Fox Sports Dropped The Ball Big Time With Superclásico

20 04 2009
Boca Juniors celebrates with Martín Palermo after scoring the first goal of the Superclásico  (Olé)

Boca Juniors celebrates with Martín Palermo after scoring the first goal of the Superclásico (Olé)

I was out and about, listening to the game on my iPhone.  It has become my secret weapon for staying in touch with the football world.  George called me a little after four and was asking me if the game was live.  When he was watching it, the game was in th 19th minute.  In real time the game was in the 4th minute of injury time in the second half.

Marcelo Gallardo and Radamel Falcao García celebrate after equalizing the Superclásico.

Fox in Español did something that was fine for the Mexican market, but completely unacceptable for the rest of the world.  Fox did something that was the equivalent of  footballistic heresy on the Latin American side of the spectrum.  It was incredible, even propostrous to see that this channel preferred showing Indios vs. Pumas live instead of giving this game the respect it is due.   This is not something that is rare in the channel as they had aired the Derby della Madonnina on tape delay in order to show an insignificant Premiership match on tape delay.

I know George was steaming mad because he was ready to sit down and watch a game he was looking forward to watching the world’s greatest rivalry.  So to break to him the news about the final score and goaldscorers was tough as they killed the enthusiasm of the match.  No longer was he looking at the game with excitement.  He now looked at the game with an analytical eye.  He expected Palermo’s goal, and Gallardo’s equalizer, and the goal the Falcao missed.


This Week On Mad About Futbol…

19 04 2009

George, Juan, and Mike will wrap up the Champions League quarterfinals and see how the semis on the road to Rome look like. The guys will also talk about the upcoming Superclásico in Argentina and why this is the greatest rivalry in the world.

Speaking of big games, we will also talk a bit about the Mexican Superclásico with CNN SI and writer Luis Bueno.

All this along with the latest news from all over the world on Mad About Fútbol.

Boca v River – El Superclásico – Factoids

18 04 2009 VS.

It is the most intense rivalry in the world of football and probably the best rivalry in all of sports. Regardless of the standings this match will determine the bragging rights of Argentine football.  Here are some factoids about this great rivalry:


The 1st Meeting = August 24, 1913 – Result:  River 2 – 1 Boca

The First 1st Division Professional Superclásico = Sept. 20, 1931 –  Result: Boca 1 – 1 River

First Copa Libertadores Meeting =  February 10, 1996 –  Result: River 2 -1 Boca

Most Recent Meeting = February 1, 2009 – Result: Boca 2 – River 0 in 2009 Copa Revancha


183 = the number of Superclásico matches in Argentine 1st division

67 = the number of Boca victories in Superclásico matches in Argentine 1st division

61 = the number of River victories in Superclásico matches in Argentine 1st division

55 = the number of draws in Superclásico matches in Argentine 1st division

322-327 = the estimated number of Superclásico matches in total (1st division, “friendlies”, International, & Amateur Era)

9 = most goals ever scored in a Superclásico – River 5 – 4 Boca – Oct. 15 1972 in Torneo Nacional

22 = the number of  Superclásicos played in the Copa Libertadores [Boca 10 wins, River 6 wins, 6 draws]

56 = the number of Argentine 1st division championships between Boca (23) &  River (33)

8 = the number of Copa Libertadores title beween Boca (6) & River (2)

834-847 = estimated number of goals scored in all Superclásico matches


River’s Ángel Labruna = record holder for most career goals in Superclásicos – 16

River’s Reinaldo Merlo = record holder for most Superclásico appearances – 42

River’s Hernán Díaz = holds the record for career red cards in Superclásicos with 6

Boca’s Pablo Ledesma = scored the fastest goal in Superclásico history – 45 seconds in 2007 Clausura match

Boca’s Diego Maradona = scored 5 goals in 7 Superclásico matches

Boca’s Carlos Cambón = holds the record for most goals by one person in a Superclásico match: 4.  The 4 goals came in his 1st ever match in a Boca shirt in a 5-2 victory in the 1974 Metropolitano tournament.

Alfredo Di Stefano = the only man to coach both River & Boca to championships.  Boca – Nacional ’69 & River – Nacional ’81

Julio César Toresani = the only player in Superclásico history to see red as a player for both River & Boca

There it is, just some of the tidbits that give Boca-River a lot of flavor.

Palermo Returns To National Team

17 04 2009

It was well over a decade the last time the Martín Palermo donned the Albiceleste. His infamous Copa América performance against Colombia in 1999.

Since that fateful day in Asunción, Palermo’s career underwent a rollercoaster ride of unprecedented measures.  From the highs of his great game against Real Madrid to the day that he had a stand fall on top of his leg when he played for Villarreal.  His return to Boca has seen him win titles left and right.  Three domestic titles, two Copa Sudamericanas, two Recopas, and a  Copa Libertadores are part of his resume ever since he returned to Argentina back in 2005.  His story is one written for the movies- sequels and all.   He was a day away from being called up to the national team once again last year, but suffered an ACL tear.

Martín Palermo

Martín Palermo

He was also left at the doorstep of Boca immortality when he was tied with Francisco Varallo as the club’s all-time leading scorer.  But he did what he had done before- come back and score.   So it was just a matter of time that he would come back to the national team.  Diego Maradona did that on Thursday when he announced his next call up for international duty, even though it is just for a friendly against Paraguay in the city of Colón in Argentina at the end of the month.

Palermo was one of four Boca Juniors players called up by Maradona (Forlín, Muñoz, and Battaglia are the others).   Surprisingly there were no players from River Plate called up.  This would be the billboard material that Los Millonarios might need in order to get that little extra incentive come time  they step onto the pitch at La Bombonera this weekend.

Argentina Callup (by team)

Boca Juniors:  Martín Parlermo, Juan Forlín, Sebastián Battaglia, Ezequiel Muñóz

Lanús: Sebastián Blanco, José Sand, Eduardo Salvio

Estudiantes:  Mariano Andújar, Marcos Angeleri, Juan Sebastián Verón

Vélez Sarsfield Nicolás Otamendi, Emiliano Papa, Maximiliano Moralez

Independiente: Rolfi Montenegro

Rosario Central: Milton Caraglio

Colón: Alexis Ferrero, Diego Pozo

Arsenal: Cristian Campestrini

Racing: Franco Zuculini

Argentinos Juniors: Ignacio Canuto, Matías Caruzzo

San Lorenzo: Gonzalo Bergessio

Newell’s Old Boys: Hernán Bernardello. Mauro Formica

Huracán: Matías De Federico

Superclásico Probables

16 04 2009
Boca Juniors

Boca Juniors

River Plate

River Plate

The two big headlines coming out of both camps as of Thursday was the injury suffered by Sebastián Battaglia during practice.  He twisted his ankle and had to leave practice early.  Reports coming out is that he is going to play alongside Fabián Vargas in the middle as part of the 4-3-1-2 that Boca will have step onto the pitch at La Bombonera.   In River’s camp they are looking to find a way to earn only their 19th win at La Bombonera since its opening in 1940 in all competitions.  Radamel Falcao García was not present in practice due to injury will have Cristian Fabbiani up front as their only forward. Regardless of whether Falcao is healthy or not, Nestor Gorosito plans on a 4-3-2-1.

Boca:  Abbondanzieri; Ibarra, Cáceres, Forlín, Morel Rodríguez; Chávez, Vargas, Battaglia, Riquelme; Palacio, Palermo

River:  Vega; Ferrari, Cabral, Sánchez, Villagra; Barrado, Ahumada, Domingo, Gallardo Buonanotte; Fabbiani

Van Gaal Is Top Candidate For Munich Job?

13 04 2009


According to early reports coming out of Germany, there is another little bit of irony added to their Champions League match against Barcelona on Tuesday.    Van Gaal mentioned that he was delighted to become the Bayern coach in an interview with NRC.

The AZ president and the fans want me to extend my stay at the club and become AZ’s Alex Ferguson. However, I still have the ambition to coach a big team or a national side and I will certainly leave AZ in 2010.

He also did mention that his next step was to move to a big club or even coach a national team. Although his current contract with AZ Alkmaar expires in 2010, there is a clause stating that he can leave if he obtains an offer from Italy, Germany, Argentina, Spain, or any of the Dutch national teams.

Currently AZ Alkmaar is in first place and has the possibility of winning their first title in 28 years with a win against Willem II.  They would also become the first team since Feyenoord (’98’-’99) to win the title outside of PSV and Ajax.

Argentine Clausura- Week 9 Wrap

12 04 2009

The Argentine league continues to be an uncertainty because no one seems to assert their dominance.  League leaders Lanús fell on Friday night against an inspired Argentinos Juniors side.  That left the door wide open for Ricardo Gareca’s Vélez Sarsfield side to take the top spot in the Clausura tournament as it reaches the halfway point. El Fortín came to the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Boedo to face a San Lorenzo side that was eliminated from Copa LIbertadores play at midweek and saw coach Miguel Ángel Russo step down.   It was a home game by default as the San Lorenzo fans jeered and insulted their team all throughout the match.  They also were resentful at club brass starting with president Rafael Savino as well as the investment group that has been in place for the past year which was led by Argentine media mogul Marcelo Tinelli.

Defending champ Boca Juniors seems to have lost their bid to repeat as domestic champs after losing to Estudiantes in La Plata.  The loss puts Boca at an eight-point deficit, which leaves them in a position to play spoiler at home in The Superclásico against arch-rivals River Plate. Los Millonarios had the opportunity to go be two points from the top with a win against Gimnasia La Plata, but it would be a tough challenge as well as a game they could easily overlook. They also were being threatened by their fans with chants stating that if they did not win in La Bombonera, to not bother coming back. The news was somewhat put on the backburner as Angel Cabrera had become the Latin American golfer to win the Masters. No fear for River fans as Mauro Díaz equalized early in the second half and took the lead. Gimnasia would equalize close to the end and almost took the three points away from the Monumental; further incensing the the River Plate faithful

Independiente in the meantime were able to bounce back from the 5-1 thrashing at the hands of the Granate last weekend.  Tigre let three points slip away in injury time when Matías Giménez missed a penalty kick.

Argentinos Juniors 2-1 Lanús

ARJ: Ignacio Canuto (10′), Pablo Hauche (48′)

LAN: Diego Lagos (44′)

Tigre 1-1 Newell’s Old Boys

TIG: Carlos Luna (5′)

NEW: Diego Armani (86′)

Godoy Cruz 2-2 Gimnasia (J)

GC: Víctor Figueroa (35′, 78′)

GIJ: Cristian Leiva (7’og), Mauricio Ferradas (57′)

Colón 1-1 Arsenal

COL: Franco Jara (44′)

ARS: Matías Oyola (66′)

Banfield 0-0 San Martín

Independiente 2-1 Huracán

IND: Federico Mancuello (11′), Daniel Montenegro (13′)

HUR:  Matías De Federico (9′)

San Lorenzo 0-1 Vélez Sarsfield

VEL: Hernán López (40′)

Rosario Central 0-1 Racing

RAC: Sosa (72′)

Estudiantes 1-0 Boca Juniors

EST: Fernández (43′)

River Plate 2-2 Gimnasia (LP)
RIV: Mauro Díaz (54′), Diego Barrado (67′)
GLP: Roberto Sosa (35′), Juan Cuevas (69′)