San Lorenzo and Huracán could not share a group after the War of the Ciboriums. But chance had crossed them anyway. What was the last ball: Maradona’s Gymnastics.
The balls rolled into the cups that had been placed in the main court of the Julio Humberto Grondona property. And then the hands of Luli Fernández and Pablo Giralt, the drivers of the event, defined the fate of each of the 24 clubs that will play in the 2020 Professional League Cup. The draw left some more happy than others (surely the Boca fans they will not be entirely satisfied with what chance gave them) and also some pearls.
After the speeches of the president of the Argentine Football Association, Claudio Tapia; the president of the Professional Football League, Marcelo Tinelli (he proposed that the traditional exchange of pennants mutate into an exchange of chinstraps); and the Minister of Tourism and Sports, Matías Lammens, the goddess fortune began to interpret her role.
However, it was not all a matter of chance. Before starting the draw, Luis Silva, AFA Tournament Manager, had explained that “to avoid security problems and the saturation of matches in the area of the city of Buenos Aires,” San Lorenzo, which was part of Ciborium 1, and Hurricane, who was in number 4, could not share a group.
What happened? The balls were whimsical. After San Lorenzo was assigned to group 5 through Ciborium 1, the rival of Ciborium 4 that offered him luck was precisely Huracán. That forced the Parque de los Patricios club to move to group 6, led by Vélez, while its place as rival of the Cyclone Argentinos Juniors occupied it. In which jurisdiction is Argentinos based? Also in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.
The cups were being emptied little by little before the watchful eye of leaders, coaches and footballers who were well distributed on the grass of the field at a considerable distance, respecting sanitary regulations. Among them were Iván Pillud (Racing), Silvio Romero (Independent), Julián Álvarez (River), Leandro Grimi (Huracán), Matías Caruzzo (Argentinos Juniors) and Ezequiel Unsain (Defense and Justice).
Eleven minutes demanded the balls run out. The last one that remained at the bottom of one of the containers was the one that contained that fragment of paper that had the name Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata printed on it. Yes, the team led by Diego Armando Maradona was the last to know its fate.
He Lobo will share with Vélez, Huracán and Patronato Group 6 of the contest that will begin precisely on October 30, the day of Diego’s 60th birthday. The premiere of the platenses will be in front of the entrerrianos in the Juan Carmelo Zerillo stadium.