Madness and magic from Maradona’s motherland
Yesterday it was the underground drivers. The day before it was the teachers. Today it’s the footballers.
Unlike their compadres, however, football isn’t on strike.
There was no service on the tube because the workers, in a comunicado that would make Marx turn in his grave, reckon they’re being ‘used’ by the left.
The capital’s teachers are up in arms over pay, saying it’s the Buenos Aires city mayor (and former Boca Juniors president) Mauricio Macri who is to blame.
For football, there is no such wrangle over money. Well, there is, but it’s not the reason there are no games today.
Friday is merely a 24-hour hiatus in an otherwise three-week orgy of fútbol.
In the last 14 days, there have been only three without one of the top-flight teams being involved in either the league or the Sudamericana.
Business resumes on Saturday, and the next round runs till Tuesday.
Hopefully by then, or sooner, things will have cooled down because when Boca took to the field against Chacarita yesterday they did so in 37-degree heat.
So while Argie Bargy works out a way not to pass out in the humidity, here’s a quick guide to who does, and doesn’t deserve the day off.
River Plate – The Millionaires grabbed their first away win in 17 attempts on Thursday night, at a stadium they haven’t won at since 1960.
Santiago Silva – The Uruguayan striker is spearheading Banfield’s improbable title challenge with 10 goals in nine games. His header against Gimnasia kept the Drill (as Banfield are known) in the hunt for the title.
Esteban Cambiasso – The last time he played for Argentina, the national side lost to Chile for the first time in 30 years. Maradona hasn’t fancied Inter’s midfielder since taking over the selección, but is set to call him up for the friendly with Spain next month.
Pato Abbondanzieri – ‘Boca’s goalkeeper’ and ‘clean sheet’ are two phrases rarely seen in the same sentence. For the first time in 16 games this term, they are.
Nestor Silvera – Club legend who returned to Independiente this season, ‘Cuco’ scored the first goal at the brand new Libertadores de América stadium.
Racing’s board of directors – "We don’t want to get fans' hopes up of who will be the next coach," announced the Academy’s decision-makers after spending the past week saying how great it was that Lothar Matthaus would be the next man in charge.
Racing, without a win, need to get the house in order pronto. Reinaldo ‘Mostaza’ Merlo is the favourite to get the nod, cueing Friday’s headline of the day – ‘Racing swap sauerkraut for mustard.’
Diego Cagna – Tigre are awful: bottom of the table, and beaten 4-0 by Lanús on Thursday. Apparently the coach will quit after Monday’s game, so he can hardly deserve a day off four days before jumping ship.
Referees – "It’s hard to make a split-second decision," says Vélez coach Ricardo Gareca, having seen his side join the list of teams who've both lost and won thanks to the spat of appalling decisions. "We have to give them confidence," he thinks, "...but I don’t know how."
Argie Bargy would suggest the men in the middle read the rules and make decisions accordingly, and then there would be no problem in the first place.
Juan Román Riquelme – laugh-a-minute Román won’t just be taking the day off, but rather the rest of 2009. The Boca maestro injured his foot, which Olé explain with detailed graphics, against Chacarita and won’t play until next year.
And finally, there’s always one...
If there’s one person who falls into both categories, it is of course El Diez.
Some would say he’s still got a lot of work to do so can hardly afford to kick back, but given that he turns 49 today, Argie Bargy reckons that Diego should treat himself to a day off.
Happy Birthday Maradona.
Enjoy all 29 goals from Round 11, to the dulcet tones of reggaeton, here
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