“I’m a River fan and I’m going to give it my all against Boca.” The words of Rosario Central striker Teo Gutiérrez in the lead up to Sunday’s game against Boca Juniors. And, as he comes away from La Bombonera this weekend with a goal, a red card, and a celebration that will continue to be talked about in the coming days, maybe weeks, you’ve got to say he certainly did.
Boca Juniors against Rosario Central has turned into something of a grudge match in recent times. In the Copa Argentina over the past two seasons, last year in the final and two weeks ago in the quarter-finals, controversial incidences and dubious refereeing decisions grabbed the headlines and sparked an intense rivalry between the two clubs.
This Sunday, animosity between Central and Boca reached new heights in their draw at La Bombonera when Gutiérrez scored the equalizing goal for Central.
Unmarked in the Boca penalty box, Gutiérrez received the ball from playmaker Giovani Lo Celso and coolly slotted the ball past Boca ‘keeper Guillermo Sara. An ecstatic Gutiérrez then began to celebrate, with a gesture that triggered rage around La Bombonera and beyond.
The self-confessed River fan, staring intently at the hoards of navy and yellow supporters, is seen in this video drawing the River flag across his chest. The stadium erupted and Boca’s enraged players surrounded the Colombian, who was then shown red by referee Dario Herrera. The referee also sent off Boca midfielder Ricardo Centurion for his violent reaction to Gutiérrez‘s gesture. Without condoning Centurion’s behavior you can understand why he wasn’t so happy. Gutiérrez was a total jerk. At least, that’s what the commentator in the video above, Daniel Mollo, thinks. The Boca commentator completely lost it, hurling a series of insults and racial slurs in Gutiérrez‘s direction.
Even after Gutiérrez was sent off, he continued to provoke the Boca players and fans, punching the air in continued celebration, and again drawing the River flag across his chest as he made his way back to the dressing room. And he didn’t stop there. Replicating River legend Angel Labruna’s famous gesture, Gutiérrez held his nose, alluding to the bad smell of Boca’s home ground.
The behavior of the Central striker was condemned by Carlos Tevez, among others. The Boca striker wasn’t, however, surprised by Gutiérrez‘s lack of class. “This is normal. We already know what kind of player he is,” Tevez said after the game. This is true. The striker has no class. His entire career has been littered with incidents that make this latest display of jackassery less than surprising. Back in 2012, when Gutiérrez was a Racing player, the striker was fined $15,000 AR for provoking the Boca fans in a clash between the two sides in November 2011, in which he was also sent off.
And Gutiérrez could be facing a very similar sentence this time round. This morning, lawyer Vadim Mischanchuk presented his case against Gutierrez, accusing the Colombian of inciting violence.
Gutierrez will have to appear in court in the coming days to respond to the allegations.