It’s the final countdown! No, not to the presidential runoff on Sunday. I’m talking about tomorrow, and the (potential) Return of the King. (Evidently, the King in this case is Lionel Messi, not whoever the character in Lord of the Rings is meant to be: I’ve never watched it.) Anyway, I digress, here’s your midweek sport roundup. On a Friday. Judge me.
- First football, now polo: the weather Gods have struck down sporting events in Buenos Aires for the second time in a little over a week, as the start to the Palermo Open has been postponed. The first round of matches were due to take place today and tomorrow but they’ve been pushed back to Monday and Tuesday, when the weather finally ought to improve. For tickets and a revised schedule, click here.
- Argentina will have an opportunity to make it third time lucky in major tournament finals next summer in a special Copa America to celebrate the tournament’s 100th birthday. Yay! The tournament is set to be staged in the historic American nation of… the USA. Anyway, the tournament will comprise of the 10 CONMEBOL national teams (from South America) and six teams from CONCACAF (North America). Yesterday the 10 host stadiums were announced, all with a capacity of over 60,000 so that
a shitload of money can be madelots of fans get to watch the Americas’ finest footballers. The 10 stadiums will be located in Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Francisco and Seattle. Start saving your pesos for a winter vacation in the US.
- Argentine striker Sergio Agüero missed Argentina’s recent World Cup Qualifiers against Colombia and Brazil, but is set to make his comeback for Manchester City on Saturday against Liverpool at 2:30 PM. You probably won’t watch it, as it clashes with an even more prominent Argentine forward.
- That’s right, there’s a chance Lionel Messi could make his long-awaited comeback tomorrow afternoon after two months out injured, with the clásico between Real Madrid and Barcelona commencing at 2:15 PM DAY. Messi isn’t 100 percent fit according to manager Gerardo Martino, but who knows whether that will be enough to stop La Pulga.
- Anyway, Messi was also in the news this week after an Arsenal fan (the English, London based-club, not our very own Arsenal de Sarandi) launched a crowdfunding campaign to encourage Arsenal fans to contribute towards his wages if the Gunners were to sign the Argentine captain. (Not at all likely, just to be clear, but impressive ambition all the same.)
- In almost definitely more reliable transfer speculation, it’s looking like former Boca Juniors striker Dani Osvaldo could be making a return to his former club now the controversial forward is looking for a way out of current club Porto. Osvaldo could be joining Boca on an 18-month loan from the Portugese club, after spending the first half of 2015 at la Bombonera after falling out of favor with Juventus and Southampton.
- Osvaldo’s arrival could be timely as Jonathan Calleri has been linked with a host of top European clubs, with Chelsea the latest to be interested in a £9 million deal (AR$207 million at the blue rate) to bring the Boca striker to London, although Chelsea manager José Mourinho today appeared to pour cold water over the idea insisting he didn’t need any new signings despite the reigning Premier League champions currently languishing in 16th place.
- San Lorenzo appears to be making progress in its bid to return to its ancient home in Boedo after making an offer to French-owned supermarket chain Carrefour to buy back land to build a new stadium on the site where its old stadium the Viejo Gasómetro was located before the land was seized in 1979 by the military dictatorship and sold to Carrefour. The club is currently based in Flores where it plays in the Nuevo Gasómetro. A club statement said that the technicalities had been agreed and it’s now waiting for Carrefour to respond to its offer, with a response expected to come on December 18. Could be a nice early Christmas present for all San Lorenzo fans.
- Argentina needs to get its shit together after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) revealed that Argentina isn’t using accredited laboratories to test blood and urine in order to detect performance-enhancing drugs.
- Finally for today, if you expected some mention of the start of the Liguillas last night, no, I’ve not been hiding under a rock, but a full weekend sport roundup will be coming your way on Sunday after tonight’s matches have been played. Hopefully that will make up for having to put up with elections (and more importantly the ley seca which prohibits any sports from taking place here on Sunday).