Once Upon An Argentinian Football Game

Ma voglio viverla cosi quest' avventura,
Senza frontiere e con il cuore in gola.

Once upon a time, in the Land of Argentina, there were two football teams:

—Club Atlético Independiente de Paraná, a team that could distinguished by their red and black uniforms and Brazilian coach Mateo Gonçalves…

—And Club Atlético Diestafano, a team coached by the Argentinian Damian Anzaldúa that donned blue and white jerseys.

Both hailed from Rosario City in Argentina, and both had a dying passion to win the Copa Libertadores. And to add even more spice to the local rivalry, they also had a dying hate for each other. Ask any fan, and they could easily recall the transfer of central midfielder Charly Bosio from Independiente to Diestafano.

"He had no spine, that Charly Bosio. He swapped from Independiente to Diestefano under everyone's watch, and didn't seem to have any guilt at all! Feigning injury just so he could take a day off to find a way for Independiente to pay for him—the move of a coward!" one former fan would say.

"It was bound to happen—he had so much vision and creativity on the field, there's no chance that he would have stayed longer with such a defensive coach like Anzaldúa. I only wish that he stayed longer to play the whole season. Leaving at such a moment, with Independiente buying out Bosio…It's almost criminal," would say another.

But in the end, the truth is best told by the old man in the rocking chair: "To me, it made more sense for him to leave than to stay."

"First of all, Anzaldúa is a strict coach with his formations. Charly was always about surprising everyone with risky plays, betting on people being worse than him, betting on his stamina, betting on anything that saw the light of day…It would have been inevitable for him to be put in the closet for a while eventually. Second of all, it was clear that the forwards resented him for making the more stylish plays and getting the attention. In that match in last year's First Division, it was clear that the highlights and the fans favored him just a little bit more. Lastly, he needs his career to grow. Gonçalves is incredibly fluid with the form of his team and is able to adapt quickly, and he would no doubt provide Bosio with the chance to grow. I get if fans are angry at him for leaving, for he really was one of the best players, but the team is managing fine on their own with their 5-2-1-2 formation.

"Besides, he looks better in red and black anyway!"

Even then, Charly's story has been a clear reason for the rivalry of Indpendiente de Paraná and Atlético Diestefano, but the story of Charly Bosio is a tale for another time, for something greater is afoot: The final match for the Copa Libertadores.

On one side of the stadium, their fans knew that they, Independiente de Paraná, were bound for greatness.

After a great campaign in the First Division, and forming what most consider a Golden Generation with a new coach, Independiente de Paraná managed to get second place, 4 points behind first after 2 heart-breaking draws in the last 3 matches of the competition. Still, they were eligible to enter the Copa Libertadores, the biggest club competition in the continent.

Gonçalves was proud to call his team his own: His team's roster consisted of the 11 players needed for a game, and one substitute; the team's fighting spirit and the coach's caring attitude led them far without burning out too much, and they were all treated as brothers in the same family. As such, after winning a relatively easy group, and eliminating a Peruvian team easily in the second round, they advanced to the Quarter Finals in the Copa Libertadores against the one of the best teams in the tournament.

There was no cause for any fear though, because with unbelievable plays and goals, and an understanding of the ball that seemed like "magic", they annihilated the Paraguayan team, in both legs. Thanks to their coordination and communication as a team, they reacted with timing that can only be described as telepathy, especially with several assisted goals from their newest member, the stocky Charly Bosio, and their number 10 deep within enemy defenses, the lean and quick Marcelo Gomez.

When they proceeded to the Semi-Finals they met their toughest opponent yet. One of the surprises of the tournament, an Equatorian team, made things hard for them from the first minute. Winning only by 2 - 1 in their home stadium, Independiente de Paraná was only able to draw 1 - 1 after their second leg, which was enough to make them eligible for the Final round for their second time in history (the first time was a final in the early 1950s which they lost after conceding 2 goals in the last 10 minutes).

They had been celebrating all the week, enjoying city life and relaxing their extreme training regimen, until they found out their last rival was no other than their biggest rivals and neighbors…Club Atlético Diestafano…

The crowd on the other side of the stadium, filled with fans of Club Atlético Diestafano, felt less confident.

Diestafano, after hiring a new manager to coach the players in the First Division, had a mediocre season, finishing only 15th. The only reason he wasn't fired was because they managed to win the Copa Argentina, after an exciting (and really lucky) campaign in the competition, showing a highly defensive yet passionate style, never relenting at any moment. After winning in the Final against the champion of the First Division league in Argentina, Atlético Diestafano qualified for their 3rd time in history to the Copa Libertadores.

Anzaldúa was best described as a fish in a frenzy, teetering slightly in the wake of the mediocre season, but desperately making sure that he and his team would be prepared to win in his name. He energized himself and his team after it finally struck him that they were heading to the Copa Libertadores, and for the days and weeks leading up to the event, he never relented in training and coaching. He treated his team like sons, no doubt, but sons that could not afford to fail their family, their fans, or the future of their team (or at least the future of their coach).

After finishing 2nd in a tough preliminary group, they were almost disqualified in their 2nd round after suffering a 2 - 0 loss in Bolivia, but managing to draw the leg in their home game in Argentina, and won on penalties. In the Quarter Finals, they won both matches against another Argentinian team, only to meet against the favorites to win the competition, the previous champion of the tournament last season, in the Semi-finals.

In their home match they lost 1 - 2, almost signaling that their spectacular run would come to an end there, but after seeing their rivals Independiente de Paraná get to the final match, and hearing their coach's modest yet somehow aggressive speech, they entered the Brazilian stadium with hopes, and they managed to turn the tables, by winning 0 - 2, and qualifying to their first ever Copa Libertadores final!

OR there is also this:

Klaus: First, I think it would be funny if before the match Gonçalves and Anzaldúa have both a press conference, to show more their personalities and characters (maybe the can even clash out, lol)

The following are two transcriptions of interviews with coaches Gonçalves of Independiente and Anzaldúa of Diestafano. The interviews are inter-spliced for contrasting effect when appropriate.

Eventually, the day finally arrived, and the two teams

"You can't negotiate passion."

REMINDER: Maybe add footnotes for humor/drama/explanation?
REMINDER: put quote source in author discussion post. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYIIa20o6Ng

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