How do I respect the Argentine flag

Newell's Old Boys: an Argentine talent factory

The supporters of Newell's Old Boys from the Argentine city of Rosario can be proud of the so-called for several reasons Leprososto belong to the lepers. For one thing, some of the best footballers in Argentina have emerged from the club's academy. In addition, undisputed idols such as Diego Maradona or Ariel Ortega have worn the jersey of the Newell's Old Boys. FIFA.com introduces one of the most important clubs from Rosario, a city that is one of the most important football centers in the country.

The hour of birth of an institutionWhen Isaac Newell, originally from England, arrived in the Argentine city of Rosario around 1869 at the age of 16, he could hardly have guessed that he would have such an impact on the history of Argentine football. Newell, who worked as a railway telegraphist until the end of his English teacher studies, decided in 1884 to found a school that Colegio Comercial Anglicano Argentino (English-Argentinian high school). In the same year, the British Newell brought a leather ball and the first official football regulations to Argentina for the first time.

The game was widely promoted across the country and was very popular among the Institute's students. From 1900 it was run by Isaac Newell's son Claudio, who was the first to pursue the idea of ​​founding a club. The founding meeting, attended by students, former students and teachers, took place on November 3, 1903. On this day the Club Atlético Newell's Old Boys was born.

The first shirt, like that of the school, was white and sky blue. But a short time later, the appearance that is characteristic to this day was designed: one half red (from the flag of England, home of Isaac Newell) and the other half black (from the flag of Germany, home of his wife). These colors adorn not only the playing clothes, but also the coat of arms of this football institution.

The making of a legendThe Newell's Old Boys were the first champions of the local Rosario league in 1905 and, during this season, won, among other things, their first meeting with Club Atletico Rosario Central, with which they have had a historic rivalry ever since. This rivalry is one of the fiercest in Argentine football and goes so far that it is difficult to find a player who comes from one club and has ever played for the other.

The nickname Leprosos came about later, around the 1920s. According to legend, both Newell's Old Boys and Rosario Central received an invitation from a local hospital to organize a charity game for the benefit of lepers. While the Newell's Old Boys accepted, Rosario Central declined, and the football city of Rosario has been in L since theneprosos and Canallas (Villains) in two.

After winning numerous titles in the amateur era and the interesting aspect of being the first American club to transfer a player to Europe (Julio Libonatti moved to Torino in 1925), in 1939 he entered the national championships organized by the Argentine Football Association .

The first national title (Metropolitana) could be celebrated in 1974 after the Old Boys managed to equalize against archenemy Rosario Central on the last day of the match after falling 2-0 down. That equalizer from Mario Zanabria is still in one for everyone Leprosowho is self-respecting, inescapable ritual thought annually. That team's squad included players like Jorge Valdano and Américo Gallego. The second championship title bore the characteristic signature of this club, because the team that won the title in 1988 consisted in its entirety of players who came from their own youth work.

The club then registered its youth teams with the Argentine association AFA, and apart from the mighty Boca Juniors there is no club that could collect more youth titles than Newell's Old Boys. The talent factory produced players such as Gabriel Batistuta, Abel Balbo, Lionel Messi, Gabriel Heinze and Maximiliano Rodríguez, to name just a few.

In the following era under Marcelo Bielsa, two more national championships were won, at least in part for the only open wound in the heart of the Leprosos Compensated: In 1988 and 1992 the team was in the final of the Copa Libertadores, but left the field as a loser in both finals. After a few changeable years, the Newell's Old Boys took over a leading role in national football again in 1993 after signing Diego Maradona.

The time of Maradona, though short-lived, filled the followers of the Leprosos with as much pride as two other important events. On the one hand, that they are the only club from the interior of the country that provided a national player from their own ranks for each of Argentina’s world champions (Gallego 1978 and Sergio Almirón 1986). And also that the club is the only institution that has been allowed to represent Argentina in an official competition (Newell's Old Boys B-team played the Olympic qualification in 1976).

The presenceThe winds of change have been blowing at Newell's Old Boys for some time: after a decade in which there have been more lows than highs - including the 2004 championship title under Gallego and Ariel Ortega - a new club leadership is raising hopes among supporters. Even if the team started the 2008/09 season with a point average that would result in relegation (relegated teams are determined according to the average of the past three years), it was able to collect a considerable cushion of points in the last Apertura. The current coach, Roberto Sensini, is a true club idol at the head of the team, which, as always, consists of many players from their own youth and has made a good start to the current Clausura.

The stadiumThe "Coloso del Parque" was inaugurated on July 23, 1911 and is located in the "Parque de la Independencia", a green area in the urban area of ​​Rosarios. The stadium owes its current shape mainly to the modernization measures between 1995 and 1997, during which the number of spectator seats was increased to 42,000. This makes it one of the largest inland stadiums. It was also during this time that it was given its current name. Due to its modern facilities, it was selected as one of the venues for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2001.