Santos celebrate 100 years: Lessons from South America

Charlie Reynolds looks back at another eventful week in South American football - both on and off the pitch

By Charlie Reynolds

Santos celebrate 100th anniversary

Brazil’s most famous club, Santos, celebrated their 100th anniversary this weekend and while they are most known for being the team of footballing icon Pelé, the world football’s brightest young talent, Neymar, plies his trade at Vila Belmiro. In Pelé’s 18 years at the club they won an incredible 10 state and six Brazilian titles as well as winning the Copa Libertadores, and the Intercontinental Cup twice. Neymar’s rejection of a big money move to Europe in favour of staying at Santos, coupled with his electric performances on the pitch have already made him a club idol and he remains their best hope of trophies in their centenary year.

Basile quits after fiery Avellaneda derby ends in gun drama

Former Argentina coach Alfio Basile resigned as manager of Racing Club after this weekend’s 4-1 humiliation to bitter local rivals Independiente in the Avellaneda clasico. Racing had two players sent off, including controversial Colombian forward Teófilo Gutiérrez, who senselessly received his fourth red card at the club for insulting the referee. The drama however did not end there as Gutiérrez’s team-mates confronted him in the changing room after the game where the forward allegedly brandished a paintball gun at them threateningly. Racing’s president Gaston Cogorno has since said that Gutiérrez will not play for the club again.

Boca striker Silva breaks fingers fighting fans

Boca Juniors’ burly Uruguayan striker Santiago Silva has become the latest player to join the club’s lengthy injury list after getting into a fist-fight with supporters of another club. Silva got into the brawl following his side’s 2-1 defeat at Tigre on Sunday, when fans of the club started abusing him and his team-mates as they were boarding their bus. The loss was Boca’s first in 19 away games although the club remain at the top of the table.

Cabañas makes emotional return

Former Paraguay striker Salvador Cabañas made an incredible, and emotional, return to playing football this weekend, just 27 months after being shot in the head in a bar in Mexico City. The 31-year-old, who still has the bullet embedded in his brain after doctors considered it took dangerous to remove, played 40 minutes for third division side 12 de Octubre, the club where he began his career in 1997. It marked an incredible recovery for the player who had been set to shine at the 2010 World Cup before the terrible shooting.

Ronaldiñho’s Flamengo crash out of Libertadores

Ronaldiñho and his Flamengo teammates were made to rue their inability to close out previous games as they failed to get past the group stage in this year’s Copa Libertadores. Although the Rio de Janeiro club did everything they could to ensure progress, comfortably beating group leaders Lanus 3-0, they also required a draw between Emelec and Olimpia to go through. In the end Ecuador’s Emelec beat Paraguayans Olimpia 3-2 in a highly entertaining tie. The game was tied at 1-1 in the 87th minute before Emelec scored what looked like the winner. However Olimpia had other ideas and two minutes into injury time they equalised, meaning Flamengo would go through. Although the celebrations of the Brazilians would prove to be short-lived as a minute later Emelec scored again, to settle the match and ensure their progress.

Goal of the Week: Dorlan Pabon’s screamer for Atlético Nacional

This edition’s goal of the week came from Dorlan Pabon, who smashed a vicious swerving free-kick into the top corner of the net from 40 yards out. The goal was Colombian side Atlético Nacional’s second in their 3-0 Copa Libertadores thrashing of Uruguayan side Peñarol last week.


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