With his pit-bull build and current employment as a grumpy and bitter television pundit, it is perhaps easy to overlook just how smooth and subtle a player Claudio Borghi was in his time.
Indeed, his standout performance for Argentinos Juniors against Juventus in the 1985 Intercontinental Cup final even briefly saw him touted as a future world star.
That never came to pass, but in the later years of his career, at various Chilean clubs, he produced a series of exquisite goals and assists, among them some wonderfully laconic lobs, that underlined his talent and inventiveness.
03:13 and 04:26 are particular favourites.
This came to my attention through Danny Last (@dannylast) on Twitter.
I’ve tried it out on a few other South American stadiums with similarly good results:
Why not give it a go.
This seems to be a topic of interest right now. At time of writing, 22 South American players have signed on with Major League Soccer teams ahead of its 2018 season.
The large majority of those players are aged between 18 and 22, and the assumption seems to be that by signing up talented youngsters, MLS can become a bridge between South America and Europe.
I was thinking about this topic while writing a feature on new Atlanta United signing Ezequiel Barco for Soccer 360. Personally, I’m not convinced. Here are a couple of tweets I published last week:
This debate is not a new one. Similar things were said when there was a large influx of Colombian players into MLS following the success of Fredy Montero at Seattle Sounders.
Indeed, I wrote about that very issue for the now sadly defunct XI Quarterly back in 2013. It was my first attempt at a long-form article and benefited greatly from the patient help of my editors, David Keyes and Tom Dunmore, to wrestle some form of coherence from an overload of information and quotes.
Looking back on it now, it includes some of my pet peeves as a reader of long form (including quoted characters who appear randomly across various sections), but its central point remains relevant:
“The perceived financial and social stability available in the United States will continue to attract players aged between 25 and 30 for whom moves to Europe are improbable, but younger players have greater reason to pause before accepting moves to MLS. The league is growing in stature, yet needs to offer a clearer route to Europe and a better platform for call-ups to the national team if it hopes to continue attracting young talent.”
“You think art, hard work and sport cannot coexist? That is el cholo.”
In 1972, Peruvian director and producer Bernardo Batievsky decided to make a film about the still relatively nascent career of Hugo Sotil. It was entitled ‘El Cholo’.
It is far from a cinematic masterpiece (and the quality of the one upload of the film on Youtube is far from great), but its 87 minutes pass by easily enough. There is some nice scenery, neat hippie vibes and the amusingly unsubtle imagery of an arty Sotil painting circle after circle after circle yet wondering where his true love lies (a clue: its football).
Sotil later admitted that he felt nervous and uncomfortable throughout the filming process, but he still returned to the big screen in 2016 to play a small part in Calichín, a Peruvian comedy starring Aldo Miyashiro.
He still wasn’t convinced: “I’m only good at football, not cinema.”