In news that’s not too surprising, Fiorentina announced earlier today that leftback Maxi Olivera has joined Paraguayan team Club Olimpia, based out of the capitol city of Asunción. The deal is a loan with a buyout clause, believed to be somewhere between €3 million and €3.5 million. It’s unclear how long the loan is for, as the Paraguayan season runs opposite the European one, but logic dictates that the fee will be due January next if el Decano decides to keep him. The player is already in town for his medical, so the deal should go through as soon as the window opens.
It’s been a tough season for Olivera in Florence, as he hasn’t played a minute of competitive football. The arrivals of David Hancko and Federico Ceccherini clearly spelled an end to his time with the club, but no deal materialized during the summer, despite intense speculation that his old club (and greatest love) Peñarol wanted to bring him back. Clearly, it didn’t work out, and now he’ll try to get himself back on track with the defending champions of what the IFFHS claims is the 9th-best league in the world.
It’s worth remembering that Olivera, now 26, was a pretty hot property when he joined Fiorentina for €2.5 million from Peñarol back in 2017. He was fresh off winning the Uruguayan Clausura and was the best fullback in the league that year. Under Paulo Sousa, he formed a platoon on the left flank with Hrvoje Milić, then settled in as Cristiano Biraghi’s backup under Stefano Pioli last year.
Although it feels a bit like lazy stereotyping for an Uruguayan defender, Olivera’s primary quality is his grinta. Not the fastest or most technical player, his never-say-die attitude and tireless running made him a decent option out wide, and he even pushed up to the wing on a few occasions. He’ll finish his Fiorentina career with 2 assists, 6 yellow cards, and one red card in 33 appearances.
That the Viola may turn a profit on a player they haven’t used at all this year is a testament to Pantaleo Corvino’s steady hand. Too, it’s a great chance for Maxi to jumpstart his once-promising career, which at one point looked like it would take him into the Uruguay national team. We wish him nothing but the best, as he always seemed like a fun and easy-going guy, and hope that he tears up Paraguay.