Madness and magic from Maradona’s motherland
As of Thursday night, school’s out for summer in La Plata. Estudiantes take on Chacarita on Thursday and in doing so, finish their commitment to the domestic league.
Most, in fact all, other teams still have two matchdays to playout before we have the Apertura 09 champion.
Why have the Students been allowed out of class early?
AFA, in one of its more magnanimous moments, decided that Alejandro Sabella – yes, the one who ran out for Sheffield United and Leeds in the 1970s – and his men should be given a helping hand ahead of the World Cup.
The Club World Cup, that is.
Fixtures were rearranged and at times the Pincha played three games in the space of eight days (they´re only footballers). Other teams had to be accommodating, regardless of their own fate – be it a title race or a relegation battle.
As Argentine representatives, Estudiantes needed to be given the best possible chance to do the nation proud.
Early on in the season it looked like they’d be going to Dubai on cloud nine, playing fluid football and as league champions, but the prospect of Xavi, Iniesta, Messi, and er, Victor Valdés clearly loomed large.
Midway through the campaign it was clear that it was just about staying fit for later this month.
B- for the Students this season, although if they do the unthinkable and beat Barcelona, it’ll be upgraded to an A*.
Dodgy ref update - Colón’s Germán Rivarola had been holding it in since the sixth minute.
You don’t say ‘salí de acá la reconcha de tu madre, la p*ta que te parió’ to someone on the pitch and expect to get away with it.
Rivarola waited till the dying minutes of the clash with Newell’s, before booting the ball at Javier Collado. Comically, it hit Collado on the bum.
Collado didn’t see the funny side, however, and being the ref and therefore being in charge of proceedings, decided to send Rivarola off.
Kicking the ball at the ref isn’t perhaps the best of plans – Rivarola brilliantly claimed it was unintentional – but the entire Colón team backed up their sureshot compadre, and said that Collado was out of order during the game.
Collado had his own revenge, grassing up six of Colón’s players for verbal and physical aggression.
Of course there's history here. Collado is perhaps jealous of the histrionic Pablo Lunati and wants more of the limelight.
He told a paper in Córdoba recenty that bribes exist in Argentine football. Who’d have thought it?
And finally, democracy at River: a dictatorship comes to an end this weekend. At least that's what the River Plate fans will tell you.
José María Aguilar, the millonario club president and a millonario in his own right if you believe the claims made by his enemies, ends his term and will slip out of the back door (if he knows what’s good for him).
Retirement beckons, and from what this blogger is told, it’ll be a dark and lonely retirement indoors – Aguilar is so despised that he fears leaving his home.
Who’ll pay for the bodyguards now he’s not at the club?
Sunday's elections could see World Cup winning captain and River legend (but, according to the opposition, Boca supporter) Daniel Passarella become president.
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Estudiantes recent form has been far from convincing. It will be interesting to see how well they do at the CWC, as recapturing their early form won't be easy.
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