is a football (soccer) club from Argentina.
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Club Estudiantes de La Plata , simply referred to as Estudiantes, is an Argentina professional sports club based in La Plata. The club's Association football team currently competes in the Argentine Primera División, where it has spent most of its history.
The club is amongst the most successful teams in Argentina. In 1967, Estudiantes was the first team outside of the traditional "big five" to win a professional league title. Since then, the squad has won four more league titles to bring a total to five. It has had even greater international success, having won six international titles. Estudiantes' international silverware consists of four Copa Libertadores (including three straight from 1968–70), an Intercontinental Cup (football), and an Interamerican Cup.
The club was founded in 1905 when a group of players and fans decided to breakaway from present-day rival Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata. Matches between the two clubs are known as the La Plata derby
. The club currently counts with the support of over 40,000 members and their home stadium is Estadio Jorge Luis Hirschi.
In 1905, a group of football players and fans in the city of La Plata decided to break away from Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, the major club in the city, since Gimnasia's management neglected football after the closure of their field on 13th and 71st streets).
Thus, on August 4, 1905, in the shoestore "New York" on 7th Street, between 57 and 58 of the city of La Plata, the club was founded under the name "Club Atlético Estudiantes". Its first president, Miguel Gutiérrez, was elected on the very same night, when the club charter was drafted by card-carrying member 1, Alfredo Lartigue. Since its inception, the organization primarily was dedicated to football, but over the years the club expanded and incorporated basketball, team handball, field hockey, tennis, Swimming (sport) and golf, among others.
In those days, teams like Lomas Athletic Club, Quilmes Atlético Club, Belgrano Athletic Club, Estudiantil Porteño, Reformer Athletic Club, San Isidro Club and Argentino de Quilmes, among others, faced each other in successive tournaments organized by the Argentine Football Association (then called the Argentine Association Football League), with Alumni Athletic Club (graduates of the Buenos Aires English High School) being one of the most successful.
On 28 February 1906 Estudiantes adopted a jersey design of striped red and white, in honor of Alumni's, who had won ten amateur championships between 1900 and 1911. However, during the early years, Estudiantes had to use a red shirt with a white stripe in the chest, because league authorities decided the uniform was too similar to Alumni's.
Estudiantes's first pitch was located at the intersection of 19th and 53rd streets in La Plata (now Plaza Islas Malvinas), with the first match being played on November 7, 1905, when Estudiantes faced Nacional Juniors from Buenos Aires. A year later, Estudiantes enrolled in the Argentine Amateur Association.
The stadium on 1st Avenue opened on 25 December 1907.
Before the advent of professionalism, Estudiantes won the 1913 in Argentine football title
When professionalism was adopted in Argentine football in 1931, Estudiantes had a famous offensive lineup: Miguel Ángel Lauri, Alejandro Scopelli, Alberto Zozaya, Manuel Ferreira and Enrique Guaita, known as Los Profesores
("The Professors"), and still regarded as one of Argentina's all-time finest
In 1937, a pioneering lighting system was installed in the stadium, allowing to play night games.
The 1950s saw the rise of goalkeeper Gabriel Ogando, and players such as Walter Garcerón, Alberto Bouché, Juan Eulogio Urriolabeitía, Ricardo Infante, Héctor Antonio, as well as the final seasons of striker Manuel Pelegrina, who remains Estudiantes' all-time top scorer with 221 goals. Following a confrontation with the Peronist government of Buenos Aires Province, the club's management was removed by authorities (allegedly for refusing to distribute copies of Eva Perón's book to club members) The government-appointed management disbanded the team: top scorers Infante and Pelegrina signed with Club Atlético Huracán. The decimated team was relegated in 1953, but after the return of Pelegrina (who tricked Huracán by becoming a free agent without the club's consent)
In the 1960s, Miguel Ignomiriello coached the Estudiantes under-19 team known as La Tercera que Mata
("The Killer Juveniles"), which would evolve, with a few acquisitions, into the team coached by Osvaldo Zubeldía that won the 1967 Argentine Primera División Campeonato Metropolitano. With this title, Estudiantes became the first club outside of the "Big Five of Argentine football" (Boca Juniors, Club Atlético River Plate, Racing Club de Avellaneda, Club Atlético Independiente and San Lorenzo de Almagro) to obtain a professional title. This opened the floodgates, and soon other "small" clubs would do likewise (Club Atlético Vélez Sársfield in 1968, Chacarita Juniors one year later, and soon other teams joined as well).
Estudiantes went on to win the Copa Libertadores three years in a row (1968 Copa Libertadores, 1969 Copa Libertadores and 1970 Copa Libertadores), and the 1968 Intercontinental Cup against Manchester United F.C.. The latter game is still remembered for the violent behaviour of Estudiantes' players. They lost the Intercontinental title against A.C. Milan (1969 Intercontinental Cup) and Feyenoord (1970 Intercontinental Cup). Estudiantes won the maiden edition of the Copa Interamericana in a three-legged final against the reigning CONCACAF title-holders, Mexico club Deportivo Toluca F.C. (the games were played in 1969, but official references call it the 1968 edition).
The last part of the Zubeldía era was marred by the antics of some players. Following a violent Intercontinental match against Milan, the entire team was arrested on orders from Argentine President Juan Carlos Onganía. In an unprecedented step, goalkeeper Alberto Poletti was suspended for life (he was later pardoned) and did time in jail, together with teammates Ramón Aguirre Suárez and Raúl Madero. Because of these events, it became a cliché to refer to Zubeldía's football as el antifútbol
("the anti-football"), not only because of its physical violence, but also due to its frequent resort to timewasting tactics Olé (sports newspaper)
Simeone left the team after the 2007–08 Argentine Primera División Torneo Apertura, and was replaced by former S.S. Lazio teammate Roberto Sensini. After a weak finish in the 2007–08 Argentine Primera División Torneo Clausura, Sensini was replaced with Leonardo Astrada. Under his guidance, Estudiantes reached the final of the 2008 Copa Sudamericana, which it lost to Brazilian side Sport Club Internacional. Shortly thereafter, a string of bad results caused Astrada's departure.
On March 2009, former player Alejandro Sabella became head coach, his first such engagement (his coaching experience was limited to being an assistant to Daniel Passarella). The team improved their standing in the local league and advanced to the final of the 2009 Copa Libertadores, winning 2–1 on aggregate over Cruzeiro Esporte Clube after a goal-less draw in La Plata and an away win on 15 July 2009. Verón was chosen as the competition's most valuable player, and Mauro Boselli was its top goalscorer, with a decisive header in the final match. Thus, Estudiantes earned the right to play the 2009 FIFA Club World Cup in Abu Dhabi.
In that event, Estudiantes won their semifinal match against Pohang Steelers 2–1, and lost the final against FC Barcelona 2–1 in extra time, after a 1–1 tie in regulation time.
After the Club World Cup participation, Estudiantes finished second in the 2010 Clausura (with local favorite José Sosa playing on loan), and won the 2010 Apertura after a protracted battle against Club Atlético Vélez Sársfield. The team was in transition following the departure of Sosa and the sales of Boselli, right back Marcos Angeleri, and other key players.
Jorge Luis Hirschi Stadium is located on 1st Avenue, between 55th and 57th Streets, in La Plata. In its previous incarnation, it had room for 23,000. The wooden stands behind the goal-lines were standing-room only. The stands next to the avenue were sitting-room, and were separated from the avenue by a row of tile trees. The opposite side was roofed and had the best seating arrangements. The noisiest fans used to occupy the 55th Street popular
, while visiting fans were often directed to the 57th St. popular
, opposite a technical high school (whose inconvenient location was responsible for the relatively small size of the pitch, at 105 x 68 m).
For many international games in the Zubeldía era, Estudiantes played in Boca Juniors' Estadio Alberto J. Armando, noted for its intimidating acoustics.
With the erection of Estadio Ciudad de La Plata in the 1990s, both Estudiantes and Gimnasia decided initially against relocating their home games. However, Estudiantes's field was closed down in September 2005 because of new safety regulations which forbid standing-only wooden stands. This began a sequence of political infighting between the club and City Hall.
During the 2005 Apertura
tournament, Estudiantes played its home games in the nearby Gimnasia stadium, and after that in Quilmes Atlético Club's Estadio José Luis Meiszner field. There, Estudiantes made history with a come-from-behind 4–3 Libertadores win against Sporting Cristal.
On April 2006 a court decree allowed the re-opening of 1 y 57
, but mayor Julio Alak intervened again to prevent this from happening. In August 2006, an agreement was reached to build sitting room for 20,000 (later amended to 23,000) and using the city stadium for games exceeding that capacity. Renovation work on the stadium started in 2007, and has met with opposition from several groups, notably the "Hoja de Tilo" NGO, who claims that the works would damage the environmental balance of the park behind the stadium.
Meanwhile, Estudiantes settled in the city stadium, where it earned five consecutive derby wins, and had a streak of 37 games undefeated in the local league (2007–2009). When roofing work began in August 2009 to install a new roof in the city stadium, Estudiantes moved once again to Quilmes. As the city stadium will host the 2011 Copa América, it is expected to reopen in time for the 2011 Clausura.
Estudiantes' training grounds are located in the Country Club premises in City Bell, north of La Plata. Many facilities were paid for by Juan Sebastián Verón while he played in Europe. Verón was also instrumental in the negotiations over the stadium, meeting then president Néstor Kirchner to unlock the process that was being stalled by mayor Alak.
Within the La Plata area, Estudiantes was traditionally regarded as the club of the middle class, while rival side Gimnasia y Esgrima was identified with the working class. This characterization seems to be outdated. While the two clubs have roughly the same pull in and around La Plata, Estudiantes has more of a nation-wide following, especially after its international successes in the 1960s. There used to be much discussion about which club has the larger following, but Estudiantes seems to have pulled forward.
For several periods in the club's history, a cadre of fans from Buenos Aires (los porteños) were a powerful element within the base. A famous fan since the 1960s is Raúl Bernechea, known as el pelapapas
(the "potato peeler") after his job as a kitchen hand, famous for lighting bonfires during games, juggling and performing other stunts
Author Ernesto Sabato is an Estudiantes sympathizer, and was honored with a ceremony where he was given a No. 10 jersey. Arturo Jauretche mentioned Estudiantes in one of his books .
Other noted fans include tennis player Juan Mónaco, actor Jorge D'Elía, filmmaker and politician Fernando Solanas, and journalist Osvaldo Príncipi.
In the 1983 presidential election, Estudiantes fans were, together with their peers from Club Atlético Vélez Sársfield, the first to voice their support for eventual winner Raúl Alfonsín in his bid against the Peronism. The friendship with Vélez supporters has since vanished, especially after an Estudiantes win denied Vélez the 2003 championship.
Estudiantes is on friendly terms with several clubs from the South side of Greater Buenos Aires; especially Quilmes Atlético Club and Club Atlético Temperley. Club Atlético Platense, from the North side of Greater Buenos Aires, held a special place in the hearts of Estudiantes fans, as it cemented Gimnasia's relegation in 1979 (Platense currently plays in the lower divisions).
Estudiantes is also friendly with the Uruguayan fan base of Peñarol, once their classic Libertadores rivals.
Estudiantes shares colors with Spanish side Athletic Bilbao, and during a period in the 1950s, both institutions shared a reputation for confronting the government (Bilbao as a Basque people nationalist side against the Spanish State, and Estudiantes against Peronism). During these times, Bilbao donated a set of jerseys to Estudiantes. The relationship has been rekindled in the 2000s through Argentine expatriates and partisan blogs
The nickname pincharratas
(rat stabbers), often shortened to pinchas
, comes from the nickname of Felipe Montedónica, who spent much time chasing after rats in the La Plata market in the 1910s and 1920s, and hence was known as "el pincharratas". Pictures exist of Montedónica with some of the players, where his nickname is mentioned
This nickname extends to the fans. It is common to hear fans say "soy del pincha" ("I am pincha
Fans also call the team el león
(the lion), el orgullo de la ciudad
(the pride of the city), los capos de La Plata
(the bosses of La Plata), and el único campeón de la ciudad
(the only one champion of the city), because they are the only one team in the city that won an official tournament.
For several years, many chants incorporated the word Tricampeón
(three-time champion) because of the Libertadores three-peat. After the 2009 Libertadores final, some of the newer lyrics use the word Tetracampeón
To appear in this section a player must have played at least 50 games for the club
Top goalscorers- Manuel Pellegrina (235 goals in 489 matches)
- Ricardo Infante (180 goals in 328 matches)
- Alberto Zozaya (144 goals in 181 matches)
- Hugo Ernesto Gottardi (125 goals in 310 matches)
Top goalscorers in Primera - 1931 Campeonato Argentino : Alberto Zozaya (33 goals in 34 matches)
- 1973 Metropolitano : Ignacio Peña (football) (17 goals in 32 matches)
- 1977 Nacional : Alfredo Letanú (13 goals in 16 matches)
- 1979 Metropolitano : Sergio Fortunato (14 goals in 19 matches)
- 1995 Apertura : José Luis Calderón (13 goals in 18 matches)
- 2003 Apertura : Ernesto Farías (12 goals in 16 matches)
- 2005 Clausura : Mariano Pavone (16 goals in 19 matches)
- 2010 Clausura : Mauro Boselli (13 goals in 14 matches)
Amateur- Amateur Era in Argentine football: 1
Professional- Argentine Primera División: 5
- Primera B Nacional: 1
- Primera B Metropolitana: 3
International- Copa Libertadores: 4
- Intercontinental Cup (football): 1
- Interamerican Cup: 1