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Ralsina.Me — Roberto Alsina's website

Life imitates art. Not too good art, though.

Imag­ine the most ridicu­lous­ly over-the-­top cliche movie about sport­s. Here are some of the in­gre­di­ents, and how last night´s match be­tween Bo­ca and Riv­er com­pares in a 1/10 scale.

  • A bit­ter ri­­val­ry

    9 This is a cen­­tu­ry-old ri­­val­ry, be­tween teams from the same city, who hap­pen to be the most suc­cess­­ful and pop­u­lar teams in the coun­try.

    Trust me, this is se­ri­ous stuff. So se­ri­ous, that for se­cu­ri­­ty rea­­son­s, it was the first time ev­er in ar­­gen­­tine foot­ball his­­to­ry that the vis­it­ing team´s fans were for­bid­­den from at­­tend­ing the match.

  • It must be an im­­por­­tant match

    9 It was a do-or-die af­­fair, it be­ing elim­i­­na­­to­ry home­­-and-­­away, but it was on­­ly the semi­­fi­­nal of the most im­­por­­tant club tour­­na­­ment pos­si­ble for them, the Lib­er­­ta­­dores Cup (S.Am. equiv­­a­­lent of the Cham­pi­ons League).

    It would have been bet­ter for this to be the fi­­nal, but there has nev­er been a same-­­coun­try fi­­nal in this tour­­na­­ment (that I know), so this was as good as it get­s.

  • A clear favourite

    5 The first match (at Bo­­ca´s home) was won by Bo­­ca 1-0, but Riv­er could have won 2-1 or so, had they been even slight­­ly lucky (Bo­­ca´s coach is rec­og­nized as the luck­­i­est man on earth by some).

    Riv­er had kicked Bo­­ca´s butt all over the field a few weeks ago, play­ing ten times bet­ter, but...

    Bo­­ca has River´s num­ber, and has had it for ten years or so. Bo­­ca has won close, and has won clear, has won at home and away, has won in lo­­cal, in­­ter­­na­­tion­al and friend­­ly match­es, has won de­serv­ing­­ly and has won by sheer luck. But they have won al­­most ev­ery­thing for 5 or 6 years, in­­­clud­ing three of these cup­s, and two In­­ter­­con­ti­­nen­­tal cups against the Cham­pi­ons League win­n­er, so... noone was go­ing to say Riv­er was a clear favourite. At al­l.

  • A hos­tile en­vi­ron­­ment

    9 The largest hos­tile crowd in ar­­gen­­tine foot­ball his­­to­ry. 66000 chan­t­ing, blood­­thirsty Riv­er fan­s. And in the mid­­dle of it, about 20 Bo­­ca play­er­s, coach­es and as­­sis­­tants. Scary stuff.

    It was­n´t Brazil-U­ruguay in 1950, but then again, there has nev­er been any­thing like Brazil-U­ruguay in 1950 (and nev­er could be again).

  • Ridicu­lous sus­pense.

    9 Bo­­ca came 1-0 ahead. Riv­er scored, evening the ag­­gre­­gate.

    Bo­­ca play­er ejec­t­ed. Things look grim for them.

    Then Riv­er lost two play­ers in the same play (one ejec­t­ed, one in­­jured, no re­­place­­ments avail­able).

    In the 89th min­ute, Bo­­ca scores. They are now ahead.

    In the 94th min­ute(!) Riv­er scores, all even. Pe­nal­ties.

    The first 8 pe­nal­ties are scored. It comes down to the last pe­nal­­ty for each team. The riv­er play­er mis­s­es! It all is now in the hands of a sin­­gle play­er, and a sin­­gle kick. Which brings us to...

  • The un­­like­­ly hero

    9 The guy is 21. He is not even a reg­u­lar sub­­sti­­tute, but all the reg­u­lar pe­nal­­ty shoot­ers are for some rea­­son un­able to take them, they have been ejec­t­ed, or re­­placed, or in­­jured.

    So, he takes it, he scores, Bo­­ca win­s, and 66000 looks as if some­one has played a evil trick with their gut­s.

Man, I love this game.


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