Former Argentina international Federico Martin Aramburu was gunned down in Paris on Saturday
Federico Martin Aramburu © Ross Setford / Getty Images
Former Argentina international rugby player Federico Martin Aramburu, 42, has died after being shot in a drive-by shooting in Paris early on Saturday, reports in France have said.
Aramburu, who earned 22 international caps and played in the famous Argentina side who captured the imagination of rugby fans by reaching the semifinals of the 2007 World Cup in France, was killed after becoming involved in a heated verbal altercation with a group of men at a bar in the early hours of Saturday morning, according to L’Equipe.
The men in question are understood to have returned to the scene at Boulevard Saint-Germain shortly afterwards in a car and shot Aramburu to death.
A murder investigation has been opened by the Paris Prosecutor’s Office, with police understood to be searching for three suspects.
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Aramburu played his club rugby at Biarritz, Perpignan, Dax and Glasgow before retiring from the sport after a brief spell with a team in his native Argentina in 2012. He scored 40 points during his five-year international career with the Pumas.
Argentina beat Scotland in the quarterfinals of the 2007 tournament and were only knocked out by eventual champions South Africa in the final four.
Winger and center Aramburu scored as Argentina beat France 34-10 to win the bronze final at the showpiece.
A tribute to Aramburu was displayed on the big screen ahead of France’s Six Nations encounter with England at the Stade de France on Saturday evening, while former French international Dimitri Yachvili, who played alongside Aramburu at Biarritz, said “the game has lost a brother who loved life”.
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He added that Aramburu was “always positive, lively and full of energy” and that he was “more than being a great team-mate, he was a beautiful person who loved rugby.“
The Glasgow Warriors, for whom Aramburu played in 2010 and 2011, said that they were “shocked and saddened” by his “sudden and tragic death”.
The Scottish club added that he was “the embodiment of a true warrior and much-loved by all, the thoughts of everyone past and present at the club, are with his family at this immensely difficult time.“
Queremos recordar su paso por Los Pumas (22 caps, entre 2004 y 2009), etapa en la cual se brindó al máximo por el seleccionado nacional, y no olvidaremos sus tries y su actuación en el Mundial de Francia 2007. pic.twitter.com/abfDVaznp6
— Los Pumas (@lospumas) March 19, 2022
“The thoughts of everyone past and present at the club are with his family at this immensely difficult time,” they added.
Argentina also paid tribute, saying that the nation would not forget Aramburu’s tries and performance at the World Cup.
The suspects are thought to be ‘right-wing extremists’, according to a report in the English media which claimed that one is considered a member of a far-right students’ union.
Another two people linked to the shooting, a man and woman who were travelling in a jeep, are understood to have been captured on CCTV footage.
The trio remain on the run from police.