at corners and free kicks. He was an all round creative midfielder.


At Lazio he was adored. In two years, he played 53 Serie A games with 11 goals, 7 games in Coppa Italia, 19 in Champions League with 3 goals, a UEFA Super Cup final and a Super Coppa. He is considered one of the best players ever for Lazio. In his two years he mesmerized the Lazio faithful with his performances. He became known as "La Luce" (The Light) as he lit up and illuminated Lazio’s games. Some of his assists, such as for Crespo in the 4-1 destruction of Juventus, and his derby winning freekick against Roma are legendary.


Despite only playing two seasons for the Biancocelesti he will always be revered in Rome. He was a likable character, cheerful and down to earth and at the time known for his Che Guevara tattoo. On the field he was class, quality, entertainment and won trophies. In Rome he won the Scudetto, a UEFA Supercup, an Italian Supercoppa and a Coppa Italia. Apart from having his name in Lazio history for the victories he will always be remembered as an outstanding player, one of the all time greats. Gracias de todo y Hasta Siempre Brujita.


Lazio career

Season

Total games (goals)

Serie A

Coppa Italia

Champions League

UEFA Super Cup

Super Coppa

1999-00

47 (10)

31 (8)

4

11 (2)

1

-

2000-01

32 (4)

22 (3)

2

7 (1)

-

1

Total

79 (14)

53 (11)

6

18 (3)

1

1

Sources


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