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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

11: Libertadoreeees


In order to set up the mood for the upcoming competition, I'll live you guys this 2010 gem from Brazilian television. Any similarities with a song that you may know are a mere coincidence:



And in order to set up my mood, I went to the market to bring myself some gems to better strengthen our squad:

CB - Benjamín Kuscevic: brought from Universidad Católica for €1,7M, the 25 yo defender is a strong addition to the squad and will start right away.
RW - Leonel Vega: the 18 yo Peruvian was acquired for €500k from Alianza Lima and is a hot prospect for the future. The small kid compensates his size on his ability with a ball in his feet.
LB - Agustín Bindella: another player brought for €1,7M, this time from Quilmes, the 21 yo left back is a starting XI player with potential to grow much more. Another exciting signing that will start right away.

Copa Libertadores de América 2022 - Group Stage


Our campaign started off at home, playing our rivals to the group win, Atlético Nacional. With great control of possession, we managed to open a comfortable 2-0 win in the first half and control the pace of the match for the rest of the game.

The second match, against Táchira away from home, started with a Paradela's goal at the 17th minute and never stopped. Bruno Vides scored 4 and took over the top spot of the top scorers standings, and Lautaro Chávez came out of the bench to score two for himself, finishing off a destroying 8-0 win.

We player another piece of dominant football against Blooming, but not with the same efficiency. In the end, we grabbed a 4-1 win at home, with a hat-trick from Maxi Comba. As comfortable as a 4-1 win is, we scored 1 goal for each 10.25 shots.

The first game of the second turn was again against Blooming, this time in Santa Cruz de La Sierra, one of the few big cities in Bolivia that is not up on the mountains. As easy as it can be to control the match in matches like these, we opened 3, with a double from Vides. They still had time to blow our clean sheet, and Justiniano made 3-1 the final score.

At home against Táchira, another smashing win. Not as big, but the 5-0 scoreline gave us a massive advantage in the goal difference for the next match against Atlético Nacional. Chancalay scored twice, and the other goals were scored by our striker Maxi Cuadra, the right-back Rodrigo Rodríguez, and Bruno Vides, of course.

In the majestic Atanasio Girardot, in Medellín, Atlético Nacional had to beat us for more than 5 goals in order to take the group win. They went far from it, and we grabbed a 1-0 win with a solitary goal from José Paradela.

In the end, the groups ended up like this:


With 16 teams alive, the second round shapes up with all 8 Brazilian clubs still alive, 5 Argentine teams in the contention, with the rest being 2 Colombians and 1 Uruguayan, making a very concentrated knockout-round. As group winners, we can avoid tougher matches in the second round, dodging teams of the sorts of Grêmio, Santos, Flamengo, Palmeiras or River Plate.

The draw matched us with Millonarios, a Colombian side from Bogotá, with a slight altitude. The effects of the 2,400m altitude can be a slight migraine or brief shortages of breath. With the adequate physical prepare, we can outcome these challenges rather easily.

Superliga Argentina 2021/22 - Second Semester



A pretty solid exhibition, showing how our team has progressed during this three seasons. We started the semester (sort of) getting a revenge against Racing, and then getting a great sequence of 14 wins, 4 draws and 3 defeats in 21 games, with results like the perfect comeback against Chacarita, a frustrating draw against Aldosivi, another Vides' inspirational performance in the Clásico, a dominating victory over the traditional Rosario Central, and the win against a long-term relegated Unión.

San Esteban’s Clásico Platense count: 4-3-1

Superliga Argentina 2021/22 - Final Standings



Our great sequence was good enough to grant us a solid 4th place, and if given some extra rounds, we could even have taken River. Boca and Vélez had a thrilling fight for the title, but in the end Boca got away with it for a point (had they tied in points, an extra game would be played: in Argentine football, titles are never decided by other criterion). On the other end, the three teams relegated in the Promedio table coincided with the three teams at the bottom of the table, with a set of non-controversial well deserved relegations.

Season Review



Even though we did not get the title, our deep lying playmaker Matías Miranda got away with the Man of the Season award, beating two Boca players for it. His solid exhibitions have been drawing attention from European clubs and he's not likely to stay for another season.

Around the World


As Daft Punk's Around the World plays on your head (if you know the song, it will, there is no fighting it), I will guide you through a journey around the interesting things that happened worldwide (at least on the leagues I loaded):


In 2021, Brazilians got it all. Atlético Mineiro ended their rival's Cruzeiro mockery by finally winning something for the second time, beating Palmeiras in the final. Santos, far away from the glories of Pelé, Robinho, or Neymar, got the Copa Sudamericana away from the hands of Vélez. None of the three mentioned Brazilian clubs won their league, finally won by Grêmio, ending a long streak of not winning the domestic league (having won the continental twice in the mean time, Liverpool style) since 1996.

Independiente won the Copa Argentina and got the spot of Argentina 2 for 2022 Copa Libertadores. In Chile, Deportes La Serena caused a major shock, winning the league out of nowhere, a massive achievement for a side not usually present in the first tier. Atlético Nacional was dominant in Colombia, winning both rounds.

In Europe, Chelsea broke Liverpool's streak, Juventus got the scudetto back, and Bayern didn't manage to get the 10th title in a row, with Dortmund f***ing finally getting it.

Replies


@Jack yes, I guess... But I think that starting next season we can start challenging for the title for good, as you may see why in the next episode

@ScottT I've had a connection flight in Bogotá for two hours when going to the beach and it was enough to cut my breath short. And they say that Bogotá is nothing compared with cities like Cusco, La Paz, and Potosí. Even teams from lower high-altitudes have problems playing there

And yep, we got really lucky with the group

@TheLFCFan well, it was a rough calendar as well for the start. We could have done better, of course, but the poor start was no surprise

@Zed the problem I have with FM in South America is that the game doesn't tell the whole story. Compare the results of the 2014, 2016 or 2017 Copa Libertadores in real life with the ones in the game and you'll see that the continent is far more complex than the Brazil-Argentina duality. There is a delightful intricacy of recent absurdities that only the contemporary (which is no more than a year and a half recent) inflow of money into Brazilian and Argentinean football is being capable of dissolving
Your work in the Libertadores has been absolutely phenomenal and I think with a record like that, you should be considered a force to be reckoned with throughout the competition.
The Libertadores provided little issue for you which is pleasing. The draw for the next round does look to be a greater challenge than what you have faced thus far but one that I think is manageable for you. Good luck! As for the league, great pleasure can be taken from that. Although it wasn't a successful title defence, it was always bound to be a challenge to successfully retain your title and Boca certainly came back stronger to win it. At least you'll be playing in the Libertadores once again!
Congratulations in the Libertadores winning six from six is a brilliant record. You may not have won the league again but you fought well and now look like a contender as opposed to where the club was a few seasons ago.
Wow, really good record in the Copa that! Also, nice you've incorporated a little "around the world"-update, real fan of that!

An in regards to your comment: fully agreed. I also think it's a bit too one-dimensional at times in South America. But then again, FM also seems to overvalue the PL in FM, so it's a problem that stretches further than South America. Would be good if they balance it better!
Just caught up with the few updates that I've missed.

Congrats on the title in the last season, incredible achievement, nobody expected that so quickly. With the new format it will be tougher and unfortunately you didn't manage to deliver another miracle, BUT again I think you performed way better than expected!

A lot of great signings in the last couple of transfer windows, didn't lost to the rivals, great performance in the Copa!

Everything is going according to your plan, brilliant!

12: Kriss-Kross

Pre-season 2022/23

One thing that you may realize from now on, is that as I update this story each semester, and the league and Copa Libertadores follow distinct calendars, we'll never truly be out of action.

Except in episodes like this, between seasons. These pre-season episodes will be like a checkpoint for the moments of thrill; they will also be crucial in order to keep track on time, as it can grow really confusing. As I tell this story, I have some problems myself to find what I want to post, which forced me to create an intricate system of folders and files.

Enough said, let's jump to what matters.

Transfers


In

We managed to bring some great additions to our squad, as the cash started to flow for us. The ones to keep under the eye are:

  • LW - Gastón Ianni: the 18 yo winger was a long time dream, but his team, Estudiantes de Buenos Aires, always gave me a hard time when trying to scoop him. As his contract was running out, however, he refused to renew and we finally got him. He will play as a breakthrough prospect.
  • RW - Benjamín Rollheiser: another player that we grabbed after a disagreement with his former club, the 20 yo had a fight with River for more playing time and refused to renew his contract. He comes to fight for a spot in the first team.
  • CAM - José Luis Malo: the 18 yo Colombian came from the generic Boca Juniors, from his home country, and is set to be the new thing on football. For us, the talented midfielder will play right away, beating the concurrence of the homegrown Horacio Bauzá.
  • CM - Juan Sebastián Sforza: the 20 yo playmaker will come as a substitute for Matías Miranda, who departed to Monaco. Another promising player that will be coming directly to the first team.
  • DM - Santiago Gangi: the 19 yo defensive midfielder comes as an option for the bench. He's young and can still develop.
  • LB - José Cabral: the 19 yo left back comes as the immediate reserve of Agustín Bindella. Still young, the defensive winger has a lot to improve.
  • GK - Emanuel Goméz Riga: the 20 yo goal keeper will come as a replacement for the departed Alan Aguirre. Consistent and solid despite the young age, Gómez Riga is not expected to develop past the level of the Argentine football.

Out

As the European football comes preying on us like a hawk, we'll have to wave bye bye to some of our dearest players. Matías Miranda left us to Monaco for 8M euros, and we had no way to keep our star Alan Aguirre due to his release clause. Instead, I decided to let him go for a value slightly smaller than his clause, but hanging a 40% of the profit clause at the transfer deal. In England, we hope he can grab a huge transfer deal so we can have a part of it.

Other first team players left. Guanini and Melluso have been two of the greatest providers in our back, but haven't managed to keep up with the leap that Gimnasia have had. Tomás Chancalay left as he proved himself a disappointing signing. I was hope he could be able to leave us for a much higher fee, but he failed to develop as expected and better players arrived.

The upcoming season


For the upcoming season, we are expected to finish 7th. Following our 4th place last season, however, I won't settle for less than a Libertadores group stage spot, and honestly, we can challenge for the title again. Note that the Promedio relegation system has been dropped. From now on, all relegations will be decided through the championship we play only.

Copa Argentina - 6th round


Forget the league, forget Copa Libertadores. Forget even the UCL and the World Cup. The toughest competition on Earth is definitely the Copa Argentina. We were drawn against the recently-promoted side of Atlético Rafaela, and, again, failed to score. Our salvation came only with a 7-6 win on pens.

Replies


@Jack by all means, I think we are still a level down some top flight teams. Brazil has seen a huge inflow of cash lately, and they are stealing talents from Argentine football. But with a lucky path, who knows

@ScottT I honestly think that Atlético Nacional should be tougher than Millonarios. Either way, I reckon that we can beat the latter the same way we beat the first. And in the league, surely, a positive display. I was not expecting to be in the title fight (and I came to be in reaching distance from the title for a couple of rounds), and the Copa Libertadores group stage is a great milestone.

@Griffo is it too embarrassing that I didn't get the reference?

@TheLFCFan well, in the past it would be either succeed or fall apart. And I hope I could have groups that easy in the Libertadores again

@Zed yeah, I like the idea of having everyone aware of how the world shapes up

And I totally agree with you. FM could be an even better game giving more dimensions to non-European football. You're spot on when you talk about the PL, but I put the English team there as well. I've seen they lifting the World Cup in the first years so many times that I wonder if they really think that having Stones and Maguire at the back and Sterling, Rashford and Kane up front is enough to lift the most important piece of metal in the world

@OneMoreGame well, I could say it's getting better than the plan, really. The title in 20/21 came as a surprise but it also allowed me to improve faster than I wanted
ScottT's avatar Group ScottT
2 yearsEdited
Quite the sale in Miranda to Monaco. It almost sounds like a film title! I think the pick of the signings, at least for me, has to be Malo. He looks to be a fantastic prospect but has the quality to be a great player for the here and now too. Talk about a battle in the cup (again!)
A very tidy transfer window with lots of money pouring in from sales and quality added. I'm sure you can defy expectations of 7th placed finishes again!
Money is starting to flow in and out of the club here. Seems like you are building a side to compete for that title once more. Not the best start in the cup though, thankfully you are through despite the performance.
How did you not get the reference, the film clip of Around The World is iconic! haha

13: Has Gimnasia gone too far?

First semester 2022/23/Knock-out stages Copa Libertadores 2022

At the other two participations of Gimnasia in the Copa Libertadores, they got knocked-out in the group stage. By doing the minimum, we've already given the fans their best continental moment ever. But with the favorable draw that we had, we can and we should aim higher.

With that in mind, I'm glad with the directions that the club is taking. The improvements in the recruitment system brought results in the form of the defensive midfielder Rodrigo Basualdo and the attacking midfielder Javier Jech. The both of them have potential to play first team football in the future, and Basualdo is a candidate for European flights. Any clubs wanting Argentine virility will find it on him.

Superliga Argentina 2022/23 - First semester



We could fight for more than 7th place, I told y'all. We played the sweetest attacking football, a joy to the eye. One can't help but notice the low amount of goals scored by our strikers. Vides has not scored since the day he scored twice in the quasi-tragedy against Independiente. Cuadra scored only once, when we crushed Rosario Central, and Caraballo only scored three times. Our wingers, however, were on fire! Gastón Ianni took over the goal scorer role and made wonders, like his state-of-the-art display against Lanús. With a complicated calendar, we lost a little bit of momentum in the last four games, destroying Argentinos at the stats but not being able of winning, being totally overpowered by Boca, and missing the opportunity of grabbing another Clásico win against Estudiantes. The exception was the solid win over Racing. As the World Cup took place in November this year, due to a hot Qatari summer, we had no games in November and December, so the next semester will be rough.

Superliga Argentina 2022/23 - Current Standings



If not the overwhelming loss against Boca, we could at least have hung to a virtual first place. As every team will miss two rounds, we've already missed one, and Boca and Huracán are yet to do so. Some teams have already played the 18th round, so the standings are a mess.

It is fun to notice how some big clubs are playing poorly this year. Racing sit in 15th, River is doing no better than 10th, and Central is doing whatever they can to join their rivals Newell's in the second division. Considering that we don't have any really impressive overachiever, we can say that these teams are just simply playing disappointing football.

Copa Argentina 2022 - 7th Round


Following our complete lack of competence in this competition, we didn't even make it to the quarter finals. In a tight game, Argentinos came up front with a 28' goal and we never got to get one back, conceding the second in the dying minutes of the 0-2 loss.

Copa Libertadores 2022 - Knock-out Stages


Second Round vs. Millonarios

1st leg: for their first Copa Libertadores knock-out game ever, we could see how nervous Gimnasia's players were. With a succession of stupid fouls and the ball jumping off our feet, we were lucky not to be harmed and the goalless tie ended up being not that bad of a result.

2nd leg: in another nervous match, we got the best of it out of a Gastón Ianni's header. The giant wing completed the cross coming from the right wing and got the lonely goal of the evening. It was not beautiful, but we are through to face Argentinos Juniors in the quarter finals.


Quarter-finals vs. Argentinos Juniors

1st leg: quarter finals and we are yet to face any continental giant, as Argentinos is not one of them. But neither are we, so we still have a job to do. A job that almost got harder, but thankfully the VAR kept the tie on the scoreline. This time we managed to finish more than our contenders, but the lads were still not at peace with their nerves.

2nd leg: again, a nervous match, but this time it was Argentinos who were stopping the game each couple of seconds. The game looked like it was going to the penalty shoot-outs until another cross flew by and the tiny midfielder Sforza got us the goal we needed to face Atlético Nacional at the semifinals.


Semifinals vs. Atlético Nacional

1st leg: another feasible draw and I started to think that maybe God was on our side. We've been dodging bullets for far too long and now we are the only Argentinean side alive, as Nacional knocked River out. As Atlético Nacional is indeed one of the continental giants, they lack the money of Boca and River or the Brazilian kids. But we still have a job to do, and in another poor exhibition, this time we payed for it. As Vinícius scored the single goal of the encounter for the home team in the dying moments of the first half and we got no away goals, we have a little mountain to climb.

2nd leg: we have a disadvantage to revert. Even though it is not a big one, the time to stop fooling around and step up our game is now. The lads corresponded before the first turn in the clock, with our left back Bindella equalizing the 180 minutes encounter. Rollheiser got us up front in the 26th minute and before the 30th minute we had a 3-1 advantage thanks to Ianni. As we controlled the match from there on, I'm glad to announce to y'all that we are going to have our first Copa Libertadores Final special way sooner than expected.


Preparations for the Final

We'll be flying to Assunción, capital of Paraguay and we'll finally face a continental powerhouse:


Grêmio has won this competition 4 times now, being the last one as recent as 2020, being this one their 7th Final. And Gimnasia, well... We're here for the first time ever. As we're gonna have to pay attention to players in the quality of Jean Pyerre, Pepê, Vitinho, and Alex Teixeira, we hope we can cause damages by playing with intelligence.

Replies


@ScottT definitely Malo stands out. What a player. And yup, the cup is getting far more annoying than I thought it would be

@Jack yup, the future proved us right

@TheLFCFan I'm giving up on the cup honestly

@Griffo shit, I grew up without MTV, lost lots of videoclips I should know about hahahaha
A fantastic start to the domestic season. You look set to challenge for the title this season and are certainly taking advantage of some of the usual contenders having a poor season. The Libertadores campaign has been greater than anyone could have expected though. Gremio pose an enormous challenge. Best of luck!
That is some road to the final as well as holding up performances in the league. Gremio are a talented team and proved so in 2020, but the transition with El Lobo could see them through...

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