An Argentine, a Chilean, a Paraguayan and a Spaniard walk into a restaurant.

It sounds like the start of a joke but four old friends were reunited in Paraguay for the very first time in 18 years recently. They so occurred to be former Newcastle United team-mates.

Marcelino, who is now a football representative, was on an organization journey to South America and paid Club Olimpia sporting director Christian Bassedas a visit in Asuncion.

Bassedas and Marcelino have actually corresponded for many years – the pair’s families have actually even holidayed together in the past – however this was the first time they had seen each other in the flesh in almost a years.

The reunion did not end there.

Diego Gavilan supervises of Cerro Porteno’s under-23s – Miguel Almiron, incidentally, began his career with the Asuncion-based outfit – while Clarence Acuna works for the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL), whose head offices lie near the Silvio Pettirossi International Airport.

It is a remarkable coincidence. Three former Newcastle gamers from three really various backgrounds have actually wound up operating in one of South America’s oldest cities.

While Gavilan, Bassedas and Acuna have naturally seen each other in the years given that, this was the very first time they had all physically overtaken Marcelino given that their spell together on Tyneside.

Marcelino and fellow Spanish speaker Nolberto Solano assisted the new arrivals settle in when they transferred to Newcastle – and the club and city definitely left their mark on these exotic imports.

Bassedas still misses out on going to the bar with his Geordie neighbour Bruce; Acuna formerly told ChronicleLive that he ‘fell in love with Newcastle’; while Gavilan always remembered how Sir Bobby Robson ‘was like a dad’ to him.

Several years have actually passed since the trio last shared a dressing space with Marcelino, in 2003, however the memories still felt so fresh as they recollected over dinner recently.

” Aside from the gamer that individuals see on tv or at St James’ Park, there is the human being,” Marcelino told ChronicleLive.

” We had a great group and I’ve met or kept a relationship with many of the men and a few of the English lads, too.

” We have a common link, which is Newcastle United, and some of us clicked as human beings. That is lovely to say almost 20 years later on.”

Obviously, we are all feeling the impacts of lockdown here in the North East but it is a different story in Paraguay, where a variety of steps are not quite so stringent at the moment.

Gathering in public and private places are enabled approximately 4 hours for an optimum of 100 individuals while social events in private houses can accompany approximately 12 individuals.

It is also worth stressing that, due to the fact that of the nature of their functions in football, Marcelino, Bassedas, Gavilan and Acuna have actually also been taking polymerase chain response (PCR) tests every couple of days.