February 14, 2010

2010 Copa Libertadores, Second Stage.

Filed under: Argentina,Copa Libertadores — admin @ 5:05 pm


Note- I still am having a few problems with my admin. I have got a handle on inserting images via code, but I can’t figure out how to make links to other sites.

Below are two sets of images relating to the Cup-Holders, Estudiantes de La Plata…

Estudiantes de La Plata. La Plata, Buenos Aires state, Argentina. 4-time Copa Libertadores champions.

Estudiantes won 3 straight Copa Libertadores titles, in 1968, 1969, and 1970. This squad featured Juan Ramón Verón. His son, Juan Sebastián Verón, a midfielder, began at Estudiantes, where he helped the club return to the Argentinian top flight in 1995, before moving on to Boca Juniors in 1996, where he played 17 games (3 goals), and was a team-mate of Diego Maradonna. Verón had always dreamed of playing for Sheffield United (his uncle Pedro Verde played there). However, it was to Italy he went shortly after making his international debut in the summer of 1996, when he was signed by Sven-Göran Eriksson at Sampdoria. After two seasons in Genoa with Sampdoria, Verón signed with Parma, with whom Verón helped win the Coppa d’Italia and the UEFA Cup in 1998-99. Sven Goran Ericksson again sought the talents of the playmaking midfielder, and brought Verón over to Lazio. With Lazio, Verón helped the Roman side win the Double in 1999-2000 (this was Lazio’s second and last national title).

Juan Sebastián Verón then tried his luck in England, but he didn’t have nearly the success he had in Italy, with tepid stints at Manchester United and Chelsea. The pace basically got the better of Verón in England. In 2004, Chelsea manager José Mourinho loaned out Verón to Internazionale, and after two years in this situation, Verón decided to return back to his and his father’s original club, in a sort of prodigal son role. Estudiantes were undergoing a giant disruption, because they were homelesss following the government ruling that banned wooden stands, and Estudiantes had 2 wooden stands at their ‘Estadio 1 y 57′ (aka Estadio Jorge Luis Hirschi). A waiver on the wooden stands ruling, which would have allowed Estudiantes to continue to play in the ’1 y 57′, was overruled by the mayor of La Plata, and this started the feuding between the local government and Estudiantes over the whole stadium issue.
Meanwhile, in his first year back with Estudiantes, Verón helped the club win it’s first national championship in 23 years, as the Pincharattas (the rat-stabbers) claimed the 2006-Apertura title. In the intervening 3 years, Estudiantes have played their home matches in 3 different venues, and currently are playing at the stadium of second-level club Quilmes (who are located in the southeast of Greater Buenos Aires, which puts them around 35 kilometers away from Estudiantes’ La Plata home). In spite of all this, in early 2009 the Estudiantes squad were able to keep their composure and progress through the stages of the Copa Libertadores, and after dispatching Uruguay’s Nacional 3-1 aggregate in the semifinals, Estudiantes were set to face Cruzeiro of Belo Horizonte, Brazil in the finals. Throughout the tournament, Estudiantes were powered by the field general Verón, and the goals of striker Mauro Boselli. And it was these two who were instrumental in the outcome, when, after a nil-nil draw in the first leg in La Plata, Mauro Boselli scored the winning goal in Brazil in the 78th minute, on a header, from a corner kick by Verón. Verón won MVP for the competition, and Boselli was top scorer, with 8 goals.

The stadium had began being rebuilt in August, 2008, and as the last photo (taken in August 2009) shows, most of the main structure is up. Verón has contributed some of his own funds toward the new stadium’s construction, as well as to the club’s nice new training facilities just north of La Plata. Observers note he is positioning himself as the future president of the club, after retirement. The stadium is projected to be ready for play in a not-completely-finished state in late 2010. So soon Estudiantes will be back home, playing in a new 30,000-capacity stadium, on the site of their old and distinctive ground, with the luxurious canopy of trees which flanks the exterior still intact.




Thanks to the contributors to the pages at; I found the photo of the new stadium under construction there. There is also a nice blog covering the construction progress at the Estadio Tierra de Campeones’ , at
Thanks to Sam Kelly for help on this post. Sam’s work can be found at his excellent Hasta El Gol Siempre site, which covers the Argentinian scene (click on it at the Blogroll in the sidebar at right, at ‘hasta el gol siempre’), and at The site (at the Blogroll on the right under ‘the’). Plus there is the Sam Kelly archive at (on the Blogroll at ‘Sam Kelly @ ESPN soccernet’).

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