ANALYSIS: Dundee United’s Argentinian connection

© SNSVictor Ferreyra celebrates scoring against Rangers.
Victor Ferreyra celebrates scoring against Rangers.

With Dundee United signing Argentinian left-back Adrian Sporle on a three-year-deal, Ian Roache looks back on the Tangerines’ mixed fortunes with players from the land of Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona.

Victor Ferreyra

Ferreyra can be considered the most successful of United’s Argentinian exports.

The talented attacker joined from San Lorenzo in his homeland for a fee of £350,000 on September 19 1991 and made his debut against Motherwell later that month.

Ferreyra, who was capped twice by Argentina, was popular among the Tannadice fans and scored eight times during his 35 appearances.

Victor Ferreyra.

He courted controversy, though, when he was twice accused of spitting at opponents – Rangers goalkeeper Andy Goram and Dundee defender Jim Duffy – during matches.

Ferreyra moved on to Japanese side Mitsubishi for a reported fee of £175,000 in February 1993 and retired five years later.


Damian Casalinuovo

Another player popular with United supporters, Casalinuovo arrived from Platense in his homeland on July 18 2009.

He made his debut in a goalless draw against St Mirren on August 22 and went on to make 30 appearances for the club, scoring eight goals.

One of those goals was controversial, to say the least.

Damian Casalinuovo celebrates as the Partick players appeal for handball

It came in a 2-0 win for the Tangerines on January 9 2010, with the striker punching the ball into the net to open the scoring.

The club would, famously, go on to lift that trophy the following May before Casalinuovo left to sign for Hamilton Accies.


Beto Naveda

Naveda was signed by manager Alex Smith from Israeli club Hapoel Jerusalem on November 3 2000.

He made his debut for the Tangerines the following day in a 2-1 loss at Motherwell, grabbing his new team’s goal.

© DC Thomson
Beto Naveda in action for Dundee United.

Naveda went on to play 14 times – seven starts and seven as sub – and score just once more, away to St Mirren.

He left at the end of that season and had a brief spell at city neighbours Dundee.


Gustavo Fuentes

Yet another striker, Fuentes was signed by Smith from Deportivo Motagua in Honduras on September 22 2000.

He left little impression on United, playing just three games and failing to find the back of the net.

His debut was against Rangers on October 1 and his final outing was against Celtic just 20 days later.


Marcelino Galoppo

This midfielder, who was signed on September 30 2000 from Club Almirante Brown in Argentina, somehow managed to play even fewer games for United than Fuentes.

Marcelino Galoppo.

The Tangerines lost seven goals without scoring once in those two fixtures against Hearts and Rangers.

Unsurprisingly, he didn’t last much longer at Tannadice.


Jose Luis Pochettino

A Jim McLean signing back on March 27, 1992 from Mexican side Cobras, Pochettino played just twice for United.

The first was his debut against St Johnstone on April 4 and his last two weeks later against Hearts.


Mariano Montefiore

Midfielder Montefiore was brought in as a trialist during the summer of 1998 from Atletico Rafaela in his homeland but was not signed.


(Last and definitely least) Walter Rojas

The not-very-aptly-named Explosive One joined United on August 26 1991 for a minimal fee from San Lorenzo.

He was supposed to be a tricky winger, who had played 10 times for the Argentinian international team.

However, trialist Rojas turned out to be a damp squib and was never offered a deal by the Tangerines.