The good performances for São Paulo make Emiliano Rigoni start to think bigger. After the 2-2 draw with Fortaleza, to reach the quarterfinals of the Copa do Brasil, when he scored two goals, the striker was asked about the possibility of wearing the Argentine national team shirt again and said it was one of his goals. .
“I will never lose my illusion of being able to play for Argentina again,” he said.
The conversation is not about something far from happening. The good moment at São Paulo, according to Rigoni himself, the best of his career, made the 28-year-old striker enter the radar of Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni, as reported by the UOL Sport.
Scaloni was Jorge Sampaoli’s assistant when Rigoni was called up for the first time, in 2017. São Paulo’s 77 jersey collects five calls to the national team, all throughout the cycle for the 2018 World Cup. The striker, however, entered the field only twice and was out of the final list of the World Cup in Russia. The hope now is to be remembered for the Qatar Cup at the end of next year.
After passages erased by Zenit (RUS) and Elche (ESP), Rigoni rediscovered in São Paulo the good football presented at Independiente, which led him to the selection. Since arriving at Morumbi, the striker has scored nine goals and made five assists. The São Paulo house, in fact, has been the place where Rigoni feels most at ease. There were five goals and five assists in the nine games he played at Morumbi.
“Because of the number of matches and the goals I’m scoring, it’s without a doubt the best moment of my career. Of course I’m sad for the result [empate com o Fortaleza], no one likes it, but I scored two goals. We have to take advantage of this moment and move forward,” he commented.
The stage at São Paulo is equal to the great time at Independiente, between 2016 and 2017. Rigoni ended the 2017 season with 11 goals in 30 games for the Argentine Championship. At the time, he acted as a midfielder or right-winger. Since then, the ability with two legs already stood out. On Wednesday (25), against Fortaleza, that was the difference. Rigoni was thrown by Reinaldo, cut Lucas Crispim with his right leg and kicked from the left to open the scoring for São Paulo.
Rigoni’s performances for Independiente created the legend in Argentina that veteran fans of Racing, the club’s great rival, followed matches to enjoy the striker’s good football. The claim, of course, could not be proven, but it serves to add to the attention Rigoni created in Argentine football before moving to Russia’s Zenit for €9m.
Rigoni’s next match against São Paulo will be on Sunday (29), at 4 pm (GMT). The team from São Paulo visits Juventude, at Alfredo Jaconi, for the 18th round of the Brasileirão.