Tag-Archiv für 'ascenso'

Atlanta de Villa Crespo vs The Almighty Cub Atletico River Plate

River Plate, Argentinas most successful futbol club, finds itself playing this year for the first time in their history in second division. Their relegation game loss to Belgrano included some spectacular anecdotes, once again very probably unique to the Argentine futbol world.

During the away game, losing 2-0, River fans invaded the pitch…pushed, kicked, and insulted their own players. They then returned to their terrace, without being arrested, and the game continued as if nothing had happened…

After relegation became an unavoidable fact, the riots were of a scale even unusual for the standards of Argentine futbol. These videos dont necessarily do them justice, but you might get the idea…

And so it was, with Atlanta having been promoted and River relegated, that our humble neighborhood club played yesterday against the mighty River Plate…. and lost 7-1!

But at least our fans looked good….

(Thank to Sentimiento Bohemio)

The match was particularly tense because, with the return of away fans to second division matches (thanks River!), Atlanta fans and River fans had had two encounters in the past three weeks. In this one, you can see what appears to be two busses of River fans being chased by…10 Atlanta fans!!??
No vengas mas por Villa Crespo River….


Joy and Sadness: Disaster in Racing, Atlanta Unstoppable, and Blooper…

So the newest first division season began in Argentina last week, and although as far as Racing is concerned the actual futbol playing is secondary, I have to admit that the team that had been put together for this season was particularly inspiring, and while winning isnt the priority, its also not that bad.

The main hope of this Racing is a Colombian player called Giovani Moreno, who plays futbol in a manner so filled with fantasy and joy, its something us talent starved Racing fans have never really seen! He can be called, without much argument, the best player in Argentine futbol today. Any doubts, please see for yourselves:

Long story short, first game of the season, Racing wins away against All Boys 1-0, life is good. Right? Wrong. Knee injury, surgery needed, out for 6-8 months. I could cry…

This is just the icing on the cake of a pre-season marked not only by several important injuries, but also the death of Racings massage therapist, killed by lightning during practice!

Now Im a pretty rational person, but all this really makes me think that it is time to finally find the fucking cats buried under Racings field so that this voodoo might one day end. (What the fuck? Click here, scroll down to the last Youtube video, there is even a documentary about black magic against Racing!)

The smile of the day, if one was possible in the face of such a world shaking tragedy, would be this one. One of the most spectacular referee/linesman mistakes ever. Lucky it was in Costa Rica and not somewhere else, they might not have survived it…

As tragic as the developments in Racing might be, Atlanta on the other hand is at least marching apparently non-stop to second division! 17 games remaining, 10 points ahead of the second placed team, winning every game. The decade long march through the abyss of third division seems to be nearing its end…

The last two games:

Atlanta in First Place, Racing Fighting for Libertadores Cup Slot

As far as success on the pitch is concerned, the world of futbol has treated neither Atlanta nor Racing particularly well over the last few decades. And while I still am a firm believer in that sporting success is only secondary, certain achievements are much longed for, not only for the great party and celebration that their acquisition would entail, but also because they have the potential to produce real and tangible changes in ones life as a follower of the club in question.

In the case of Atlanta, as the graphic above shows, the reason is clear: Atlanta is in first place in third division, and has been now for about a month. Over the last few games, a gap of 4 points to the second placed team and 6 points to third has developed. We are almost halfway through the season, and should this miracle hold until late May or early June, it will mean the end of an over one decade long nightmare odyssey through the „Primera B“ metropolitana, back to second division, and most likely finally enable a new round of the derby against Chacarita. All thats missing…that away fans can return to the stadiums. Im so excited I can barely breathe. The“popular“ the most recent game:

Just as exciting, Atlanta is once again growing as a club…several years ago we recovered our social center from the city (lost in a bankrupty in the 90s), the stadium was transformed from wooden terraces to cement and re-opened last year, and now work has begun on adding a grill area and solarium (!!! Whatever….) to the club grounds:

In the case of Racing, a shockingly pleasant situation…namely that with 3 matches remaining in the season Racing is currently placed 6th in the season points ranking, putting us 1 point away from 5th place and a spot for Copa Libertadores 2011 (South American version of the Champions League), has been turned into a rather unpleasant one by the incompetence and corruption of South American futbol in general, Argentine in particular.

A nice image from the most recent away game, in Banfield, which Racing won 2-1

Last week (yes, 7 days ago, only 4 games before the end of the season) the CONMEBOL (South American Futbol Confederation) decided that the winner of the „Supercopa“ (equivalent to the UEFA cup), who qualifies automatically for the Copa Libertadores of the following season, would not be added as an extra spot for the country of the team who wins it…but rather would take the last spot of the country. In other words: If an Argentine team wins the Supercopa, the 5th Libertadores spot is taken by that team and not whoever is 5th on points. Changing the rules of a sporting event once its already begun (almost ended!), you cant get much more banana republic like than that!

Bad enough, because the Supercopa final first leg is this week, and an Argentine team is in it. Not any Argentine team…its of course the scum of Independiente! Of course, they have arrived this far with an offside goal (about 2 meters offside!), they hit the goalie of the visiting team with a rock during a game splitting his head open (and the game was still not suspended), they play all the return legs at home, and the final will be against Goias, who will be playing next season in the Brazilian second division! Life is good when your biggest fan is the president/dictator of the Argentine Futbol Federation and you can even make your own rules as you go!

The silver lining…about 160 Independiente fans were scammed out of 800 USD each, with tickets for a charter flight to Brazil which never took off! I dislike them severely, and yet still feel kind of sorry for them….

Whatever, a video of Racings latest glorious victory…

Atlanta vs Defe / Racing vs Godoy Cruz

Today, Racing plays against Godoy Cruz and Atlanta plays Defensores de Belgrano. The former is relatively uninteresting, the latter quite the contrary.

In the past, Defe vs Atlanta was a big occasion for us due to the dislike that both clubs fans have of each other. The last few years, there being no away fans allowed at lower division futbol games in Argentina, this has become somewhat less exciting. For this reason, well concentrate on anecdotes and moments of the past of more interest.

A not unusual scene at Atlanta vs Defensores. In Villa Crespo a few years ago…

I have a somewhat love/hate relationship to Defensores de Belgrano. There was a time (late 90s I think) when I was exiled from Atlanta. To make a long story short: One day during an away game, I was standing around behind the goal. Being the young anarchist that I was, I had some t-shirt with some politically explicit slogan which gave away my political „inclinations.“ Suddenly, from behind I hear „vos que haces aca? Zurdo de mierda!“ (roughly translated „what are you doing here? Fucking Leftist! And „zurdo“ is an especially derogative term used by fascists/cops/soldiers to refer to leftists) I turned around just fast enough to move out of the way of a fist about the size of my head headed towards me, belonging to a body about three heads larger than mine. The giant then proceeded to try to rip off my tshirt (failed), but I was eventually pushed out of the area behind the goal in a very (very) unfriendly manner.
I then began the process of organizing my friends, contacts, and generally sympathetic people in order to make possible my return to my clubs terraces. However, this proved to be a somewhat long and complicated process, as apparently the person who attacked me was an ex-member of the „Camargo Skinheads“ which were a Neo-Nazi skinhead group which had apparently been active a few years earlier in Atlanta. Although they were no longer active and werent even recognizable, they still had enough connections to be a problem.

This is all of course especially crazy given that Atlanta is the representative team of Villa Crespo, one of Buenos Airess historically (and still currently) most Jewish neighborhoods. Our stadium is called „Leon Kolbowsky“ and the derogatory term other teams fans use to refer to Atlanta and its fans is „los judios“ (the Jews). Antisemitic chants against us (and even the ocassional swastica flag) are not rare.

Regardless, it took several months before I could return to Atlanta, and an alternative entertainment for Saturday afternoons was needed. Since I had lots of friends at Defensores de Belgrano, for a time went to see Defe and travelled with them (and their barra/hooligans) on several occasions. And so, regardless of where my heart truly lied…when you get ambushed in a Buenos Aires slum because the cops steer your buses into the middle, then suddenly disappear, and the next step is you being shot at from several directions….you develop certain bonds with people through shared suffering! :-)

On the other hand, a sector of Defes fans also slipped into antisemitic folklore and jokes which made me, while standing around there, very uncomfortable and feeling not quite safe. The high (low?) point of this was an Atlanta vs Defe in Defes stadium in the early 1999 or 2000, where Defe fans greeted the entrance of Atlantas players on the pitch by throwing bars of soap. This act was even more repulsive because the „terrace“ from which this happened is named after a Jewish leftist, and Defe fan, by the name of Marcos Zucker who was killed during the last military dictatorship (one of the most famous torture camps of the dictatorship era is located directly across the street from Defes stadium). Fortunately, I was with the Atlanta fans that day.

This phase seems to be over in Defe, as those who understand Spanish can see in the following video, where there is very positive referance to Marcos Zucker, anti-military songs being chanted, and so forth.

This video shows Defes fans in the neighborhood of their archrivals Excursionistas…who are nowhere to be found.

Finally, a video of a tragic incident in Argentine futbol and a great example of the behavior of Argentine police. What is seen here is not rare, what is rare is that it was caught on tape, and that the police went so far as to kill an already arrested fan and then claim that he died „falling from the back of the van“ in which he was being transported.

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