Sunday, August 06, 2006

Apertura - 1st Week

The first week of the season is over and with it we can see a little bit more of the same.

Boca and River have won their respective matches and will fight for the title like every six months.

In Argentina there are 5 clubs considered big powers. Historically these teams are the ones with more titles, more supporters and of course, more media coverage.

This weekend, all of them have won.

On Friday, Racing played horribly but managed to beat Nueva Chicago 2-0.

Saturday saw their bitter rivals, Independiente (the club where Kun AGÜERO used to play) beating Colon de Santa Fé. Independiente came from one goal behind to win 4-1 and send a message to all the other clubs.

Early on Sunday, San Lorenzo de Almagro (managed by Oscar RUGGERI) travelled to the north of our country to face the newly promoted Gimnasia y Esgrima de Jujuy and they won 1-0 in a tricky venue.

Later on, Boca Juniors played to a goal-less first half against Banfield but Martin PALERMO (2) and Sebastián BATTAGLIA provided the fire for BASILE's team to win 3-0, with another fine performance by Fernando GAGO in the centre of midfield.

And to finish the weekend for the "5 Grandes", River Plate won away against Lanus. Ariel ORTEGA made a comeback for his former team but it was Gonzalo HIGUAIN who sent a cross for an own goal by VELAZQUEZ and then scored himself to put River 2-0 up.

In other news, Juan Sebastian VERON made his second coming for Estudiantes de La Plata and was active in the creative process for his team's one and only goal in their defeat of Quilmes.

Cristian 'KILY' GONZALEZ is another ex-Inter playing again in Argentina. But he had another kind of luck. His team, Rosario Central, lost against Belgrano de Córdoba and KILY saw the red card in his first match in Argentina after his European experience.

Newell's Old Boys shocked everyone by easily defeating Velez Sarsfield 3-0.

Argentinos Juniors (Diego MARADONA's first club) won 1-0 against new boys Godoy Cruz de Mendoza, while on Saturday, Arsenal (not the one from Highbury, of course!) defeated Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata 3-1.

Did you get to see any of the action?

What do you think of the start of this season in Argentina?


Anonymous said...

Seba, hi !
I had seen Boca match first half and was very satisfy about team performance.
Lightly, clever, strong and beautiful.
From the other side everyone have to understand that Boca firmly game will be over 14 September and nobody know how it will be progressive under supervision of another manager.
My opinion, I want Bielsa as coach Boca club, but I saw that he said No yet.


Anonymous said...

Hi Seba,

Do you play this computer game know as Championship Manager 05/06? Hope you do because it is really exciting game.

Anyway I would to know more about Juan Pablo Francia if you dont mind


Ianm said...

Seba, who do you think are the best transfers for the Apertura? Independiente seem to have signed a lot of players, and it's good to see Burrito Ortega back at River.

What are your predictions for the season?

Mohammad O. Ali said...

I am very excited since a new TV is broadcasting the Argentinean league.

But the timing is a real headache since the game starts @ 1200 AM where I live.

But its worth it 

I heard Crespo is going to Inter Milan for two years

Seba said...

Hi everybody! I apologise because I wrote this article last night and it took ages to appear online!

I did play a couple of the Championship Manager games. I was disappointed with the last one I played because it had a lot of errors such as a player featuring in two teams during the same match or Racing winning 16-0!!!! Everybody know that's impossible! haha!

By playing Champ Man I became a huge Queens Park Rangers fan!

As for Juan Pablo FRANCIA, I don't know much about him. I don't remember if he ever played professional football in Argentina. All I know is that he is playing in France (very appropriate for the surname he has!!!).

As for the Apertura...I think Independiente invested wisely the money they've got after selling KUN. MONTENEGRO, German DENIS and Rodrigo DIAZ are quality players and they could present a real challenge to win the title.

But to me, Boca are still clear favourites. The only question mark is how will they survive the transition period replacing BASILE.

And River is the other big candidate. They need to improve defensively but they have plenty of weapons up front.

Sebastian said...

Well, there is no coverage of the Argentinian league in Poland, so I'm unable to watch the matches :). Indeed, I think that most Europeans have the same problem :). But because of this, I very much appreciate the things I can read here.
Coming back to the topic, I was surprised to hear that Veron returned to Argentina. I remember him way back in France '98 when he was beginning his international career, and now it seems that his days have passed... Sorry to hear that because he was one of my favourite players. Moreover, if he decided to come back to Argentina, I would hope to see him in one of the biggest clubs out there. But Estudiantes in not one of the Big Five that you mentioned... Pity, I will be difficult for him to win something there.

Seba said...

Sebastian, the thing is Estudiantes is the club he supports. Is the club where he started off as a kid. Is the club where his father used to play (his father was a legend and he scored against Manchester United at Old Trafford in a European-South American Cup final in 68 or 69).

Yes, Estudiantes is not one of the five big clubs in Argentina, but they are a top 10 in terms of support and titles. They have won 3 Copa Libertadores (more than River Plate -2-). They only trail Independiente -7- and Boca -5-.

So he came back to play for his beloved club once again.

Sebastian said...

OK :). However I can't stop myself thinking that such big Argentinian stars like Juan Sebastian Veron, Claudio Lopez or Kily Gonzalez got lost at some point of their career. I mean all of them made some bad choices, which finished them in professional terms. For Veron, it was a move to Chelsea, for Lopez - a move to Lazio, for Gonzalez - a move to Inter. It's a bit surprising that they just couldn't stand up. When they began to slide down, they slid virtually to the bottom, and now they finish in Argentina - prematurely in my opinion. It's even worse in the case of Saviola or Aimar, because their entire stay in Europe does not live up to the expectations. I konw that Aimar started well, but he has had big problems for many years now. And Saviola... Maybe we will also see them returning to Argentina much sooner than anyone could imagine. It's disturbing to see such great talents wasted.

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