Argentines snap up souvenirs of stand-in goalkeeping hero

Enzo Perez's heroic goalkeeping effort helped a River Plate team ravaged by COVID-19 to win a Copa Libertadores game.

River Plate's Enzo Perez. - REUTERS

Argentines are snapping up merchandise honouring midfielder Enzo Perez after his heroic goalkeeping effort helped a River Plate team ravaged by COVID-19 to win a Copa Libertadores game earlier this week.

River was without more than 20 players who either tested positive for the virus or were injured, including all four of their goalkeepers. Hence Perez was forced to don the keeper’s gloves for Wednesday’s match against Independiente of Santa Fe.

It had 11 fit players and no substitutes but River won 2-1, with the debutant goalkeeper lifting the man-of-the-match award.

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Now, the replica jerseys, caps and figurines made in tribute to the 35-year-old player are in high demand.

Jerseys with the number 24 on the back like those used by Perez are being sold for ARS 2500 (USD 26.57) online, and there are also caps, t-shirts and keyrings available.

One of the most sought-after items is a ‘Limited Edition’ figurine of the yellow-clad keeper.

Perez was injured in River’s previous game and would likely have sat out Wednesday’s game but for the COVID-19 outbreak.

Instead, he has become an overnight sensation.

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