Gerónimo Barbadillo played in Tigres, was close to sharing with Diego Maradona and wore jewels.
There is no doubt that one of the best times that the Peruvian team had occurred between the 70s and 80s, with great generations of soccer players who exhibited attractive soccer that allowed them to compete with the strongest teams on the continent and in the world. One of the players who joined the ‘bicolor’ at that time was Gerónimo Barbadillo, who was characterized by his eccentricities and was also close to playing with Diego Armando Maradona.
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It all started on September 24, 1954, the date Gerónimo Barbadillo González was born in Lima, Peru. He is the son of Guillermo ‘Willy’ Barbadillo, one of the greatest exponents that Sport Boys had in the 50s.
Gerónimo started playing soccer in the minor divisions of Atlético Chalaco and then moved to the ranks of the ‘missilera’ team, always in the position of attacker leaning to the wing.
Gerónimo Barbadillo in his beginnings in Sport Boys in 1971. (Twitter)
When he was playing in the Sport Boys training camps, the pseudonym that years later, even today, is known to Gerónimo Barbadillo was released: Patrulla. It happens that in those years, a series of American origin was broadcast on television called ‘Youth Patrol’, which dealt with a police group that had to stop criminal gangs.
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Among the main cast was Clarence Williams III, who played the role of Linc Hayes, who had an ‘African look’ with overgrown, wavy hair. This became a fashion and the Peruvian player was the first to have it in the sports field of the ‘Inca’ country, which is why when he started in the First Division in 1971 he was baptized as ‘Patrol’.
Gerónimo Barbadillo was compared to the character Linc Hayes from the TV series, ‘Patrulla Juvenil’. (Diffusion)
At the age of two, he signed for Defensor Lima, a team with which he was fortunate to become national champion in 1973 and also achieved international glory with the Simón Bolívar Cup in 1975.
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Also, this last year he was part of the Peruvian team that was crowned in the Copa América after defeating Colombia in the final with the solitary goal of Hugo Sotil. Gerónimo Barbadillo was called to the continental event, although he was relegated to the background in the presence of ‘cracks’ of the time such as Juan Carlos Oblitas, Teófilo Cubillas, Sotil himself, Percy Rojas and others.
Based on this background, Tigres de México took notice of ‘Patrulla’ and took him with them in mid-1975, after the Copa América.
In the ‘feline’ box he lived his best years. Coincidentally, in his early days he could be led by another Peruvian, Claudio Lostaunau, who spent a long stretch of his career as a player (champion with Toluca in 1966) and coach in ‘Aztec’ lands. Now, the two national representatives were able to celebrate the 1975-1976 Mexico Cup title.
Gerónimo Barbadillo was a danger on the right wing of Tigres de México. (Arkiv Peru)
Also known as ‘Jerry’, Barbadillo did not take long to gain a place in the starting eleven, both under the command of Claudio, and later with the Mexican Mario Pérez, the Hungarian Arpad Fékete and the Uruguayan Carlos Miloc. With the number 7 on his back, he was always a danger on the wing for his rivals due to his remarkable dribbling ability and speed to leave them behind.
The importance of the Peruvian winger in the ‘auriazul’ squad was so great that he quickly won the love of the fans and was able to celebrate two Liga MX titles: 1977-1978 and 1981-1982. He even received two distinctions for the best in his position from the Mexican championship in 1979 and 1981.
The “feline” club recognized “Patrulla” for his achievements in the team between 1975 and 1982. (Video: Official Tigres)
In 1980, Gerónimo Barbadillo was part of friendly duels with Tigres de México. One of them was against Diego Armando Maradona’s Argentinos Juniors, who was 20 years old at the time, but who had already won a Sub-20 World Cup with Argentina as the best footballer. The match ended level 2-2 with a double from the native of Lima, another from Eugenio Morel and also from ‘Pelusa’.
In total, the Sport Boys youth squad scored 61 goals in 261 matches, which to this day are remembered in the ‘university’ team.
His good performances in North America and his international status with Peru gave ‘Patrulla’ the chance to reach Italy in 1982 through US Avellino, where he spent three seasons. This signing was given for a figure of 850 thousand dollars. “I healed the economic problems. It was the first big deal for Tigres and I think for Mexican soccer,” said the national soccer player in an interview with the official Tigres account in 2017.
In 1985 he went to a more important team like Udinese, but it only lasted one year. In that campaign, the ‘bianconeros’ were ranked 13th, just one above the relegation zone.
Despite the aforementioned, Barbadillo caught the attention of Napoli, who had Diego Maradona on their squad. “I told my Udinese coach that I wanted to know if he was going to count on me next season because at that time Napoli wanted me, since coach Otavio Bianchi had me at Avellino,” he revealed to the national press some time later. .
Gerónimo Barbadillo (Udinese) faced Diego Maradona (Napoli) in Italy and they were close to playing together. (Twitter)
DT finally did not let him leave and the winger scored three goals in the first two games, although he was later relegated to the substitute bench. This caused him to seek his release from the club. “I spoke to the coach and he told me to talk to the president so that he sells me to France because they wanted me from there. But I retired from professionalism and played in the Third Division, I gave up money, but I had fun, ”he added.
Indeed, his next destination was Sanvitese, which was two categories below Serie A. In said cast he maintained a course until he abandoned professional activity in mid-1987.
Gerónimo Barbadillo was part of one of the best generations of Peruvian soccer that qualified for the 1982 World Cup in Spain. However, in the weeks prior to the start of this great event, he was the protagonist of a curious moment.
Gerónimo Barbadillo had minutes with the Peruvian team in the 1982 World Cup in Spain. (Peruvian Soccer Photos)
The attacker was facing the last games with Tigres that gave him the title that season. After the celebrations, he joined the national delegation in Madrid and what quickly drew attention was the outfit he wore: a white blazer with a light blue shirt and blue jean. To this was added a luxurious watch, as well as gold necklaces and rings.
Undoubtedly, quite a character who at that time caused surprise due to the different fashions between Mexico and Peru, which had a more conservative style. In any case, he knew how to build the status of an idol in Tigres, who ordered the retirement of number 7 in honor of the outstanding Peruvian player, who faced Diego Maradona and was close to playing alongside him.
Gerónimo Barbadillo’s hair and appearance itself attracted attention in Peru during his soccer career. (Arkiv Peru)