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Juan Gilberto Funes

Personal information
Full nameJuan Gilberto Funes Baldovino
Place of birthSan Luis, Argentina
Playing positionStriker

     Home | Football | Juan Gilberto Funes

Juan Gilberto Funes (8 March 1963 11 January 1992), nicknamed "El Búfalo" (The Buffalo) was an Argentine football player, known for his physical style of play. He was born in the province of San Luis, Argentina.

Funes was a key player in the 1986 River Plate team that won the Copa Libertadores for the first time, in which he score a goal in the first match in Colombia, which River won by the score of 2 1 and at home in Buenos Aires, for the 1 0 victory against America de Cali. Ironically, this was not the first time Colombian teams and fans saw his moves; in the glory days of the Colombian league in the 1980s, Funes played for Millonarios, the team with the most championships in Colombia, where he simply "schooled" other forwards with his opportunistic technique and his attitude.

He first played football for local club Huracán, then Estudiantes de La Plata, Sarmiento de Junin, Jorge Newbery and Gimnasia y Esgrima de Mendoza, and then for Millonarios Bogotá in 1984. In that year, his team became runner-up of Colombia, and the following year he achieved a record 33 goals in a single season.

After Colombia, he moved to Greece and played for Olympiacos. With the Piraeus club Funes scored some very important goals (2 goals in the 1988 Greek Cup semifinal against OFI FC, etc.).

He returned to his homeland for second time, but sadly he was rejected by Boca Juniors due to his illness. But this did not end his professional career, he joined Vélez Sársfield. However, his health forced him to retire shortly afterwards. He died of a heart attack on January 12, 1992 and a few years later until today the Estadio de San Luis carries his name.

He is considered today one of the great legends of the Millonarios of Bogotá, where is one of their greatest idols, and the River Plate fans remember his goals in the Copa Libertadores Final.

Funes was capped four times by the Argentina National Team.

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