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Meet two Argentines of Macedonian origin

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Ivanobski (R) playing for Barnechea; photo: InstagramIvanobski (R) playing for Barnechea; photo: InstagramWe managed to find two footballers in Argentina that have Macedonian origin and we decided to present them to you.

The Macedonian community in Argentina was established with the arrival of the first Macedonian immigrants who moved there before World War II. Most of them were escaping from the Serbian regime in what was then the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, and later became the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The second wave started after the WWII when some people didn't want to live under communist authorities and therefore decided to move abroad.

The first Argentine-Macedonian player that we would like to present to you is a very young player. Born on May 4 in 1998, Cristian Traicovich started his career in Club Atlético Tigre, a team from the suburbs of Buenos Aires. He is a goalkeeper, but interestingly he is also capable of playing as a striker. He is currently playing in the youth categories of the club known as the "Matadores". Cristian's grandfather (or great-grandfather, we aren't sure) moved to Argentina before WWII. His original Macedonian surname was Trajkovski which got changed to a Serbian version, something that often happened during the Serbian occupation. According to FIFA rules, Cristian would only be eligible for Macedonia if his origin comes from his grandfather side, not from his great-grandfather. At his age, it's still too early to say what kind of career is ahead of him.Cristian Traicovich; photo: Diego EspinosaCristian Traicovich; photo: Diego Espinosa

The second Argentine footballer with Macedonian origin is more seasoned. The player in question is 25-year-old Cristian Ivanobski. He currently plays in Chile. Ivanobski was born in the suburb of Tigre, and also started his career at CA Tigre, just like Traicovich. Through a friend, we managed to contact him and get confirmation that he possesses Macedonian origin.

If you search his name online, he is often called "El Polaco," a nickname given to people who originate from Poland, but in this case it's a misunderstanding since many Macedonian and Polish last names end in -ski. There is also a misspelling in his last name which we believe occurred when his ancestor came to Argentina and was registered as Ivanobski instead of Ivanovski.

Anyway, Cristian can play on the right wing and as an attacker. He is only 168 cm tall (about 5'6"), but he is known for his quickness, agility and dribbling skills. He played for Tigre until the summer of 2013 when he moved to Chile. In his last season with Tigre, Ivanobski was part of the senior team, recording 4 appearances (2 in the top Argentine division and 2 in the Copa Libertadores).

His first Chilean club was second division side Santiago Morning from the capital city of Santiago de Chile. There, he scored 8 goals in 35 games. His play with Santiago Morning earned him a transfer to newly promoted local rivals Barnechea. After a satisfying first half of the season, when the club was middle of the table, Barnechea had a miserable second half that led to their relegation. The season recently ended in Chile and Ivanobski compiled 4 goals in 29 games. He was Barnechea's second leading scorer on a club that scored a total of 29 goals. According to Chilean media, Ivanobski won't remain with Barnechea to play in the second league. Instead, top division clubs have shown interest in him. Universidad de Chile, in particular, has been rumored to have the most interest.

In conclusion, the chances of seeing these Argentine-Macedonians in the Macedonian squad are slim, but it never hurts to try. What's the worst the can happen? Getting a no. However, you will never know until you ask. It will be up to the Football federation of Macedonia if they decide to contact these two players and gauge their interest in possibly representing Macedonia.

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