'Does my bum look big in this?'
Cristina gets a free shirt for bailing out football.
With the delayed Apertura finally due to commence within hours I’ll revisit the post about transfers from a few weeks ago (http://realfootballargentina.blogspot.com/2009/06/transfer-chat.html). Remember, this is Argentina – things are rarely as simple as the selling club receiving all of the revenue, previous clubs, business consortiums and various other parties may all get a share. Far from an exhaustive list, what follows are some deals and potential deals that have caught my eye.
I’ll start with the world’s most prolific striker – Lucas Barrios who’s moved from Colo Colo (Chile) to Borussia Dortmund for €4.5m. A significant intra-European transfer is Lisandro López – moving from Porto to Olympique Lyonnais for €24m in a four year deal. Back in Argentina – if you’re tempted to put some cash on Huracán to go one better this season think again, midfielder Javier Pastore has moved to Palermo for 5 years, with el Globo seeing little if any of the fee. Matias Defederico is on the verge of moving to Corinthians (of Brazil not England) although Huracán’s official website insists that he’ll be staying on for another 6 months. Reports in the English press also allude to an unnamed English club (Liverpool?) making an eleventh hour bid. Defender Carlos Araujo is on his way to AEK Athens subject to a medical. One positive for coach Cappa is that Mario Bolatti will continue to play for the team, albeit for 6 months. Without Pastore and Defederico to light up the play things will be a lot different.
Onto River where35 year old Matias Almeyda is the latest recruit to join Dads Army. Ariel Ortega is back from his Mendocino exile and raring to go after scoring in his return match against Everton (England). For now Diego Buonanotte remains but Colombian striker Radamel Falcao has departed for Porto at a cost of €4m. Paraguayan midfielder Miguel Paniagua has joined the Millionaires (surely time to change that nickname) from Guarani on a 1 year loan with an option to buy.
At Boca Juniors forward Rodrigo Palacio has finally moved to Europe with Genoa (the irony!) where Luciano Figueroa has also returned to. On the subject of Genoa Diego Milito has moved to Internazionale which should increase Palacio’s chances of getting some games. It is to be hoped the stylish Italians have a word with Rodrigo about ‘that haircut’. Hugo Ibarra was on the verge of quitting the club a few weeks ago but got all sentimental and decided to stay on much to the relief of fans. Chilean midfielder Gary Medel has joined on loan from Universidad Católica.
If further evidence were needed of the global appeal of Argentine talent Independiente are a great example – Daniel Montenegro has gone to Mexican side América for $3.5m, Hernán Fredes moves to Metalist in the Ukraine and Leandro Gioda goes to Jerez, Spain on loan. Forward Andres Silvera joins from San Lorenzo where he hopes to get paid on time – good luck. Neighbours Racing have lost a significant amount of talent (see earlier post) but have recruited from the dark side – Damián Ledesma arrives from Independiente. Defender Franco Sosa is the latest departure moving to Lorient of France for 3 years €800k.
San Lorenzo could have a page dedicated to themselves, interesting times for Simeone learning all those new names – I’ll keep it brief, Bergessio still remains the club will need his fighting spirit (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoA76V09LCg). Midfielder Leandro Romagnoli puts heart over head and returns from Sporting Lisbon despite interest from Fluminense and goalkeeper Pablo Migliore joins from Boca. Cristian Ledesma returns to Olympiakos. Veteran Kily Gonzalez arrives from Rosario Central.
Some others: Clasura champions Vélez have been relatively quiet although striker Joaquin Larrivey has returned back to Cagliari after his loan spell. Lanús have lost prolific striker José Sand to the footballing mecca that is Al Ain in the UAE in exchange for $10m, another striker 19 year old Eduardo Salvio is also interesting Fiorentina who are ready to bid around €10m. Champions of America Estudiantes will continue to be inspirationally led by Verón who has taken a 40% paycut in order to fund youth football – what a legend! Gastón Fernández – scorer of the equaliser against Cruzeiro in the Copa Libertadores final has returned to Tigres of Mexico after his loan spell.
Transfer revenue may be less, but a similar pattern remains – young hopefuls go one way and the veterans come the other. Pastore could well have stayed at least another season with Huracán and earned himself a move to an A-list European club under the instruction of Cappa. Unfortunately the player was no doubt the last person to be aware of his next move.
Enjoy the season.