When La Irenita Grand Champions was formed, they had a big dream. The lineup was made up of four great players, three of them playing in their natural positions, and Juan Martín Zubía returning as a back after two years. At the same time, they are led by one of the best players of his generation, Pablo Mac Donough. In addition, for Francisco Elizalde it was a great opportunity to continue showing his talent and growth, which we have seen both in Argentina and abroad with the many titles he has won and finals he has played.
“We were playing well,” shares Fran Elizalde, after La Irenita Grand Champions’ win against La Irenita GSquared, at Palermo. “I think we had a mix of good and not-so-good moments, but I am very happy. In the moments we played really well and we were able to hit the ball, the team worked very well because we all play very well as a team. It’s a lot of fun.”
The last three years have been unforgettable for the La Pampa-born player. He won big titles in the US – CV Whitney Cup, 2020 – and England – British Open, 2022 -, in addition to playing important finals in Argentina – Hurlingham, 2020 and 2022; Palermo 2021 -; and France – Open de France 2020. These achievements demonstrate that Francisco Elizalde is one of the best players in the world, and he is capable of adapting his game to fit any team in the world.
In terms of the current moment, Francisco Elizalde shares: “It’s very nice to be able to compete here, at the highest level, in a very competitive team. I think we have chances, so it’s very motivating; the day-to-day is really exciting, we are having a really good time. In addition, we have the opportunity to travel to nice places with the whole family. I am happy about that, and for having the opportunity to compete abroad alongside the best players. It’s always good to compete against the best, or to play with them. I am lucky enough to play with them, so it’s a great pleasure.”
One of the most anticipated matches at Palermo is coming up, not only because the winner will qualify for the final of the Argentine Open, but also because of the expectations of the game between La Natividad and La Irenita Grand Champions. It is a contest that is not to be missed – a rematch of their Hurlingham Open semi, which saw the Mac Donough family team take the victory. “It will be a very difficult, tough game against La Natividad,” says Elizalde. “It will be anyone’s game. I hope it is a balanced final. We have to wait and see. It will be a lot of fun.”
Elizalde is truly excited about what’s to come: “The first goal is to qualify for the final, which would be a dream; it would be terrific to be standing there, singing the anthem. That’s the first thing. And then, we have to try and win.”