South America wrap: Brazil’s Neymar nets winner against Argentina
Neymar netted Brazil's winner in an exciting first leg of the Superclásico de las Americas, writes Charlie Reynolds
Neymar gives Brazil lead in Superclásico first leg
Neymar’s injury-time penalty proved to be the difference for Brazil as they recorded a 2-1 victory over Argentina in the first leg of the Superclásico de las Americas in Goias last week. The annual match-up of the two fierce footballing rivals consists of teams picked entirely from home-based players, giving Brazil, whose league still contains many of the countries more established stars, a major advantage. Argentina took an unexpected lead through Juan Manuel Martínez midway through the first half, but Brazil soon levelled through Paulinho. Brazil, as expected, dominated the rest of the game, but the home fans had a nervous wait until deep until injury-time for the winner they craved. A handball from Leandro Desabato inside his own area gave Brazil a late chance to snatch victory from the penalty spot and Neymar made no mistake. Argentina will be out for revenge and an unlikely upset in the return leg on October 3 at the Bicentenario stadium in Resistencia.
Colombian club could hand back drug money titles
Bogota’s Millonarios could hand back two of their 13 league titles, according to club president Felipe Gaitan, because the successful campaigns were funded by drug money. The titles in question are the 1987 and 1988 wins, when drug lord Gonzalo ‘The Mexican’ Rodriguez Gacha was the side’s largest shareholder, and the country was ravaged by ongoing drug wars. However while the returning of titles has been discussed, the club have not confirmed they will be. “It is a possibility we are considering. It’s too early to come to a decision yet,” Gaitain told local radio. If the club do go ahead with the move, it would create an interesting dilemma for other clubs in the country, as Millionarios are not alone in allegedly having received money from drug cartels. The infamous Pablo Escobar is said to have had influence in the running of Atletico Nacional and America de Cali were previously funded by the Rodriguez Orejuela brothers.
Ganso swaps Santos for Sao Paulo
Brazilian starlet Ganso left Santos this week and joined his former employer’s rivals Sao Paulo for an undisclosed fee. The announcement of the attacking midfielder signing a five-year deal ended protracted negiotiations between the two sides. Sao Paulo, who had been looking to bring in a replacement for PSG-bound Lucas Moura, own 45 per cent of the 22-year-old’s economic rights, with the remaining 55 per cent owned by investment company DIS. “I am very happy with this move. This is a dream come true. I can’t wait to repay them for all they’ve done to sign me,” Ganso said on completing the transfer. Santos’ refusal to meet his demands for a significant wage rise had led Ganso to look for a move away from the club and although Flamengo and Gremio showed an interest in the youngster, Sao Paulo were his preferred choice.
Maradona to add to hat-trick
Diego Maradona is set to become a father for the fourth time following the announcement that he and his girlfriend, Veronica Ojeda, are expecting their first child together. His 34-year-old girlfriend confirmed the rumours that were circulating, telling Argentine gossip site Ciudad: “I’m four months pregnant”. The legendary footballer already has two daughters from his first marriage, one of whom, Giannina, is married to Manchester City star Sergio Aguero. Meaning that Sergio and Giannina’s three-year-old son, Benjamin has arguably the best footballing genes in the world. Maradona also has a son, Diego Sinagra, who currently plays for El Porvenir in the fourth tier of Argentine football, and controversially claims to be a fan of River Plate – the bitter rivals of his father’s beloved Boca Juniors.
Goal of the week – Internacional’s Damião’s stunner against Bahia
The Brazilian youngster seals victory for his side with a thumping volley from outside the area.