In the lineup that Atlético-MG released on Saturday night (16), to face Botafogo, one name was not present even among the reserves, Chilean Eduardo Vargas. Galo announced that he suffered an injury and the fans “celebrated”, asking for his departure from the club.
According to Atlético, Vargas suffered a major sprain in his left knee during training on Friday (15). The striker will not need to undergo surgery and will be evaluated weekly by the club’s doctors. Recovery time was not stated
Player Vargas suffered a major sprain in his left knee during training yesterday.
The attacker will undergo conservative treatment, under medical observation and will be re-evaluated weekly.
Vargas has already started physiotherapy in Cidade do Galo.
— Atlético (@Atletico) September 16, 2023
Vargas is having a terrible year at Atlético, being one of the players most criticized by the fans. He was one of the most important players in the final stretch of 2022, but was unable to repeat his performances this year. The player has only three goals and some off-field controversies, such as when an organized Galo team went after him at a club. Furthermore, he is constantly booed by the fans in the lineup announcements when the black and white team plays at home.
On social media, Atlético fans were outraged by yet another injury to Vargas and cited his absence as “reinforcements”, in addition to calling for his departure from the club.
It doesn’t heat up properly, that’s why it keeps hurting pic.twitter.com/0Utk86STOI
— 𝔻𝕐𝕍𝕀𝕊𝕆ℕ (@DAYVlSON) September 16, 2023
CES WON’T ADD TO THIS DISGRACE NEXT YEAR DON’T PROCEED TO SEE
— El Brenin (@bgdisant) September 16, 2023
— ᴛʜ11ᴀ5ᴏ ᴄᴀɴᴛᴏ (@thiagocanto_) September 16, 2023
It’s time to say goodbye. Thank you and see you never again
— Rudrigz (@r_dr_go) September 16, 2023
Vargas in 2023
Vargas even has a good number of games in 2023, 31 in total, but with only 1337 minutes, which gives an average of 43 minutes per game. In other words, he doesn’t play full time when he’s on the field. Of the 31 games, he started in 13, but most of them were in the Campeonato Mineiro, with a mixed or reserve team, or when another striker (Hulk or Paulinho) was not available. Still in the 31 games, Vargas played the full 90 minutes in just seven of them. All because of some “justification”:
- Three games for Mineiro in the mixed/reserve team (Ipatinga, Patrocinense and Democrat-GV)
- Two games replacing suspended Hulk (Libertad and Red Bull Bragantino
- Two games replacing Paulinho, rested (Brasil de Pelotas and Coritiba)
Vargas scored just three goals in 2023. Coincidence or not, in three games in which he started: Patrocinense, Democrat-GV and Internacional. In the last one, against Inter, almost four months ago, he found the back of the net in the opening minutes and celebrated with his hands over his ears, a classic celebration of someone who wants to attack his critics: “I really needed that goal. But I don’t care about the fans. It’s our job. They can curse, they can praise, but I don’t care. I always have a good head and keep working,” he said at halftime of the match in question.
The last time Vargas was a starter for Atlético was in the controversial game against Corinthians, when the team was eliminated from the Copa do Brasil. The Chilean started playing at the option of Coudet, who decided to spare striker Hulk. With the team doing poorly in the first half, the coach opted to undo this change at halftime. The exchange was useless, Galo was eliminated and Coudet suffered harsh criticism for having spared his main player.
Vargas’ numbers in 2023
- 31 games – 13 as a starter (7 complete)
- 1337 minutes played – 43 minutes per game
- 3 goals (Patrocinense, Democrat-GV and Internacional)
- 1 assist (Tombense)
- Last game as a starter: 0x2 Corinthians (05/31) – left at half-time
- Last goal: 2-0 International (13/05)