Teo Gutiérrez: South American Footballer of The Year 2014

As I mentioned in the previous post on HEGS, which was two Best XIs from last year in Argentine football, River Plate did quite well in the nominations for the 2014 South American Footballer of The Year, which was announced as usual on the 31st December. Leonardo Pisculichi finished third in the voting, Carlos Sánchez came second, and Teo Gutiérrez won the award. I’ve written a piece for ESPNFC about the vote, which you can read here.

Posted in 2014 Torneo de Transición, 2014 Torneo Final, Copa Sudamericana, Other football sites, River Plate | Tagged , ,

Argentine football in 2014: two best XIs

As the clock ticks towards 2015, I present here not one but two best XIs of Argentina-based players during 2014. The reason it’s two is simple: the sides who won the main trophies (the two domestic leagues and the two continental cups) dominate the actual best XI, and I felt sorry for the others. At first I thought I was leaning too heavily towards River Plate players, until El País announced their official annual awards this morning and it turned out all three of the players on the South American Player Of The Year podium were River players (Teo Gutiérrez, Carlos Sánchez and Leonardo Pisculichi), and two more (Marcelo Barovero and Leonel Vangioni) made it into the continent’s Best XI.

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Posted in 2014 Torneo de Transición, 2014 Torneo Final, Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana, Players, Primera A | Tagged , , , , | 13 Comments

Boca Juniors v River Plate: watch the Copa Sudamericana semi-final first leg live

In about twenty minutes’ time, the biggest superclásico since the 2004 Copa Libertadores semi-final will kick off in La Bombonera, as Boca Juniors host River Plate in the semi-final first leg of the 2014 Copa Sudamericana (South America’s second most important club cup). This match is televised in South America by Fox Sports, not by Fútbol Para Todos as is the case for the YouTube streams some of you will be aware of for the Argentine Primera and B Nacional. All the same, Argentine law means the game also has to be on free-to-air television within the Argentine Republic – and being shown inside Argentina on TV Pública means their coverage is also streamed worldwide on the TV Pública website. So for a stable and hopefully high-quality stream of tonight’s epic, just click here. You can thank me later.

Posted in Boca Juniors, Copa Sudamericana, River Plate | Tagged , , , , , ,

Argentine Primera: a just over half term report on all the teams so far

The last ‘short championship’ (as we currently know them at least) of the era is now eleven matches in in Argentina, and with eight games to go I thought it was time to try and get back to posting something – anything – here. So ahead of the twelfth round of games, which kicks off in a few hours’ time with Gimnasia v Olimpo, I’m going to go through and give a quick rundown of the season so far for each of the sides. We’ll start with league leaders River Plate, and work our way down the table.

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Posted in 2014 Torneo de Transición, Argentine football, Arsenal de Sarandí, Atlético Rafaela, Banfield, Belgrano de Córdoba, Boca Juniors, Defensa y Justicia, Estudiantes, Gimnasia, Godoy Cruz, Independiente, Lanús, Newell's Old Boys, Olimpo de Bahía Blanca, Primera A, Quilmes, Racing Club, River Plate, Rosario Central, San Lorenzo, Tigre, Vélez Sarsfield | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Second chance to watch: River Plate v Boca Juniors from Sunday, 5th October

In case you missed Sunday’s superclásico, I won’t mention the score here – though I will reveal, as you’ll discover pretty early in this video, that it was played in comically atrocious conditions (not so comic for those of us who were there, mind). Anyway; if you missed it, or if you want to rewatch it in its entirety, here’s the whole match video, in resolution up to 720p HD, of Fútbol Para Todos’ coverage of River Plate v Boca Juniors. Enjoy it, and look out for my longform piece on ESPNFC later in the week about the rivalry.

Posted in Boca Juniors, Primera A, River Plate, Superclásico, Torneo de Transición | Tagged , , , ,

Watch River Plate v Boca Juniors live – free and legal!

I can’t embed the video this time round as I’m going to the game and thus won’t be online when the stream goes live, but as they did last time, Fútbol Para Todos are streaming today’s superclásico to the whole world, live and in HD via YouTube. The stream will be on this page, starting shortly before kick off, and as a failsafe I’m almost certain it will also be on the FPT homepage.

Kick off is 5:15pm Argentine time. That’s 4:15pm on the east coast of the United States, or 9:15pm in the UK (I assume the rest of you can work out your timezones from there).

Also, don’t forget the world’s best Argentine football podcast*, Hand Of Pod, previewed the superclásico this week, so get listening before the big game!

*The world’s only Argentine football podcast.

Posted in 2014 Torneo de Transición, Boca Juniors, River Plate, Superclásico | Tagged , , , , , ,

The HEGS 2014 Premier League summer transfer window roundup

That’s the northern hemisphere summer, of course. Or the boreal summer transfer window, as La Nación‘s sports site put it on Monday. I noted last week that the number of Argentines moving to English Premier League clubs this year seems to have been quite an increase on previous windows (there are ten in all), so decided to do a post summarising all of them, with a couple of brief sentences on each. I’ll do the same for the couple of players from elsewhere who have also spent significant periods playing club football in Argentina. Do not expect anything deep and meaningful, but I’ll try and give some sort of a reaction to each and all of them. Transfers are listed per club, in alphabetical order.

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Posted in Alexis Sánchez, Angel Di María, Argentine football, Argentine national team, Esteban Cambiasso, Marcos Rojo, Mauro Zárate, Transfers | Tagged ,

The Argentine FA are giving everyone headaches again

Last Wednesday, AFA president and FIFA vice-president Julio Grondona died. I wrote about it here, for ESPNFC. Everyone knew that the organisation was in for a few changes, and it will be a while before we really get a handle on who has control at the new-look AFA. For the moment, though, Argentinos Juniors president Luis Segura, as the AFA’s previous first vice-president, has taken charge. On Tuesday a bunch of details came out which… well, you’ll see.

First, AFA spokesman Ernesto Cherquis Bialo told reporters on Tuesday evening that, although the idea had previously been to hold elections for a new president in October this year, Segura has been ‘unanimously approved by the AFA board to see out the rest of what would have been Grondona’s mandate.’ That means Segura will be AFA president (and take the association’s CONMEBOL seat as FIFA VP) until October next year.

That was all Cherquis said to the TV cameras; the other stories regarding the announcements are from journalists tweeting what they’ve been told following this evening’s board meeting. A committee of directors will on Thursday meet with former Paraguay, Newell’s Old Boys and Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino and offer him the national team job. Whilst I was writing this post, Luis Segura himself confirmed this. This isn’t a surprise at all; Martino is by a distance the outstanding candidate for the job, bearing in mind that other favourites such as José Pekerman and Diego Simeone are currently employed and want to respect their contracts.

And now rumours have come out regarding what the Primera División will look like next season. When it kicks off this weekend (it was meant to be last weekend, but Grondona’s death meant a cancellation of all footballing activities in the country for seven days), the Primera will witness one last short championship before expanding to thirty teams and a year-round calendar in February. At least, that was the plan before Grondona kicked the bucket.

What’s emerged this evening is a different plan – and it should be stressed these are only possibilities at the moment. It seems that with clubs uneasy about a year-round calendar, the first half of 2015 could now see another ‘transition championship’, this time with thirty teams, before the previously-planned season-long thirty-team championship begins in August 2015, to run through to May 2016.

In other words, one of the main reasons for even having a transitional championship – switching to a calendar more in keeping with the southern hemisphere seasons – could be going out of the window, whilst the other reason – the stupid reason of expanding the Primera to thirty teams who’ll play each other only once per season(!) – would remain.

Players who’ve recently renewed or extended contracts (or who’ve just signed for a club) have contracts running through to December 2015. That, if this second change did happen, would be halfway through the season. Argentine football would still have a gap of a couple of months during the winter (when, certainly compared with northern Europe, it’s relatively mild and games could definitely take place) as well as a gap of a couple of months in the summer (when it’s stinking hot and playing competitive matches would be actively dangerous).

Confused? Well, at least you don’t have to write about it…

Posted in AFA, Argentine national team, Luis Segura, Primera A | Tagged , , , ,

Riquelme returns to Argentinos Juniors

Oh, hello. It’s been a while, as it normally is. I shan’t bore you with more promises of more frequent updates this time, I’ll just post this one and we’ll see what happens next, shall we? The Argentine Primera kicks off a week on Friday, and it will do so without Juan Román Riquelme, who’s finally left Boca Juniors and returned to Argentinos Juniors. I’ve written about it for ESPNFC, and you can read the article here.

If that link takes you to a ‘pick your language’ splash page, then select English, allow the home page to load, leave that tab open and click the link above again. It’ll load okay the second time round.

Posted in Argentinos Juniors, B Nacional, Juan Román Riquelme, Other football sites | Tagged , ,

Argentina v Bosnia-Herzegovina: a couple of World Cup previews

The day is finally upon us. I type at 4am on Sunday, 15th June 2014 – although I have yet to go to bed, for a significant portion of my readership Argentina’s World Cup opener against Bosnia-Herzegovina in the new Maracanã is already ‘today’. So, ahead of this first test, what are the key points, and where on the pitch are the key battles going to be fought? I’ve got a couple of previews already online.

  • First, have a read of this piece on Club Metro, in which I take a look at the tactical options open to manager Alejandro Sabella, and consider the significance of the 2-0 win Argentina recorded in St. Louis last November in the sides’ most recent meeting.
  • Then check out this one on ESPNFC, in which Bosnia-Herzegovina correspondent Sasa Ibrulj and I give our opinions on both sides’ strengths and weaknesses, and finish up by trying to predict the result (it’s just possible Sasa knows a bit more about Argentina than I do about Bosnia-Herzegovina).

Since ESPNFC’s redesign, some links from external sites seem to have gone a bit funny, so if the second link above doesn’t work, go to their homepage (espnfc.com), and do a search for ’50-50 Argentina Bosnia’ or similar, and it should pop up. And please, if you like either (or both!) of these pieces, feel free to share them!

Posted in Alejandro Sabella, Argentine national team, Lionel Messi, World Cup | Tagged , , ,