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Tearful Tade bids farewell

The 26-year-old forward turned in some eye-catching performances at last month’s FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco and is now heading home to fulfil a lifelong ambition to play for his hometown club.
Tade, born in Santiago del Estero, Argentina, arrived in New Zealand and washed dishes in Wellington just over six years ago before signing for Team Wellington where he formed a deadly partnership with another Navy Blues striker Luis Corrales.
Now he’s set to take the next step in an amazing journey.
“Club Atletico de Mitre are from my home town and the club started me out in football. I grew up supporting them.
“There is a symbolism here that goes beyond my move being just a transfer to just any professional club.
“It was a really tough decision to leave Auckland City FC because I feel like I was at home and really well looked after,” he said.
Tade’s time with Auckland City FC was far from easy often playing fifth choice striker behind the likes of Manel Exposito, Gustavo Souto, Adam Dickinson and Corrales.
Yet every time Tade came off the bench he would invariably score goals then find himself among the substitutes the following week.
It was a tough learning curve for Tade but one that paid off for him and the Navy Blues with the striker contributing to no less than nine major championship victories in four years.
The credit, he says, belongs to coach Ramon Tribulietx.
“I need to give a big mention for Ramon. Ramon was probably the one who discovered me, even though we had our moments – sometimes it was like a rollercoaster – but he always trusted me.
“Without Ramon, I would not be the player I am now – it wouldn’t be the same. And I told him at the last FIFA Club World Cup we achieved what we achieved because of him.
“For me, he was a big personality and then one that helped us achieve what we did in Morocco as a team and for me as a player,” Tade said.
But Tade’s glittering journey in Navy Blue colours was also punctuated by tragedy when his mother passed away three years ago.
The amiable Argentine returned to his hometown to be with family, with Auckland City FC officials telling Tade to take the time he needed to be with those closest to him.
After months away from Kiwitea Street, Tade eventually returned to the club, a return some in the wider football community believed might not happen.
But for Tade loyalty is a two way street.
“When my mother passed away and I returned to Argentina the club opened the doors wide for me to come back in my own time,” he said, “For me that openness was something very special.”
“Auckland City FC was the highlight of my football life and my life away from football. It was the time where I believe I grew up the most as a person.
“I’m going to Argentina with the attitude that I have maintained throughout my life, that it is part of a journey. I came to New Zealand with my backpack and I am still backpacking around the world in a way.
“If I can play football, then so much the better – it is like living a dream,” he said.
Some have questioned Tade’s choice of playing professional football in the lower tier of Argentine football but Tade insists he has an itch to succeed at Atletico de Mitre.
“I had that feeling that I would like to play professionally in Argentina, especially for the club that I grew up supporting and I watched every week and that is special.
“I just need to get this feeling out of me and to make this dream come true. I would like to come back to New Zealand in one or two years time and live here but only after I’ve achieved my objectives back home,” he said.
And as Tade surveys new but familiar surroundings, he recalls a glittering trophy haul with the Navy Blues and Central United.
“When I arrived at Auckland City FC, I didn’t know how important a move it was going to be. I knew it might be the best club in this country, but when I started to be involved I then realised the vision and that the club dreamed of bigger things.
“I didn’t know that getting into it. Slowly, I started to feel the club’s ethos. For me the highlight was four OFC Champions League titles, the ASB Premiership win, ASB Charity Cup and the OFC President’s Cup wins – also the ASB Chatham Cup with Central United, all of our victories were very special, it was a great journey,” he said.
Finally, an emotional and at times tearful Tade, speaks fondly of his team-mates and the club personalities who he came to regard as family.
“My team-mates, all of them, made such a big difference in my life on and off the pitch, ” he said, “but without making out there are special cases I have to say guys like Angel Berlanga and Albert Riera were also a big support for me.
“Off the pitch, the chairman Ivan Vuksich, the committee, and general manager Terry Kennelly were, for me, amazing to open the doors to Auckland City FC.
“Their trust in me means a lot. I received a lot of love and support from people, from our supporters. Sometimes you feel like you have not given back enough,” he said, choking back tears.
Auckland City FC’s next match is with WaiBOP United on Sunday 25 January at 2pm at Kiwitea Street.
The club will receive civic recognition with representatives from New Zealand Football and Auckland Council, including Auckland Mayor Len Brown, at the end of the match.
Emiliano Tade
Age 26
Santiago del Estero, Argentina
Previous Clubs
Club Atletico de Mitre (ARG)
Wellington United (NZL)
Team Wellington (NZL)
Auckland City FC (NZL)
Central United (NZL)
Club Honours
FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2014 – bronze medal
FIFA Club World Cup Morocco 2013 – 7th
FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2012 – 7th
FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2011 – 7th
OFC Champions League winners 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014
OFC President’s Cup winners 2014
ASB Premiership winners 2014
ASB Premiership runners-up 2013
ASB Charity Cup winners 2011 & 2013
ASB Chatham Cup winners 2012
Individual Achievements
OFC Champions League Golden Ball (Best Player) 2014
OFC Champions League Golden Boot 2014
ASB Premiership Golden Boot 2014
OFC President’s Cup Golden Boot 2014
Jack Batty Memorial Trophy (for Player of the Chatham Cup Final) 2012
Auckland City FC Players’ Player of the Year 2014
Auckland City FC Supporters’ Player of the Year 2014
Auckland City FC Golden Boot 2014
Courtesy Auckland City FC Media. For more visit www.aucklandcityfc.com.

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