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The Least Balanced Rivalry in the World

The Clásico Platense is known in South America as the least balanced rivalry in the world for a reason: as Estudiantes has 1 World, 4 Continental and 6 National titles, Gimnasia has nix. In this saga, Gimnasia makes one last attempt for some dignity.
Started on 27 May 2020 by Tango
Latest Reply on 18 July 2020 by J_ames
The bragging rights are yours. Enjoy!
Well that was an action packed final five. A great win in which you seemed to be on top of throughout. Now to celebrate the victory over your biggest rivals once again!
Vides leaving no doubt, unreal!
Loved the update and your way of delievering the game's action. Well done on the victory, too.
Tango's avatar Group Tango
2 yearsEdited

09: Baby steps


They say that harder than winning it, is keeping it. As defending champions, you normally feel the obligation to defend the title, as you proved to be the strongest side in the previous season. This is not the case for us. Boca and River have both made huge investments to retrieve the trophy that neither of them have lifted since 2017/18, and we are still Gimnasia.

I'm not saying that we should settle for the Sudamericana positions as the board expects. The board haven't raised my budget in the way I thought they would, but the qualification for Copa Libertadores increases our chances of attracting high quality player, and we can use this chance to jump a step and play the Copa permanently.

For one way or the other, I expect more investments to be done in the near future. Our fans showed up. As the income with sponsors and from the league are not really high in Argentina, we need our fans if we want to thrive. And they responded awesomely, by buying a shitload of season tickets, being our biggest source of income in the pre-season.


The upcoming season


For the first time ever, the Argentinean top level will be disputed in a two-turns round-robin tournament. The Copa de Superliga has been extinct, and this will be the last season ever to relegate via Promedio.

The betting websites don't expect too much from us. With a huge leap in quality and being the reining champions, we are expected to be in the middle of the pack, fighting for a Copa Libertadores spot but not being the favorites for it.

In order to strengthen our squad, we made some signings:


Most of them are young players who entered in a disagreement with their clubs and decided to join us. Three of them are coming to the main quad:

DC - Marlon Torres, 25 years old: the Colombian centre back is not the tallest defender on earth, but was born with a condition that made him have a ballistic missile in the place of his head.
DM - Santiago Sosa, 21 years old: the promising defensive mid had an argument with his manager in River and was sent packing. Gimnasia represents for him a chance to get his career back on track.
CM - Alejandro Cabrera, 28 years old: the best addition for our squad. The midfielder was in the second division side Estudiantes de Río Cuarto, but is coming to the reining champions to be in the starting team straight away. Technical, strong, and resilient, I can imagine him winning games for us.

Copa Argentina - 6th round


The first time we had an actual easy draw, we were set to face Alvarado, from Mar del Plata. Against a second tiered club, however, we failed miserably to finish our plays and had to count on a breathtaking goal from Lautaro Chávez, with 2 minutes in the added time, to send us to the penalty shoot-outs, and winning it after 16 kicks.


Replies


@Jack yup, I'm loving how he's behaving on Clásicos

@ScottT thanks m8!

@TheLFCFan better late than never. Now it is finally our chance

@Griffo he's savage in front of the keeper, goalthirsty af

@Oz98 I'm glad that my Latin American commentator thing worked out for you!
Quite a dramatic victory in the cup! A lot harder than it perhaps should have been, but the job was done in the end. Some astute signings too.
You have built something for the fans and the fans have responded fantastically. What a shootout as well!
A shame to see the board not put in much investment but I guess they are trying to be somewhat sustainable after years of failure at the club. Over time they will trust you more with the cash I am sure!
Would like to know the extent of the investments from Boca and River
I'd have been fuming if it wasn't for that 92nd minute goal by Chávez. But that must've made the penalty shootout victory all the more satisfying!

10: A Football Marathon


If you like football games you're gonna love the 2021/22 Superliga Argentina. With a season of 42 games, it only falls short to the lower leagues in English football, with the difference that they won't play Copa Libertadores in the second semester.

Regarding our club, the board is on board with us (lame pun) and they will grant our request of improving the Youth Facilities. With improved youth facilities, we aim to reveal much more good players with less spending.

Copa Argentina 2021


Remember when we faced a second division club, had to fight for a tie and won it on the alternate penalty shootouts? Well, it happened again. This time we managed to find a draw before the dying moments of the game against Almagro, but had no success on finding another goal.

Our participation in the Copa Argentina ended in the quarter finals, when we were far from recognizable and got dominated by Independiente, losing 2-0. Independiente ended up being crowned the Copa Argentina 2021 champions.

Superliga Argentina 2021/22 - first semester



Our first half of the marathon didn't go bad. We started off being smashed by Racing, and only got the first win in the 4th round, by bullying Chacarita, a recently promoted side. We managed to grab some other good wins on the way, such as the dominating 3-1 over Atlético Tucumán, a funny 4-2 win over Talleres, and another Clásico victory, with an undeserved win over Estudiantes. After a good sequence of 7 wins and 1 draw in 8 games, we had a sloppy end of semester, with losses like the home defeat against Vélez, and draws like the disappointing tie against All Boys being part of the way.

Superliga Argentina 2021/22 - Current Standings



The sloppy campaign sees us comfortably in 5th place, fighting for a Copa Libertadores 2023 spot with Independiente, San Lorenzo, and Argentinos Juniors. After some crazy seasons, a tournament with teams facing each other twice brought a little bit of stability to the system, and we cannot really appoint anyone as a big surprise there.

Continental football


The 2022 Copa Libertadores will be the return of Gimnasia to continental football since 2017, when Gimnasia was knocked out from Copa Sudamericana in the first round after drawing 0-0 with the Brazilian side Ponte Preta in Campinas and drawing against at home, this time 1-1, being eliminated on the goals scored away from home criteria.

The last time Gimnasia has played the Copa Libertadores was in 2007, when was knocked out off the group stages after 3 wins and 3 defeats. The Uruguayan side Defensor Sporting had the same amount of wins and losses, but qualified to the second round in the goal difference. After beating Defensor 3-0 in the last round, Gimnasia still fell one goal down.

The Argentine teams qualified to continental football in 2022 were:

Many expectations for the first group stage draw Gimnasia has been in since 2007. The difference between a hard group and an easy group can be told apart by the groups with or without a spot for the Preliminary rounds. Sometimes, Preliminary rounds have top flight Brazilian or Argentinean teams playing them, and they all go to the Pot 4 at the draw, so the easiest team that you should face could be actually one of the toughest. There are 4 teams coming from the Preliminary round, so the chances of facing one of them are 50/50.

As an Argentine club, Gimnasia is exempt of facing another Argentine teams, except if they come from the Preliminary round. As the draw happens before these rounds are played, they don't consider the nationality of the teams playing in.

Another upset that clubs from the southern regions of South America like to avoid is to make long travels, and even worst, to places with altitudes. The effects of the altitude in the human body are a factor to be considered in Copa Libertadores, and have created many upsets, like the recent game when the Peruvian side Deportivo Binacional defeated the giants São Paulo in their debut in Copa Libertadores 2020, in the city of Juliaca, 4,000 meters higher than the sea level. It's not usual to have an altitude that high in Libertadores, but lower altitudes, like the 2,400m of Bogotá (Colombia), the 2,800m of Quito (Ecuador), or the 3,500m of La Paz (Bolivia) are quite common.


Well, we dodged that bullet. The group is rather easy, having only the long-distance travels to worry about. A road trip from La Plata to Medellín, for instance, is 6,978km long. Thank God there are planes. None of the teams above are from cities with altitude, so it won't be a problem (the game doesn't simulate altitude anyway). I'll present our adversaries:

Atlético Nacional: the Colombian side are extremely traditional and strong, having won the Copa twice, but they are not stable. Sometimes, like in 2016, they can come up with the most beautiful football in the continent and grab the Copa. Other times, like in 2017, they send in a rubbish team and get knocked out in the first round.

Blooming: the Bolivian side seldom participates in Libertadores, this being their 9th participation (who am I to say anything, it's three times more than Gimnasia). Blooming normally are eliminated in the group stage, having reached the semifinal once in 1985.

Deportivo Táchira: the Venezuelan side with the bigger amount of participations in Copa Libertadores, being in the Copa for the 25th time. They normally get knocked out in the group stages or in the Preliminary round, when they play it. They are a usual source of goals for teams needing a boost in the goal difference.

With these rivals, and depending on Atlético Nacional's form, we can hope to eventually win the group, avoid a better team on the 2nd round and get thrashed at the quarter finals by any continental giant. I hope we can have some fun in the mean time.

Replies


@ScottT that's the Copa Argentina, apparently. Smaller clubs make it rough and cause lots of upsets along the way

@Jack indeed, I was really pleased by the way our fans showed up. Made quite a difference

@TheLFCFan the board is using the money to invest on youth facilities, but there is a lot of money left already

@Griffo I think the best way I can bring it up is by showing their transfer activity this season. Here for Boca's and here for River's. Their power mostly consists on being capable of selling players for values I can't right now

@Zed well, I was still fuming hahahahaha
With how the past couple of campaigns have gone, I think the aim of the club should now be to hit those top five spots every season :P It seems Atlético Nacional are the only real team that could stop you winning the group this season.
I enjoyed that. My knowledge of South American football isn't fantastic and I never knew much about the advantage and disadvantage that altitude has. It is very unique and interesting in all honesty!

Thus far it looks like qualification for the Copa Libertadores looks a possibility again. Albeit not as strong as last season, you can be pleased on the whole. The group looks managable.
Really enjoying this story, like Scott said it is providing a lot of information on a continent I don't have much knowledge of. In the league it was a tough start to only get win one after the fourth round, but you managed it and since then have gone on in some good form. Need to keep it up as we head into the second half of the season.
Loving the intricacies of this story so far. I'm really learning a lot about South American football despite doing a Santos career almost every FM! Group looks doable too, may set you up for a nice Libertadores run!

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