Temperley’s visit to Avellaneda was an end of season dead-rubber but El Cilindro was packed to the rafters with Racing supporters wanting to say goodbye to their iconic number 22, Diego Milito.
El Príncipe’s illustrious 17-year career was coming to an end in the place where it all began and despite never being recognised as one of world football’s best players, there have been few better finishers in the past decade.
Temperley proved to be the most generous of visitors and the two first half penalties they conceded presented Diego Milito with the opportunity to score his 255th career goal. Despite the star of the show missing his second attempt, Oscar Romero was on hand to head in the rebound and so it remained until full-time.
The result didn’t matter, the day was all about honouring a player that has given as much to Racing as any player in the club’s history. La Academia’s two league titles in the past 50 years were made possible in no small part by the talents of Milito. The 2001 Apertura and the 2014 Transición bookended El Príncipe’s wonderful career and so Saturday’s farewell proved to be an emotional day for everyone at the club.
The 22nd-minute tribute saw a giant banner unfurled from the top tier of the Cilindro but it was at full-time when the impact of Milito at the club could be understood. There were tears from the 36-year-old, his teammates and supporters but given this special connection, it’s surely a matter of time before El Príncipe moves into the dugout as Racing coach.
Racing Club 2 – 0 Temperley