The historical memory of three games played especially for this date, with a trophy in dispute.
Nobody these days would think of writing or saying that this October 12 is a holiday because it is celebrated on Columbus Day. For many years, with success, there has been talk of Respect for Cultural Diversity Day. And in Spain since 1958 its national holiday is known as the Hispanic Heritage Day. As football was never oblivious to political ups and downs, there was once that between the AFA and the Royal Spanish Federation they organized international matches in which the Hispanidad Cup.
There were two original meetings, the first in Madrid in 1972 and the second in Buenos Aires in 1974, which marked the starting point of a new cycle in the Argentine national team. Those games seemed like just an excuse for many of the things that happened around them, like the anger caused by the lunch between Enrique Omar Sívori and Juan Domingo Perón in Madrid or the demands of César Luis Menotti from minute zero of his administration.
Argentina and Spain had played their first friendly against each other on December 7, 1952 at the Chamartín stadium. It was a light blue and white triumph 1-0, with a goal from Ricardo Infante. Twenty years later and with just four other clashes on the way, the national associations decided to organize at the beginning of the 70s a new round trip, with a cup at stake: that of Hispanidad.
It was a formality of protocols, but the text written by Raúl D’Onofrio, father of the current president of River, then controller of the AFA, is a declaration of the principles of that time of dictatorships in Argentina and Spain.
“The whole world, and more particularly the Spanish-American countries, solemnly commemorate the anniversary of the discovery of America,” the brief letter began.
And he concluded: “The Argentine Football Association, which attends this match in the exercise of the representation of football in Argentina, of that Argentina that was and is considered the favorite daughter of the Motherland, expresses through me its deepest appreciation to the Royal Spanish Football Federation for the possibility it has given to contribute to commemorate, in a sporting event, the immense glory that Spain boasts with legitimate pride since October 12, 1492”.
He pigheaded Sívori, Carasucia In the 1957 South American, the glory of River and Juventus, he had assumed the technical direction of the team in September 1972, replacing Juan José Pizzuti.
The goal was to reach the World Cup in Germany in 1974. The cycle began with a 2-0 win over Chile in the Dittborn Cup on 20 September. The second commitment was the duel against Spain.
It was not played on October 12 because it was Thursday and the midweek commitments in Europe were held on Wednesdays. Like Argentina, Spain had not qualified for the 70 World Cup and the Hungarian cycle Ladislao Kubala It also aimed to qualify for the World Cup, whose tie would begin a week later against Yugoslavia.
“Argentina fell against Spain despite its final lift: 1-0”, was the informative title of Clarion October 13, because there were no newspapers on the 12th holiday. “There was no offensive order and the deliveries were normally towards the opposites,” he said. Diego Lucero, special envoy to Madrid.
Daniel Carnevali played for the national team; Enrique Wolff, Angel Bargas, Ramón Heredia, Antonio Rols; Miguel Brindisi, Reinaldo Merlo, Juan José López; Rubén Ayala, Roque Avallay (Ramón Bóveda) and Norberto Alonso. The goal was made by Asensi.
The next day there was bewilderment and anger in the Argentine delegation. In Madrid, in the residence known as Puerta de Hierro, ex-president Perón lived in exile. In those days, there was a summit of leaders: Héctor Cámpora, José Ignacio Rucci, Carlos Bramuglia and Rodolfo Galimberti, among others.
That October 12, at noon, Perón and Sívori, who had become close friends, shared a lunch. The meeting did not like anything to the controller D’Onofrio, who was also the de facto “personal delegate of the president” Alejandro Agustin Lanusse, as explained Clarion that October 13.
He pigheaded he would continue one more year in charge of the selected one. He was not satisfied with his position and had a strained relationship with the leaders. A few days before the last game with Paraguay, it transpired that he would resign after qualifying. He “officially” continued until December 1973, already with his friend Perón in his third presidency, when he officially disassociated himself from the AFA, still under intervention, now for Baldomero Gigan, a Boca leader with ties to unionism.
The rematch of the Hispanic Cup was arranged for the October 12, 1974. Kubala was still the coach of Spain, but Argentina began a new cycle: that of César Luis Menotti, who had been definitively confirmed in office on September 30, the day he made his first call.