Feb 17, 2022 4:39 PM

Coca-Cola's Rufino Bensadon makes his debut in the GAUNTLET OF POLO® in 2022.
Coca-Cola's Rufino Bensadon makes his debut in the GAUNTLET OF POLO® in 2022.

Story courtesy of International Polo Club Palm Beach.

A newcomer to the high-goal stage at the International Polo Club Palm Beach (Wellington, Florida) as well as the GAUNTLET OF POLO®, Coca-Cola’s Rufino Bensadon has made an immediate impact at the forefront of his team’s attack in the C.V. Whitney Cup®. At just 20 years old, the 8-goaler showcased his unlimited potential on the global stage in 2021, producing a year to remember that makes his 2022 debut even more intriguing as he pursues the 10-goal status of the best players in the world. Bensadon joins Coca-Cola with a familiar face in Julian de Lusarreta, who was a teammate with Chapaleufu during the 2021 Argentine Open.

Still a teenager in 2021, Bensadon captured the prestigious 22-goal Justerini & Brooks Prince of Wales Trophy in the UK with Thai Polo, finishing third in tournament scoring and igniting a year that would see him continue to display his exceptional offensive skill. Travelling to France, Bensadon ranked first, scoring the most goals during the Open de France, but would cement his place among the best players in the world during the Argentine season. Representing Chapaleufú, Bensadon was a crucial part of his team’s undefeated run in the Clasificacion Palermo, the qualifying tournament to gain a place in the famed Argentine Open.

Coca-Cola's Rufino Bensadon approaching the ball during a playoff victory against Cessna.
Coca-Cola's Rufino Bensadon approaching the ball during a playoff victory against Cessna.

In their opening game of the 2021 Argentine Open, Chapaleufú claimed a historic 17-16 upset against La Natividad, handing the eventual champions their only loss of the tournament despite Chapaleufú entering the game with seven less goals on handicap. In the performance of the tournament, Bensadon scored 15 goals including the game-winning Penalty 4 in overtime. Finishing fourth in scoring behind Camilo Castagnola, Adolfo Cambiaso and Facundo Pieres, Bensadon immediately emerged as a rising talent in the sport, entering the Gauntlet of Polo® as a must-watch player.

Through three games with Coca-Cola, Bensadon has averaged 6.0 goals per game while also ranking fourth in assists, providing a consistent source of offense. Responsible for the penalty taking duties on Coca-Cola, Bensadon has contributed 4.7 goals per game from the penalty line, however, Bensadon has also been a factor on the defensive end, leading all players in the C.V. Whitney Cup® with 7.0 steals per game. Regaining valuable possessions for Coca-Cola, Bensadon has been a true end-to-end player in his first two games of the season at IPC, active in all areas of the field and working effectively alongside Julian de Lusarreta in the middle of the game. Despite enduring heart-breaking losses to both Pilot and Park Place, Bensadon and Coca-Cola’s ability to keep pressure on their opponents until the final whistle has shown their ability as a strong second half team as they look to remain alive in contention for the C.V. Whitney Cup®.

Entering Thursday’s playoff game against Cessna on February 17, Bensadon was relied upon to continue his play on both sides of the ball to recapture the magic of 2021 and delivered with an impressive performance, finishing with 10 goals to propel Coca-Cola into the quarterfinals where they will face Scone on Sunday, February 20 at 10:00am ET.

Photos courtesy of ©David Lominska