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domingo, 12 de diciembre de 2010

The expected return of Independiente (Yahoo)

After 15 years of absence in the International contests and living a deep crisis, Independiente consecrated this week as Champion of the Copa Sudamericana (Southamerican Cup) and in this manner returns to the International panorama of which it was the fundamental protagonist between the years sixties and mid of the nineties.

Independiente won in all their history 16 International trophies of which seven correspond to the Copa Libertadores, the most important contest of the Southamerican Continent, two of the Supercopa, contest that in the last decade have been substituted by the Southamerican, two of the Intercontinental won in 1973 vs the Juventus in Rome and in 1984 over Liverpool in Tokyo, one Southamerican Recopa in 1995 and three Interamerican disputed against teams of the Concacaf (Football Confederation of Center and North America and the Caribbean).

For many years Independiente as known as Southamerican “Red devils”, as the “King of Cups” because they were growing in the competitions of cups, specially in the Copa Libertadores, that they won first for two consecutive years in 1964 and 1965, but particularly with the four consecutive obtained between 1972 and 1975 until the River Plate forced their elimination in a third match of breaking the tie in 1976 in semi finals.

But since the departure of their great idol for two decades who never changed the vest, Ricardo Bochini, one of the greatest talents in his very rich history, Independiente start slowly falling in a great crisis that was leading them to lose identity of their game, afterwards even being left without their big stadium, called “The double cement eyeshade” , one of the first opened in Argentina and that was demolished to build in that place the “Libertadores de América”, adapted to the new times and recently reopened.

Playing in others stadium as local for many months, with teams that every six months changed names and coaches and of course, of game systems and with their fans accustomed to win trophies, angry and even raging for the first time in their history with their directives and even the players, Independiente lived for the first time the torture of hell that could also send them to second division and in fact, the average (a system that is used in Argentina taking into account the three last complete seasons) continues being low, thought it has improved a little.

Independiente did not arrive very strong to the Copa Sudamericana in 2010. Conduced by Américo Gallego, the same with whom they won their last local championship, the Aperture Contest 2002, many believed that the coach as well as their goaler Andrés Silvera, that returned to the club after years in San Lorenzo and in the Mexican football, symbolized a return of the times of Glory and for moments it was so in the past Closing Contest, finally won by the Argentinos Juniors when the reds fall in their game in the clue moment.

The directives nor the fans supported another fall of a team that in the last years has not been the protagonist and was too accustomed to lose and with Gallego there also left the manager Cesar Luis Menotti, of a confused performance in that time.

Gallego was substituted by an internal duplet of ex players of great prestige and integrated in the legendary team of the seventies, as Francisco Sá and Elbio Ricardo Pavoni, but in a short time a young coach was contracted, Antonio Mohamed, ex player in the nineties and proceeded from good campaign in Huracán and Colón of Santa Fe.

The president of Independiente, Julio Comparada, maintains that Mohamed signed a paper, firmly kept now which read “to win over Racing the classic of Avellaneda and obtain the Copa Sudamericana”, as objectives for what remained of 2010. And he got it. With a complicated job and suffering a lot, vs Goiás of Brazil, that descended to Second Division in their country, after losing 2-0 in Brazil and winning 3-1 in Argentina (in this definition the goal as guest did not count)

In that way, Independiente not only automatically classified for the previous phase of the Copa Libertadores 2011, the contest they like to play most but that as Champion of the Copa Sudamericana they have the right to play the Soruga Bank Cup vs a Japanese team and the Recopa Sudamericana 2011 vs the Inter of Brazil, champion of the Copa Libertadores 2010.

In that way, Independiente has the chance in 2011 to win three trophies more and arrive to the nineteen and remain in the first place in the World as team that won the major quantity of cups, place that today occupy Boca Juniors and the Milan with eighteen each of them.

It does not seem yet that Independiente found a team as those victorious of the years sixties, when they had to confront versus a hard Inter of Italy in terrific Intercontinental finals in 1964 y 1965, or as that of the four Copas Libertadores of the sixties, or that of the mythic cup as of the eighties when José Pekerman with his goal left behind the great Liverpool of Ian Rush. Not even as team as that with two different coaches, Miguel Brindisi and Miguel Angel López, won consecutively the two Supercopa 1994 and 1995.

These are different times and Independiente continues looking for an identity and at the same time, regularity. But it is not bad to find them meanwhile at least they go out of a phase to be forget thus to come back to the ground of the winers with a trophy that will put them in the competition between the greats cups teams in the world.

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