Martín Benítez is already packing his bags to exchange Porto Alegre for Belo Horizonte. The midfielder is right to leave Grêmio and be a reinforcement of América-MG in the rest of the Brazilian Championship. The negotiation, even in the middle of the season, repeats the script lived by the Argentine in Brazil: arriving at new clubs as popular and having a frustrated passage.
At 28 years old, Benítez has been in Brazil since 2020, when he was loaned to Vasco. Then he arrived at São Paulo and, in January of this year, signed with Grêmio. Martín Benítez has a contract with Independiente, from Argentina, until the end of 2023. At América-MG, he goes on to his fourth loan in a row. All very similar.
At Vasco, there were 33 games, with three goals and three assists. The performance in São Januário is considered the best of the player during the period in Brazil. Still, behind the scenes at the club, the assessment was that Benítez was physically fragile.
The technique and vision of the game during the passage through Rio de Janeiro caught the attention of some interested in the market in the 2021 sprint.
This was the case with São Paulo, who hired Benítez on loan. He was a starter throughout Paulistão and the midfielder’s games in the State were exciting, but the rest of the year was not similar. The drop in income changed the board’s mind.
Shortly after Paulistão, the management of Julio Casares already admitted the possibility of disbursing US$ 3 million (about R$ 17 million in the quotation at the time) to buy his rights definitively. Over the course of the year, that changed and São Paulo decided that it would only keep him if it was a new loan.
Benítez lost space in the final stretch of coach Hernán Crespo at Morumbi, which generated friction with the athlete’s manager. The agent gave an interview saying that the midfielder would only stay in São Paulo if Crespo left. The coach left the club soon after, giving way to Rogério Ceni. Under new management, the Argentine midfielder was a starter in the first two games, but he also lost ground. Against Grêmio, Ceni even set up a tactical scheme to favor him, but it didn’t work. São Paulo lost 3-0, and Benítez was sacked at halftime in the match in Porto Alegre.
At Grêmio, the passage began with the idea of building the Serie B team from Martín Benítez. So much so that the Rio Grande do Sul club paid around US$ 250,000 to Independiente for the loan in January, with an option to buy at the end of the current season.
In the presentation, the player recalled the lack of pre-season between the departure of Vasco and the arrival of São Paulo to justify physical problems. The Tricolor gaucho bet precisely on a long period of preparation to avoid injuries to shirt 8.
The name of Benítez was part of Vagner Mancini’s team idea, kept in the position of coach of Grêmio, even with the relegation to Serie B. After the coach’s dismissal, the Argentine’s future was in jeopardy. The departure had been considered a matter of time for months and was confirmed more than a month after the player’s most recent game.
For Grêmio there were 12 matches, no goals and one assist. Only two full games. In São Paulo, throughout 2021, only three full matches.