We asked midfielder Lucas Zelarayan to pick his own five-a-side team consisting of players he's either played with or against during his career.
Nahuel Guzmán (Goalkeeper, Tigres UANL)
Background: From Rosario, Argentina – Milton Valenzuela's hometown – Guzmán is a product of Newell's Old Boys and made over 80 appearances for the club, but has played the majority of his career with Tigres UANL.
Lucas's Explanation: “I chose Nahuel because, before anything else, he’s a great friend and a person with whom I have a great friendship off the field. Second, I think on his day he is one of the best goalkeepers from Argentina. I had him as a teammate for many years and I got to see him make many saves, so that’s why I chose him. I think he is a great player, a great ‘keeper, and a great person too.”
Giudo Pizarro (Midfielder, Tigres UANL)
Background: Another fellow countryman born in Buenos Aires, Zelarayan & Pizarro were teammates down in Mexico and, as Zelarayan noted, were close both on and off the field.
Lucas's Explanation: “I tried to choose not just people that are good on the field, but also people with whom I got along well off the field and Guido Pizarro is also a good friend. I think he is one of the players with whom I connected best on the field. We shared a lot and I learned a lot from him.”
Renzo Saravia (Defender, Internacional)
Background: Saravia, an Argentine right-back on loan with Brazilian club Internacional from FC Porto, played alongside Zelarayan while at Belgrano.
Lucas's Explanation: “Renzo is also a special person for me. He has been one of my best friends for a long time now. We built a relationship off the field, a good friendship, and on the field, I think he is one of the best Argentine fullbacks. He is going through a great moment right now, he is in the Argentina National Team and I think he deserves it. He is showing his level. When we played together I enjoyed playing with him because we understood one another on the field. We played together for five years, counting the reserve team and the first team.”
Ismael Sosa (Winger, Club León)
Background: A teammate of Zelarayan's at Tigres who is now on loan at Club León, Zelarayan noted Sosa's role as one of the Mexican League's most prominent players at the moment.
Lucas's Explanation: “I think he has been one of the most important players in the Mexican league in recent years. I think he is one of the best assist-providers and outside midfielders I have had the chance to play with. He is a player who not only scores goals, but creates a lot of goals: good crosses, good passes... I chose him because he has been one of the best teammates I’ve had.”
André-Pierre Gignac (Forward, Tigres UANL)
Background: The two players were teammates at Tigres, and Zelarayan described the Frenchman as the top goalscorer he's had a chance to play with.
Lucas's Explanation: “Andre-Pierre is a top player. Among the forwards, the number nines, the scorers I have played with I think he is the best. I have seen him score impressive goals. On the field I understood him well and I think he made everything easier. He is a high-level player. It was a pleasure to have played alongside him and he is the best goalscorer that I had the chance to play with.”