Sometimes, sports becomes irrelevant. After hearing about the atrocities in Paris shortly before heading off to watch Argentina draw with Brazil, I didn’t really give a shit about Argentina not winning, I don’t care about the weather being a bit crap and I’m perfectly fine with having to pay to visit Recoleta Cemetery. Still, the show must go on, so here’s your weekend sports roundup:
- No other place to start than with the Paris attacks, as Argentina and Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Javier Pastore has spoken of his sadness after two of his friends died at the concert at the Bataclan theater. Pastore said it’s going to be “shocking” to return to Paris but that it’s his responsibility to do so.
- Pastore was in Córdoba visiting his family after injury ruled him out of Argentina’s 1-1 draw with Brazil, as the albiceleste finds itself second from bottom after three games with just two points so far. There are still 15 matches left to go, though, so no need to panic yet. The first of these takes place tonight in Barranquilla against Colombia at 5:30 PM.
- Already without a stellar cast of injured players including Lionel Messi, Sergio Agüero, Carlos Tevez, Pablo Zabaleta, Ezequiel Garay and of course Pastore, manager Gerardo Martino has also lost right back Facundo Roncaglia to suspension after he picked up his second yellow card of the World Cup Qualifying campaign, a shame after he played so well against Neymar on Friday night. River Plate right back Gabriel Mercado has been called up and is battling against Boca Juniors’ Gino Peruzzi for the starting berth.
- Speaking of Messi, everyone’s favorite footballer is back in training and could well make his return in the clásico against Real Madrid on Saturday afternoon after being out of action since the end of September. The Catalan club isn’t doing too badly in his absence – three points clear at the top of the league – but to have its talisman return will no doubt be a boost ahead of playing against its biggest rivals. Barcelona posted a video of Messi in training alongside reserve players as the majority of Barcelona’s first team squad is away on international duty.
- Diego Maradona is recovering from a second gastric bypass operation in the Venezuelan city of Maracaibo, where he will stay for eight days before traveling to the capital Caracas to complete his recovery. The former Argentina captain and later manager had his first gastric bypass 10 years ago, but has since had complications and was warned by doctors that he was a mere 75 kilograms over his ideal weight.
- Diego will have to hope that somewhere in Venezuela will be showing his beloved Pumas on Saturday as Argentina’s rugby team takes on the Barbarians at Twickenham in its final match of the year – a year which has seen the Pumas beat South Africa for the first time and delight everyone by finishing fourth in the Rugby World Cup.
- After this being the first year since 1997 where an Argentine tennis player hasn’t won an Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) event, there was a further blow as Argentine Carlos Berlocq lost the final of the Buenos Aires Challenger tournament to Englishman Kyle Edmund 6-0 6-4.
- The Primera B Nacional season finished at the weekend with Villa Dálmine and Atlético Paranaá both losing – the only two clubs who could overtake Instituo in the final playoff place. Instituto plays against runner up Patronato and Ferro Carril Oeste plays against Santamarina in the other semifinal.