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Montevideo, December 12th 2018 - 08:05 UTC

The only real “Summit” in Buenos Aires is hours away

Saturday, November 24th 2018 - 14:37 UTC
Full article 2 comments
One half of Argentines will have won the battle of all battles, the derby of all derbies and the other will bite the dust of defeat. One half of Argentines will have won the battle of all battles, the derby of all derbies and the other will bite the dust of defeat.

Fake bomb threats, loose World War II grenades, actual explosions that kill nobody and leave one perpetrator seriously injured at a cemetery, the mayor's entourage becoming 35 percent wealthier on average since in office, airline strikes, and the looming G20 Summit with the most prominent world leaders all in one place, an air traffic ban in addition to land circulation restrictions are just a part of the landscape to the people of Buenos Aires who are becoming more and more used to living in a war-like zone since the beginning of the century.

 What is entirely different, what has never happened before and is highly unlikely to repeat itself in the foreseeable future is just hours away - the second leg of the Libertadores Cup final between arch-rivals Boca Juniors and River Plate at 5pm local time at the latter's Monumental stadium, the same venue that saw Argentina become world football champions for the first time on June 25, 1978 led by Mario Kempes.

The first leg at Boca Juniors' Bombonera stadium ended in a 2-2 draw two weeks ago. And since there is no away goal rule for the title deciding match, everything is like back to square one.

The Boca-River (or River-Boca) derby is one of the oldest and most traditional rivalries in world football. Since the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) allowed for two teams of the same country to clash for the championship in 2005, only Brazilian squads had made it that far. Before then, whenever the possibility arose, semifinal pairings were accomodated so that finalists were to stem from different nations.

But this time around, as South American organisers strove to look even more European, they added to that allowance the ending of the home-and-away format for the Libertadores Cup finals. Starting in 2019, the title will be decided at an all-or-nothing match on a ground that may not even need to be neutral.

So what is about to happen is a first (teams from Argentina) and also a last (two-legged final). By Saturday evening a new era will have commenced among fans who, combined, represent the vast majority of Argentina's population. One half will have won the battle of all battles, the derby of all derbies and it will make for chant wordings supporters who have not yet been born will be echoing for decades as the result of legacies passed on from one generation to the next.

Compared to that, the likes of Donald Trump are just small dots in a history book which will be shelved for good in December. Some people may brush off the dust from time to time because, it almost went unnoticed, current Argentine President Mauricio Macri (one of the “leaders” at the Summit) started off his cursus honorum as president of Boca Juniors.

(MercoPress - Buenos Aires )

Categories: Argentina, Entertainment.

Top Comments

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  • Chicureo

    We here were ready to watch the big game on television and what we've seen instead is why Argentina is its own worst enemy. If they can't manage security for a football game, who can really expect them to upcoming Summit?

    Nov 24th, 2018 - 10:14 pm 0
  • Enrique Massot

    Said Security Minister Patricia Bullrich a few days before the game of the century:

    “Imagine: we are going to hold a G20...why would we not be able to control a River-Boca game?”

    Well: Bullrich and his hundreds of anti-riot men failed to ensure safe access of the players (in this case Boca's team) to the stadium.

    Bullrich, who has supported happy-trigger officers who allegedly committed crimes under her watch, has once again showed how unfit for her job she is.

    But then again, she is no worse than other equally unfit ministers, originally touted by president Macri as being “the best team of the last 50 years.”

    Nov 25th, 2018 - 04:31 am 0
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