El Aniversario Del Parque

Champions at last
Champions at last

The talk this week is all about the preparations for Saturday’s World Cup qualifying match against Colombia, inevitably, so rather than bore you with talk of superstar players (and Gabriel Heinze) running round a field in Buenos Aires Province, HEGS is taking a trip down memory lane today. Tuesday saw the 35th anniversary of an historic title win: the first top flight championship in Newell’s Old Boys’ history. They won it in the sweetest way possible: in their opponents’ stadium at the end of arguably the country’s most passionate derby, the clásico rosarino.

The triumph was all the sweeter because Newell’s fell 2-0 down midway through the second half, but still managed to draw 2-2 thanks to a left-footed volley from just outside the area from captain Mario Zanabria. Just nine minutes of the ninety were left when Newell’s equalised, and they heldn on. The draw gave them the 1974 Torneo Metropolitano title, the first of their five First Division trophies to date. It was also, surely, the way any fan dreams of seeing their club win the league.

The club were on Tuesday organising events at El Coloso Del Parque to mark the anniversary (I can’t confirm whether or not they asked Central if they could use the site of the triumph itself), including a match between veterans of the 1974 side and members of the current squad. If anyone’s able to tell us how the game finished, please do – I’m off to bed now. Feliz aniversario to Newell’s fans everywhere, and commiserations, after 35 years, to the Canalla

Videos of the match are, unsurprisingly, nigh-on impossible to track down on the net, but here’s the radio commentary of ‘la zurda mágica‘, Zanabria’s crucial equalising goal.

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4 thoughts on “El Aniversario Del Parque

  1. Because Rosario is so very isolated from the rest of the world and because the area turns out great players and because fans of the 2 major clubs are argentine -simply put – (passion!!), i’d prefer attending a clásico rosarino over a superclasico!

    um, for now, currently, that is, i think, well could i attend both?

  2. I’d love to read some ‘El Gráfico’ s or other magazines of this period. I think I’ve said before, right up to the early 90s, coverage of Argentine soccer in the UK was virtually nil, other than a list of results in magazines such as ‘Match’, and maybe a monthly column in ‘World Soccer’.

    I reckon hardly anyone in the UK would have heard of this at the time, or have even heard of Newell’s Old Boys club… the only Argentinian clubs known around this time would presumably have been the ones that had taken part in the World Club games like Racing and Estudiantes. I doubt that even River Plate would have been well known.

    I vividly remember being about 15 at school, and a mate of mine looking at the list of Argentine results and their initially strange club names in my magazine and going ‘ha ha, Newell’s Old Boys, Mike Newell’s Old Boys?’ Neither of us would have even known what colours Newell’s played in at that time (80s) and certainly didn’t know any of the players. Then came satellite TV, and by the mid 90s, I knew all of them!

    Whatever you think of the concept of ‘globalization’, all this technology means that anyone can access as much information and video coverage about Jose Sand or Pablo Luguercio as about Gareth Barry or Peter Crouch, and that is terrific.

  3. Just looked up June 3rd and 4th 1974 in The Times and Daily Mirror archives to see if Newell’s title was reported in either.
    The answer was no.

    Splashed all over the back pages was news of Kevin Keegan getting beaten up by police at Belgrade Airport for apparently swearing at a Communist official. Maybe he said ‘I would love it, LOVE IT, if the Berlin Wall came down’ ?

    Among other items considered by the British press to be more important than this momentous piece of football history in Rosario were ‘Tour Match – Queensland 0 Chelsea 1 (abandoned at half time)’ and ‘Susan Barker wins first major tennis title – Sussex Grass Court Championships’.

    I’m rather glad to be living in 2009, I think, where I can watch the clásico rosarino live on JTV :-)

  4. I just missed being in Rosario for this championship, living there between 1969-1974. I have memories of the players of that time, and on Newell’s none was better than their captain and playmaker, Mario Zanabria.

    What I find truely amazing about this Metropolitano 1974 was that the league was broken up into two groups of ten. Where most Argentine championships now as well as then were dominated by the teams from Buenos Aires. Not so in this case, Central topped the on group, Newell’s the other.

    There was then a final tournament between the top two teams from each group. At the end of this mini tournie, Newell’s claimed the championship, and it was Central who were runners up.

    Not only was this the first win for Newell’s, but it was the first time ever that the top two teams did not feature at least one team from BA.

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