Banfield Campeon Torneo Apertura 2009

For the first time in its history, Club Atletico Banfield from southern Buenos Aires is champion of Argentina. Banfield agonized until the end as it went down 2-0 at Boca Juniors on the final match of the season, but its two point cushion was upheld by San Lorenzo’s victory at Banfield’s closest title rival, Newell’s Old Boys.

Congratulations to Banfield, who won the competition with great determination and team effort, fielding good players but no stars. Newell’s will dread for a long time missing an exceptional opportunity to win the title in front of its people, but can be proud of a postive campaign under the guidance of former Argentina international Roberto Sensini. With great thanks to futbolizadosarg, who put together and posted a great compilation of the most dramatic moments of the last day in the Argentine Apertura 2009, enjoy the highlights and the fiesta:

see Club Atletico Banfield wins the Argentina Apertura 2009 – Banfield Campeon

Valencia – Real Madrid

The big match of the week-end in La Liga exceeded expectations, with a five goal thriller that ended Madrid’s way. Twice the Merengues went ahead, both times through Higuain, but twice Valencia came back to set up a dramatic ending. The match was decided by a spectacular individual effort from Madrid central defender Garay, who headed in the winner while holding off an opponent and falling.

With this huge away victory, Madrid stayed in lock step with Barcelona, winner over cross town rivals Espanyol. More impressively, it did so without the services of Cristiano Ronaldo, who was suspended. Not all the news was good for Madrid. Portuguese international Pepe tore up his knee and is done for the season and, in all likelihood, will miss the World Cup as well. The player is devastated to have suffered this injury at the height of his career, but will fight to recover in the shortest possible time-frame, with the support of his team-mates.

Newly resurgent Villareal took three points at formerly resurgent Atetico, after being down 1-0 at halftime at the Calderon. The long string of poor results will push Atletico’s mood toward selling Aguero in January to Chelsea, as the agony continues for the club and its passionate supporters.

Liverpool – Arsenal

Arsenal players were frightened into delivering three points by a volcanic Arsene Wenger, who went off on his players about their first half performance at Anfield. Evidently it worked. The Gunners overturned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 win, inflicting further misery on the Merseyside club. Liverpool is out of contention on every front except for fourth place in the Premiership, good for a spot in next year’s Champions League qualifiers. No matter what the reasons, inconsistency, injuries, bad luck, Rafa’s system needs a reset. Liverpool has made a habit of losing close games and something has to give before all is lost. Babel, Insua and Aquilani must be in the first 11, for starters.


Juventus lost again, but Inter failed to capitalize once more after settling for a 1-1 draw at lowly Atalanta. By now Juve coach Ciro Ferrara must be simply a figurehead, as he will likely be replaced at the winter break, while Mourinho got into another skirmish with a journalist on the way out of Bergamo. But the worst experience of the week-end surely belongs to Berlusconi, Italy’s buffone prime minister, who had his face smashed by a deranged citizen after his team lost at home to a revamped Palermo.

There is more tension in this year’s Serie A then at any time in recent memory. While Parma, Bari and Chievo are enjoying nice campaigns, turmoil and/or drama have touched most clubs including Lazio, Sampdoria, Napoli, Roma, Livorno, Bologna, Juventus, Milan, Siena, Genoa and Inter. The emotional volatility that affects not only players and coaches, but also club officials and presidents, often stems from off the pitch incidents. Is it the aggressive media coverage? The financial pressures of the modern game? The monumental egos in the mix? Perhaps a combination of all? Season’s greetings for peace and calm.