It was his actions as Argentina manager that paved the way for Messi, Lo Celso and the rest to rise up. I was tired of seeing the great footballers of Rosario not given an opportunity. Now, for the first time, players from the provinces had a chance. Menotti remains an icon in Argentina, the great romantic who coached the country to their first-ever World Cup win in the summer of But forget romance, his thinking here was entirely logical. If Argentina was to maximise its resources, it had to look beyond Buenos Aires.
He divided the country into six zones and gave opportunities to all. As it turned out, Newell's Old Boys midfielder Americo Gallego was the only player from either of the two great clubs of Rosario to feature in the World Cup final win, but there wasn't a single player from Boca Juniors either - and they were the reigning champions of South America. He challenged expectations and Rosario became a talent factory.
It is a wonder how the city was overlooked for so long. Rosario Central had won the title in , becoming the first team from outside the province of Buenos Aires to be crowned as national champions. Aldo Pedro Poy's diving header or palomita - little pigeon - saw off Newell's in a famous semi-final. So famous that he still recreates the goal annually.
European audiences might think of Boca Juniors and River Plate as Argentina's great football rivalry, but for all the passion in Buenos Aires, it is still possible to find pockets of calm in the place known as the Paris of South America. The prospect of a life without football is practically impossible in Rosario, as Hernan Cabrera, a journalist in the city, explains. It is a city where football is consumed for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and it is very difficult to get away from that.
There are not Boca or River fans like in other places. Here there are Newell's fans and there are Rosario Central fans. Lionel Messi is a Newell's man. But more than that, he is a product of his environment. He is a product of Rosario. Menotti once claimed that Diego Maradona could not have happened in Japan and, in much the same way, Messi happened in Rosario for a reason. We have to say that Messi was born in Rosario because Rosario deserved a Messi.
The whole city is impregnated with football. It was within the realm of possibilities for the city to give birth to a genius. Valdano went on to suggest that the list of Rosario's sons proved his point. He namechecked Menotti, Bielsa and Pochettino. He highlighted the work of Gerardo Martino and Eduardo Berizzo too. As for the great players, there was a mention for Di Maria and the strikers' striker Gabriel Batistuta.
But the final name on his list was intriguing. It was Lo Celso. It might seem daunting for a young man barely known in the land he now plays football to be named in such company but in his homeland, Lo Celso is seen as a continuation of all who came before. When he left Rosario Central for Paris Saint-Germain, the selling club called it 'one of the most important transfers in the club's history' and it wasn't just the money. Lo Celso's emergence confirms the stories that Rosario likes to tell itself.
The home of genius. The home of the genius. When Messi and Lo Celso were finally put in the same Argentina team for a friendly against Nicaragua in the summer, there was joy as the two combined effortlessly. Messi looked for Lo Celso. Lo Celso looked for Messi. The hope is that there is a bond in terms of how they see, feel and understand the game. Perhaps there is. While the city's great coaches shared ideas, its great players have shared an upbringing on the potreros - the dusty, sun-baked pitches where their skills were honed.
But chief among the reasons are the vacant lots and small fields where boys compete and learn about the game. This is then perfected in the soccer schools. To understand just how many of the key figures in Rosarian football are interlinked, it is necessary to understand the role of Jorge Griffa. In a sense, he represents the start of it all. It began when Griffa "decided to go and to look for players instead of waiting for them" and that mentality has come to define Rosario, as Gabriel Cardarelli, a local journalist, explains.
Newell's perhaps more so than any other team in Argentina because of the revolutionary and innovative work of Jorge Griffa. Griffa, now 83, was a player and coach at Newell's as well as the man who revolutionised the club's academy. Valdano, a former student, says that none of it would have been possible without him. He might even have been Menotti's inspiration - he chose Griffa's Newell's reserve side to represent Argentina in regional qualifying for the Olympics.
The only people in sight are huddled around portable radios or television sets, their attention tightly focused on the latest news. The outbreak of war? Some national disaster? Makeshift parades materialized out of nowhere, thousands of cars jammed the avenues and side streets, and the nation found itself swathed in blue and white.
The world championship was the second for Argentina who had also captured the cup in But that tournament, hastily staged in Argentina by the ruling military government that had come to power not long before, fostered little of the pride and enthusiasm seen in They were knocked out early in and only made the quarterfinals in and the latter with Diego Maradona as coach.
The World Cup in Brazil was more fortuitous, with Argentina reaching the final, and losing only to the unbeaten German team in overtime. But by the turn of the 20 th century, Argentina had established its own soccer league. Although still amateur and not highly regarded, Argentina defeated strong teams such as France and Chile en route to a place in the finals, before losing to Uruguay, 4—2.
Soccer became a professional sport in Argentina in , and league games began to draw large, vociferous crowds. River Plate and Boca Juniors, which emerged from the middle-class Belgrano neighborhood and the working class Italian Boca district in Buenos Aires respectively, quickly became the two most popular teams in Argentina. Such unbridled support is not necessarily a good thing — Argentine soccer has been increasingly troubled in recent years by crowd violence at its league matches, especially when rival fans such as River Plate and Boca Juniors meet.
Thirty teams compete annually in the Argentina First Division. In addition, many of the top clubs compete in international tournaments such as the World Club Cup, the Libertadores, and the South American Cups. Argentines, like most South Americans, seem to have a special skill for soccer. Diego Maradona was a national hero long before he gained international prominence at the World Cup.
Of course, soccer is not the only sport in Argentina. Blessed with a climate that allows for a wide variety of sports year round, the country is also known for its polo, rugby, horse and motor racing, and tennis. One of the first things many visitors ask is where can they see polo being played. Although it did not originate in Argentina, polo has evolved into an integral part of the national sporting heritage.
In addition, Argentina has top-flight breeding programs for ponies. As with soccer, polo was introduced to Argentina by the English in the mid th century. The inherent riding skill of the Argentines, as proved by the gauchos, and the abundance of space, helped ensure that the sport flourished.
Polo tournaments are held all over Argentina throughout the year, but the majority are played in spring and autumn. The top teams compete each November in the Argentine Open championship in the picturesque polo fields of Palermo, in central Buenos Aires, a competition which began in There is no distinction between amateur and professional polo in Argentina, but many of the top players are regularly hired by foreign teams for huge sums.
There is also big demand overseas for Argentine-trained polo ponies. A polo match in full swing. Photo: Shutterstock. The earliest references to the game can be dated back as far as , but the game was probably played by the native inhabitants long before that time. A duck was placed inside a leather basket with handles, the possession of which was then contested by two teams of horsemen — often farm workers or indigenous people — who attempted to grab the basket and return it to their estancia.
The original duck has been replaced by a more acceptable leather ball with handles, and points are scored by passing the ball through the basket. The annual national open championship is held in mid-December in Palermo, Buenos Aires. In a country where horses are plentiful and breeding is big business, horse racing and showjumping are also popular. There are racetracks in most Argentine towns and plenty of opportunities for off-track betting, although the government oversees the official odds.
Horse shows are staged at numerous clubs in Buenos Aires and other major cities, taking place almost weekly from March to December. There is a fine tradition in this sport — as there is for dressage — and only the regular exportation of top horses has kept Argentina from gaining international stature. Tennis has been played in Argentina since the 19 th century, but it has always been a game largely for the middle and upper classes — until now.
Argentina officials union director Guillermo Marconi has said the league referees have not been paid by the Argentina federation and plan to strike. Without the experience and attitude of Carlos Tevez, there is probably no league and cup double for Argentine giants Boca Juniors, writes Sam Kelly.
Skip to navigation. Summary Summary Statistics Statistics. Rosario Central ROS. Boca Unidos BOC. Data is currently unavailable. Bet Open Account Offer. Join Here. Goals 0. Shots 1 0 Shots on Target. Fouls Committed 1 0 Fouls Against. Fouls Committed 0 1 Fouls Against. Fouls Committed 4 2 Fouls Against. Shots 3 2 Shots on Target. Shots 3 1 Shots on Target.
Fouls Committed 0 4 Fouls Against. Fouls Committed 2 2 Fouls Against. Goals 1. Shots 5 2 Shots on Target. Fouls Committed 2 1 Fouls Against. Shots 2 2 Shots on Target. Fouls Committed 1 2 Fouls Against. Fouls Committed 0 2 Fouls Against. Shots 2 0 Shots on Target. Saves 0. Saves 6. Shots 2 1 Shots on Target. Fouls Committed 2 0 Fouls Against. Shots 1 1 Shots on Target. Shots 3 0 Shots on Target. Fouls Committed 4 0 Fouls Against. Fouls Committed 3 2 Fouls Against. Shots 6 0 Shots on Target.
Fouls Committed 0 6 Fouls Against.
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