At 61 years old, Adolfo Micheli, a former player and wardrobe, no longer works with football. However, memories of what he lived in Bella Vista, a club in the city of Paysandu, in the Uruguayan countryside, are unforgettable.
Just as I was working in the clothing store and saw little Miguel Merintel, Palmeiras is a champion in the victory over SantosLast Sunday, for the Brazil national team, he came down from the stands to hit the ball in the garden of Parque Artigas after training with the main team.
“Miguelito”, as the current striker of the team Palm treesHe wasn’t just a kid in that environment. His father, Julio Merintel, was an important player for Bella Vista in the 1990s and 2000s, when the establishment, amateurs almost throughout its history, had a brief experience in professional football.
Anyone who has seen Julio’s play says he was an ace.
Merentiel celebrates a goal at Palmeiras x Santos – Photo: Marcos Ribolli
– He had a computer in his head, he was very skilled. And when it comes to definition… how can I say? To define him, he was like Romario – Michele said, with some exaggeration, in an interview with General Electric.
– In terms of football, it was fun to see him play. With his good technical conditions, he knew how to position himself in the area – said radio presenter Nestor Fanzini, who has covered football in Paysandi for more than four decades, in a less superior way.
Check out Merentiel’s goal in the classics between Palmeiras and Santos
A talent in Uruguayan country football, Julio Merintel caught the attention of Nacional scouts when he was just 15 years old. The club, one of the two largest in the country, called him to complete his training in the club’s core categories.
It meant the opportunity not only to become a professional athlete, who knows, but to defend one of the most traditional jerseys on the continent.
Julio and Miguel Merintel – Photo: Personal Archive
But homesickness was raising its voice. After a few weeks of training in the capital, he visited his family and decided he would no longer take the bus to Montevideo.
– When he was playing in the Bella Vista youth team and also in the Paysande youth team, he had the possibility of going to Nacional. He went, but he did not stay there. Vanzini said he is a man very attached to his roots, linked to Paysandi.
Miguel Merintel in Bella Vista Square – Photo: personal archive
Back in town, Julio Merentiel played a career at Bella Vista, the jersey with which he won regional titles and played in the first National League, before retiring in the mid-2000s – in his last years of activity, he played alongside Egidio Arévalo Rios. The midfielder, the Copa America champion with the Uruguay national team, and a short spell in Botafogo.
Soon after he hung up his shoes, he saw his son starting in kids’ classes at the club.
Adolfo Micheli, Bella Vista’s wardrobe manager and family friend, saw the boy’s qualities and suggested Miguelito’s parents accompany him on the main team trips. His goal was to prevent the boy from repeating the fate of Julio, whose attachment to his origins robbed his chance at Nacional.
– We used to play in Montevideo every Saturday for the second division, and Miguel traveled with me. I did it so he could experience the environment and understand what it takes to be a player – recalls Micheli.
Miguel Merintel (right) on the field for Team Paysandú – Photo: Personal Archive
Miguel Merintel trained at Bella Vista and was called – as was his father in his time – to defend Team Paysandú.
Peñarol, the boy’s favorite club, saw potential in the young striker and signed with him. Miguelito loved the place where he was born, but was willing to take a chance in the big city.
Installed in Montevideo, he received a reprimand from his father when the family visit lasted several days. Julio did not want his son to consider the possibility of giving up his dream of the capital.
Formed at Peñarol, Miguel made his professional debut at El Tanque Sisley, where he played on loan for six months.
Miguel Merintel (Shirt 9) with the Bella Vista cast – Photo: Personal Archive
– Merentiel was a player with a great future and in the tank he fit right in. A small team, we needed someone who had the ball up front and had good movement. He was very supportive, because he ran all the balls we threw – said former Brazilian defender Anderson Silva, his fellow Tank Sisley.
With no chance of continuity at Peñarol, he was loaned to Spaniards Lorca and Mestalla (Valencia B team). Returning to South America and without a contract with the club that formed him, he defended Godoy Cruz and Devenca e Justicia in Argentina, where he stood out, winning the Copa Sudamericana in 2020 and Recopa in 2021 – the latter, around the Palm trees.
The opportunity at Alviverde Club is the culmination of a story that somehow goes through his father’s refusal to travel to Montevideo, even before Miguel was born. Thanks to Giulio and his family, who always encouraged him to go the Paysandi-Montevideo route, and to friends like Adolfo Micheli, the nickname Merentiel reached the elite.
– I’m a Bella Vista fan to death. He is a fan of Miguel. No matter what club he plays for, I will support this club. That’s why I’m today Palm trees Michelle completed.
For Verdau, the clip is just the beginning. The classic match against Santos was only his fifth game in the Alverde shirt, and he scored his second goal for the club (he had already scored in a draw with Red Bull Bragantino). see below:
Watch Merentiel’s goal against Red Bull Bragantino
After a shy start in everyday life, the 9 Alverde shirt is already feeling more comfortable in the search for the Brazilian title, which could be his first with the club.
– He was a bit shy at first, but I do and I have a quiet profile. I work day in and day out and try to help my team. In order to keep working and improving even when they need my help, I’m ready and ready – Merentiel.
Merentiel dedicates a goal to his daughter: “My daughter was born, I am very happy”
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