On Sunday night, after a 1-1 tie with Tigre, Racing won its ninth ever Superliga tournament in its history. It was quite the feat for La Academia and, as is customary, all went to the Obelisco to celebrate and flood the scene with their traditional celeste y blanco. It was spectacular, to put it mildly. It was a fitting end to a tremendous season, one in which Racing reached first place on the fourth match day and never let down until the end.
Fans went all out with their celebrations, with one very special hincha standing out from the rest:
— Mirtha Legrand (@mirthalegrand) March 31, 2019
Just kidding. I mean, Mirtha tends to standout in pretty much any crowd. And it’s pretty cool that she found some time to tweet her support for Racing. But I was actually referring to another person who, also like Mirtha, seems to want to challenge our perceptions of life/death (Mirtha is, unofficially, 160 years old BTW).
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Mr. Gabriel Aranda (and his grandpa’s skull):
— TNT Sports LA (@TNTSportsLA) April 1, 2019
I know what you’re thinking… WTF, right? Well, let me explain. Gabriel’s grandfather, Valentín Aguilera, was a lifelong Racing fan. He died several years ago (hence the skull) but Gabriel figured that was not good enough a reason for Valentín to miss out on the team’s glorious season. So he decided to dig his grandpa’s head out every time the team played, and bring him along to the cancha. Needless to say, it was one of the most striking scenes around on Sunday because, you know, unless you’re performing Hamlet, carrying a skull around is bound to attract a lot of attention.
For Gabriel, it’s very clear that his abuelo‘s skull had a lot to do with the team’s championship. And if I ever meet him (or them) in person I will not be the one to deny him of this idea. On the other hand, no matter how strange, this is a prime example of just how big a passion soccer is in these parts of the world.
So remember, next time somebody questions if Argentine fútbol is a matter of life and death, be sure to tell them the story of the guy that brought the skull to the Racing championship celebrations.