Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield

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Vélez Sarsfield
Escudo Vélez Sarsfield.png
Full name Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield
Nickname(s) El Fortín ("The Fort")
Founded 1 January 1910; 104 years ago (1910-01-01)
Ground Estadio José Amalfitani
Liniers, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Ground Capacity 49 540
Chairman Miguel Calello
Manager José Oscar Flores
League Primera División
2014 Final 6th
Website Club home page

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Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield[2] is a sports club based in the Liniers neighbourhood of western Buenos Aires, Argentina. Vélez is best known for its football team, that plays in the Argentine Primera División, the top level of the Argentine league system. Vélez has won the Argentine Primera División ten times, and has also won five international cups (including both the Copa Libertadores and the Intercontinental Cup). The club's home stadium is the Estadio José Amalfitani, in the borough of Liniers. Both the club and its stadium are nicknamed el Fortín (in English: "the Small Fort"), while its fans are called Fortineros ("people from the small fort").

Vélez was founded in 1910 in the Floresta neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, next to the station formerly called "Vélez Sarsfield" of the Western Railway. The club first participated in the Argentine league in the 1919 amateur championship (finishing runner-up), and was one of the 18 clubs that joined to form the Argentine professional league in 1931. Relegated only once (in 1941, returning to the top level in 1943), Vélez is a regular fixture of the Argentine Primera ever since and is positioned 5th in the all-time table of the league.

Vélez clinched their first title in the 1968 Nacional championship, and spent 25 years without silverware until 1993, when the team won the Clausura tournament. The 1990s were the most successful period in Vélez' history, as they won a total of four domestic titles and five international. These included both the 1994 Copa Libertadores, where they defeated defending champions São Paulo FC in the final, and the 1994 Intercontinental Cup, where they defeated A.C. Milan. Vélez Sarsfield is also one of eight teams to have won CONMEBOL's treble.

The club clinched its most recent league title in the 2012–13 season, when Vélez won both the Torneo Inicial and the Superfinal.

History[edit]

The beginning[edit]

Vélez foundation dates back to the last days of 1909, when rain interrupted an informal football game played near the Vélez Sarsfield railway station (nowadays Floresta station) of the Buenos Aires Western Railway.[3] Three of the young men whose game got interrupted, Julio Guglielmone, Martín Portillo and Nicolás Marín Moreno, sheltered in the station and discussed the possibility of founding a football club to practice the sport more seriously.[3] The club was officially founded on 1 January 1910, in Marín Moreno's house.[3][4] The founders decided to call the new club Club Atlético Argentinos de Vélez Sarsfield (in English: Argentines of Vélez Sarsfield Athletic Club), and appointed Luis Barredo as their first chairman.[3][4] They also decided to form two teams (one for the Argentine third division and the other for the fourth) and chose to sport white shirts, that were easy to obtain for everyone.[3][4] In 1912, however, the directive board decided to change the uniform to navy blue shirts and white shorts.[3][4] Vélez Sarsfield first home ground was a piece of land located between the streets of Ensenada, Provincias Unidas (currently Juan Bautista Alberdi), Mariano Acosta and Convención (currently José Bonifacio).[3][4]

Vélez Sarsfield football team in 1911.

During the amateur era of Argentine football, Vélez first affiliated to the Argentine Football Association (AFA) in 1912. Nonetheless, on 5 September, the board decided to disaffiliate the club from AFA and affiliate it to the recently created Argentine Football Federation, citing as reason AFA's detrimental attitude towards the club.[3][4] In that same year, the team was strengthened by the joining of some former players of San Lorenzo de Almagro, who had left that club due to its internal problems.[3] With this help, Vélez reached the Federation's second division championship final on their first year of affiliation, losing 2–4 to Tigre in GEBA's ground.

On 7 February 1913, 10 new people were accepted as members of the club. Among them was José Amalfitani, who later would go on to be club president for 30 years.[3][4] Subsequently, on 23 November, the board of directors decided to shorten the club's name, eliminating the term "Argentinos" and leaving the club with its current name: "Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield".[3][4] The board also decided that players from the different teams had to contribute an initial membership fee of $1 Argentine pesos, plus a monthly $0.50 of the same coin.[3] In that year, Vélez rented a terrain in the neighbourhood of Mataderos known as Quinta de Figallo, located in the Tapalqué street, between Escalada and Chascomús streets.[3] This new ground had the advantage that a wind mill could provide water for the dressing rooms. The club's stay in Mataderos was short however, as they moved again in 1914, this time to the neighbourhood of Villa Luro. There, they bought a terrain between the streets of Bacacay, Víctor Hugo and Cortina, and the Maldonado Stream (parallel to what today is the Gaona avenue).[3]

In 1915, Vélez re-affiliated to AFA after the disappearance of the Argentine Football Federation.[3] One year later, on 14 March, and owing to the great amount of members of the club who were Italian immigrants, the kit was changed again. The new colours adopted were green, red and white, the colours of the Italian flag.[3] From then on the club played in green, red and white stripes.

During the decade, the team fought to achieve promotion to the Association's first division. On 2 December 1917, they lost the Intermedia (second division) final to Defensores de Belgrano in GEBA's ground.[3] The club also regularly took part in the Copa Competencia, in which both first and second division teams could compete. In 1919, however, Vélez left AFA in protest of alleged discriminatory policies that hindered the club's prospects of achieving promotion. Another 6 teams protested against these maneuvers and were expelled from the Association, while another 7 were expelled for protesting the expulsion of the first 6.[3] All together, the expelled clubs formed a rival association, the Football's Amateurs Association (AAF, in Spanish: Asociación Amateurs de Football).[3]

Therefore, in 1919 Vélez competed in the first division for the first time in their history, disputing the AAF's inaugural season. The team played their first game against Independiente, winning 2–1 with two goals scored by Martín Salvarredi. On their debut season, the club finished as runner-up, behind Racing Club, who were seven times consecutive champions of AFA's league.[3][4] During the campaign, Vélez won 9 games, drew 2 and lost 2; scoring 21 goals and conceding 8.[5]

The most frequent line-up was: Acacio Caballero, Atilio Braneri, Atilio Barderacco, Miguel Fontana, José Luis Boffi, Julio Giachi, Juan Bru, Humberto Bassadone, Marcelino Martínez, Martín Salvarredi, Alberto Granara.

Amateur years: 1919–30[edit]

Vélez made its debut in Primera División playing at dissient Asociación Amateurs de Football in 1919, where the team finished 2nd to Racing. The following championship Vélez finished 6th, and team's forward Salvador Carreras was the first player of the club to become top scorer in an Argentine league. In 1921, José Luis Boffi became the first player of the club to represent the Argentine national team, playing against Chile in Valparaíso, a game which Argentina won 4–1.

On 13 March 1923, José Amalfitani was elected president of the club for his first two-year period.[3][4] One year later, the club rent a new field to establish its home ground, staying in the neighbourhood of Villa Luro, but this time in the intersection of the streets Basualdo, Schmidel, Pizarro and Guardia Nacional.[3][4] The stadium's main wood stand was finished in November of that year, and was inaugurated om 16 March 1924, in a 2–2 draw with River Plate (Vélez' scorer was Ángel Sobrino).[3]

Vélez before a match played in México City during the Pan-American tour of 1930–31.

Four years later, in 1928, the Basualdo St. stadium hosted the first night game in Argentine football history, between the Argentine Olympic national team (silver medalist in that year's Olympics) and a team formed by players from the AAF's league. The Olympic team won 3–1, with goals by Roberto Cherro, Manuel Ferreira and Cesáreo Onzari for the Olympics, and Manuel Seoane for the AAF.[3][4] Vélez Sarsfield was also the first Argentine football team to have a manager. The job was held by Luis Martín Castellano (a physical education teacher) from 1928 to 1936.

Between 1930 and 1931, Vélez made a Pan-American tour playing against teams from Chile, Peru, Cuba, Mexico and the United States. The team played a total 25 games, winning 20, drawing 4, and losing 1 (against Fall River F.C. in Rhode Island); scoring 84 goals and conceding 32.[3] The team was formed with 17 players, 10 from the club and another 7 loaned freely by other teams, a common practice during the amateur era. The club's players were: Celio Caucia, Eleuterio Forrester, Manuel de Sáa, Alfredo Sánchez, Rodolfo Devoto, Norberto Arroupe, Saúl Quiroga, Alberto Álvarez, Eduardo Spraggón and Ernesto Garbini; while the loaned players were Fernando Paternoster (Racing Club), Bernabé Ferreyra (Tigre), Francisco Varallo (Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata), Carlos Volante (Platense), Gerónimo Díaz and Agustín Peruch (both from Newell's Old Boys) and Alberto Chividini (Central Norte de Tucumán).[3] Varallo (who had played the inaugural World Cup previously that year) and Ferreyra (who was later sold by Tigre to River Plate) were the top scorers, scoring 16 and 38 goals respectively.[3]

Professional era[edit]

In 1931, Vélez Sarsfield and another 17 clubs broke away from the amateur league to form the Primera División, the first professional league in Argentine football. The team debuted on the first fixture of the 1931 inaugural championship, in a 0–1 defeat to Platense.[6] Vélez would eventually finish the competition in the 9th place.

Will San Lorenzo be able to defeat Villa Luro's Fortín tomorrow?

Hugo Marini, Crítica, September 13, 1932

In 1932, the club's nickname el Fortín (in English: "the Small Fort") came to be, after being used by Crítica newspaper's journalist Hugo Marini in reference to the club's Villa Luro stadium, to describe Vélez strength while playing at home.[3] Vélez had a 24 games unbeaten run at the old Villa Luro stadium between 1934 and 1935. However, the club's home unbeaten record of 28 games was achieved at the current Liniers stadium, the Estadio José Amalfitani, between 1967 and 1969.

In 1933, the club changed their kit to the present colors, when a sports-equipment merchant offered a white jerseys with a blue "V" on the chest ordered by a rugby union team that had not claimed them.[3][4] The new design has remained unchanged to the present day, replacing the red, white and green shirt used since 1915. However, Vélez has used the original Italian flag colors in alternate jerseys throughout their history.

On 1935, Agustín Cosso became the first Vélez' player in the professional era to become Primera División top scorer. During the following year, Vélez toured South America again, playing games in Chile, Peru and Brazil.

Relegation and return[edit]

The 1943 team that won the Primera B title and returned to Primera División.

During the 1940 season, Vélez was relegated from the first division[7] for the only time to date. Vélez finished penultimate, one point behind Atlanta that defeated Independiente on their final fixture for 6–4 (being 6–0 at the end of the first half, on a match suspected to be fixed). With the club on the second division, it entered a crisis and was forced to vacate the stadium's lot. José Amalfitani returned to the club's presidency, and eventually the team moved to the Liniers neighbourhood.

Vélez stayed three seasons in the second division, returning to the Primera División in 1943 after winning the Segunda División championship on the category's first professional season.[8] Vélez confirmed the championship on 20 November by defeating Dock Sud 5–2 at home at Ferro Carril Oeste's stadium. The team's manager during the season was the former club captain Victorio Spinetto, while Juan José Ferraro was the top goal scorer. During that same 1943, the club inaugurated the Liniers' stadium on the ground over the Maldonado Stream, the same spot where now stands the subsequently rebuild Estadio José Amalfitani. On 1945, Vélez achieved its biggest win in history by defeating Independiente 8–0 (goals from di Bella (3), Scliar (3), Bottini and Cano).

That team was formed by Miguel Ángel Rugilo, Héctor Cuenya, Blas Angrisano, Armando Ovide, Víctor Curuchet, Héctor Herrero, Marco Aurelio, Eduardo Heisecke, Juan José Ferraro, Ángel Fernández and Alfredo Bermúdez, being Victorio Spinetto the coach. Other players were Osvaldo Bottini, Jorge Cano, Alfredo Costa, Salvador di Bella, Emilio Díaz, Simón Fredotivich, Adriano Garrone, Luis Orué, Pedro Perrota, José Puisari, and José Scorzo.

Decade of 1950s[edit]

During 1949, Vélez' goalkeeper Miguel Ángel Rugilo, formed at the club's youth divisions, saved 5 penalty kicks in 5 consecutive games. Moreover, in 1950, he saved two penalties in a match against River Plate. The club's player represented Argentina 5 times, most notably in a 1–2 away defeat by England at Wembley. Despite the defeat, journalist Luis Elías Sojit nicknamed him El León de Wembley (The Lion of Wembley) for his performance.

On 22 April 1951, Vélez reinaugurated the Liniers' stadium, rebuild to be almost entirely made of cement. On the reinauguration, the team defeated Huracán 2–0 with goals by Raúl Nápoli.

On the 1953 championship, Vélez Sarsfield was runner-up for the first time in the professional era of Argentine football, finishing 4-point behind River Plate.[9] The team was coached by Victorio Spinetto (the same who had achieved promotion in 1943), and had a strong forward quintet formed by Norberto Conde, Ernesto Sansone, Juan José Ferraro, Osvaldo Zubeldía, and Juan Carlos Mendiburu. Conde was subsequently Argentine Primera División top scorer in the 1954 season. The line-up in those years was: Nicolás Adamo, Oscar Antonio Huss, Ángel Allegri, Armando Ovide, Jorge Ruiz, Rafael García Fierro, Norberto Conde, Ernesto Sansone, Juan José Ferraro, Osvaldo Zubeldía and Juan Carlos Mendiburu, coached by Victorio Spinetto. The rest of the squad were Juan Carlos Cerretani, Emilio Espinoza, Argentino Geronazzo, Roberto Iglesias, Pablo Mallegni, Joaquín Martínez, Carlos Sardá and José Viglienghi.

First championship[edit]

The team of 1968, which won the first title for the institution.

During the 1960s decade, Vélez finished among the top positioned teams in the 1966 championship (5th), the 1967 Metropolitano (3rd in its group) 1967 Nacional (3rd), and the 1968 Metropolitano (1st in its group and eliminated in the semifinals by Estudiantes de La Plata).[10] Moreover, in 1965 the team's striker Juan Carlos Carone finished as the league's top scorer.

Vélez Sarsfield clinched its first national championship on the 1968 Nacional. Coached by Manuel Giúdice, the team finished first on the final league standings, sharing the position with River Plate and Racing Club. Therefore, the three teams had to play a championship playoff, where Vélez drew 1–1 with River (goal by José Luis Luna) and defeated Racing 4–2 (goals by Omar Wehbe (3) and Roberto Moreyra). Vélez finished tied with River, who had defeated Racing 2–0, in both points and goal difference. However, Vélez won the championship for having more goals for in the regular championship (39, over River's 35). During this tournament, Vélez also achieved its biggest victory in official matches, 11–0 against Huracán de Bahía Blanca. Moveover, Omar Wehbe was league top scorer with 16 goals. In total, the team played 17 games, winning 11, drawing 3, and losing another 3; with 44 goals for and 17 against.[10]

The 1968 champion line up was: Miguel Marín, Luis Gallo, Iselín Santos Ovejero, Luis Atela, Eduardo Zóttola, Alberto Ríos, Roberto Moreyra, José Solórzano, Daniel Willington, José Luis Luna, Omar Wehbe, Carlos Bianchi, Mario Nogara. Manuel Giúdice was the coach, and the rest of the roster were Osvaldo Biaggio, Carlos Caballero, Juan Carlos Carone, Juan Manuel Gómez, Roque Nieva, Jorge Pérez, Néstor Sinatra, and Carlos Zeballos.

Vélez would have played its first international tournament in the 1969 Copa Libertadores, however the club refused to play for economic reasons. The team did however play internationally during the decade, both a friendly against Pelé's Santos (played in the José Amalfitani to re-inaugurate the lighting systems), and a friendly tournament in Montevideo, Uruguay against Nacional, FC Torpedo Moscow, and AC Sparta Prague.

During the final tournament of the decade, Vélez finished 3rd in its group in the 1969 Metropolitano.

1970s and 1980s[edit]

During the 1970 Nacional, Vélez came 3rd in its group and was unable to challenge the title (only the first two of each group advanced to the semifinals). One year later, on the 1971 Metropolitano, the team came second to Independiente after losing its first place on the last two fixtures of the championship (1–2 defeats with Racing and Huracán). On both of the mentioned championships, Vélez' striker Carlos Bianchi was the overall top scorer.

The club also had good participation in the 1972 Nacional (3rd in its group), 1973 Nacional (again 3rd in its group), 1974 Nacional (first in its group and 3rd in the final tournament group), 1977 Metropolitano (3rd overall), and 1978 Nacional (2nd in its group and eliminated by River Plate).

Vélez was again runner-up in the 1979 Metropolitano, after losing the tournament final with River Plate. In that year's Nacional, the team was first in its group but was again eliminated by River Plate (this time in the quarterfinals through a penalty shootout). Vélez did however defeat Unión in the runners-up playoff to define the second team qualified for the Copa Libertadores.

Vélez started the year 1980 by playing its first Copa Libertadores. The team came first on its group (over River Plate and Peruvians Sporting Cristal and Atlético Chalaco), but was eliminated in the semifinals (ending last its group behind Brazilian SC Internacional and Colombian América de Cali).[11]

In the local league, Vélez reached the semifinals of the 1981 Nacional, where it was eliminated by Ferro Carril Oeste. Vélez' striker Carlos Bianchi, who had returned to the club after a period in French football, was for the third time league top scorer.

Subsequently, the club was third in its group in the 1982 Nacional, and fifth in the 1982 Metropolitano. The following season, Vélez' was eliminated in the round of 16 of the 1983 Nacional, and came fourth in the 1983 Metropolitano, 4 points behind champions Independiente.

The team was again runner-up of the Argentine Primera División during the 1985 Nacional, losing the final to Argentinos Juniors.[12] Vélez striker Jorge Comas was the tournament's top scorer with 12 goals.

The beginning of greatness[edit]

The 1990s decade started with Vélez finishing third in the 1990 Apertura tournament.[13] In the last fixture of the championship, Vélez defeated River Plate 2–1 (goals from Ricardo Gareca and Esteban González) at the Monumental, thwarting River's chances of winning the title. Vélez goalkeeper, former Argentine international Ubaldo Fillol, saved a penalty kick during the game, and retired at the age of 41. The 1990–91 season also saw the team's striker Esteban González finish as league top scorer, with 18 goals. Subsequently, the club finished fourth in the 1991 Apertura and second in the 1992 Clausura.

On December 1992, former striker Carlos Bianchi was appointed as the club's manager. Bianchi, who had been league champion and three times top scorer with the team, had no coaching experience in Argentine football. In his first tournament as manager (the 1993 Clausura), Vélez won the Argentine Primera División title after 25 years. The championship was defined in the penultimate fixture (8 June), when the team drew 1–1 with Estudiantes de La Plata (with goalkeeper José Luis Chilavert scoring his first goal in Vélez). The team played 19 games, winning 10, drawing 7 and losing 2, with 23 goals for and 7 against. Its most frequent line-up was: José Luis Chilavert, Héctor Almandoz, Roberto Trotta, Víctor Hugo Sotomayor, Raúl Cardozo, José Basualdo, Marcelo Gómez, Christian Bassedas, Walter Pico, José Oscar Flores, Omar Asad and Esteban González. Carlos Bianchi was the coach, and the roster was also formed by Mariano Armentano, Horacio Bidevich, Patricio Camps, Carlos Campagnucci, Juan Carlos Docabo, Cecilio Galeano, Claudio Husaín, Mauricio Pellegrino, Martín Posse, Leonardo Ramos, Fabián Vázquez and Sergio Zárate.

On that year's Apertura, the team was runner-up, one point behind River Plate. Vélez played the last games of the tournament with substitutes, as they were already participating in the 1994 Copa Libertadores (the 1993 Apertura finished in February 1994).

International titles[edit]

Copa Intercontinental 1994 and Copa Libertadores de América 1994

On 31 August 1994, in the club's second participation in the Copa Libertadores, they won the title by defeating defending champions São Paulo in the final. The first series final was played at the José Amalfitani stadium, with Vélez winning 1–0 (goal by Omar Asad). The return game was played at the Estádio do Morumbi, with São Paulo winning by the same margin. The champion had to be defined via penalty shootout, with Vélez winning 5–3 (the last penalty was scored by Roberto Pompei).

On its way to the championship, the team had finished first in their group, ahead Boca Juniors (with results of 1–1 and 2–1), and Brazilians Palmeiras (1–0 and 1–4) and Cruzeiro (1–1 and 2–0). Subsequently, Vélez had defeated Uruguayan Defensor Sporting in the round of 16 (1–1 and 0–0, 4–3 in penalties), Venezuelan Minervén in the quarter finals (0–0 and 2–0) and Colombian Junior in the semifinals (1–2 and 2–1, 5–4 in penalties).

As Copa Libertadores champion, Vélez played the 1994 Intercontinental Cup in Tokyo, Japan, facing Italian side A. C. Milan (winner of the 1993–94 UEFA Champions League). On 1 December 1994, Vélez defeated Milan 2–0, with goals from Roberto Trotta (from a penalty kick at the 5th minute of the second half), and Omar Asad (13th minute of the second half), successfully becoming club world champion for the first time in history. Moreover, Asad was selected as the game's best player, and was awarded an automobile from Toyota, the tournament's sponsor. The team was formed by the same players that had won the domestic title, with Roberto Pompei replacing Pico. Other players of the roster were Mariano Armentano, Patricio Camps, Carlos Campagnucci, Juan Carlos Docabo, Federico Domínguez, Esteban González, Sandro Guzmán, Claudio Husaín, Guillermo Morigi, Martín Posse, Ricardo Rentera, Flavio Zandoná and Marcelo Herrera.

Among the starting eleven of the Intercontinental Cup title, 7 players and the manager were from the club's youth divisions (Almandoz, Asad, Bassedas, Cardozo, Flores, Gómez, Pompei and Bianchi).

Subsequently, the team came third in the 1994 Apertura and in the 1995 Clausura. In this last championship, José Oscar Turu Flores was the top scorer, with 14 goals.

The club won its third national championship in the 1995 Apertura, finishing 6 points above runner-up Racing Club. Vélez won the last 6 games of the tournament, including a 3–0 away victory over Independiente in the final fixture (goals by Roberto Trotta (p.k.), Patricio Camps and José Basualdo). The team played 19 games, winning 13, drawing 2 and losing 4; with 29 goals for and 13 against.[14]

On 24 February 1996, Vélez won its third international competition by defeating Costa Rican C.S. Cartaginés in the Copa Interamericana (0–0 away and 2–0 at home, with goals by José Oscar Flores). During that year, the team also won the 1996 Clausura, finishing one point above Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata. By winning successively the Apertura and Clausura of the 1995–96 season, Vélez became the sixth club in the Argentine professional football history to win two championships in a row. Osvaldo Piazza, a former club player, replaced Carlos Bianchi as coach for the last four fixtures of the season. In total, Vélez won 11 games, drew 7 and lost 1, scoring 40 goals and allowing 18.

Under Piazza's coaching, Vélez won the 1996 Supercopa Sudamericana unbeaten, defeating Grêmio (3–3 and 1–0), Olimpia (3–0 and 1–0), Santos (1–0 and 2–0) and Cruzeiro (1–0 and 2–0). With 4 goals, Patricio Camps was the tournament's top scorer.

On 13 April 1997, the team won the Recopa Sudamericana, defeating River Plate 4–2 in the penalty shootout, after drawing in the regular time 1–1 (goal by José Luis Chilavert, from a penalty kick).[15] This was Vélez 5th and, to date, last international championship.

After the Recopa, Vélez finished fifth in the 1997 Clausura and fourth in the 1997 Apertura. Subsequently, under Marcelo Bielsa's coaching, the club won their fifth national championship by finishing first in the 1998 Clausura, 6 points above runner-up Lanús. Vélez secured the championship in the penultimate fixture, with a 1–0 home win over Huracán (goal by Martín Posse). The team played 19 games, winning 14, drawing 4 and losing 1; with 39 goals for and 14 against.[16]

2000–present[edit]

During the first years of the 2000s decade, Vélez was unable to finish in the league's top positions until the 2003 Clausura, when the team finished third behind River Plate (champion) and Boca Juniors. In the 2004 Clausura, striker Rolando Zárate was league top scorer with 13 goals, and in the 2004 Apertura Vélez was again runner-up. The team finished two points behind Newell's Old Boys, after drawing 1–1 in the last fixture with Arsenal de Sarandí.

In the following championship, the 2005 Clausura, Vélez won their 6th national championship. The team finished 6 points above Banfield, effectively winning the tournament in the penultimate fixture, after defeating Estudiantes de La Plata 3–0 (goals by Fabián Cubero, Rolando Zárate and Lucas Castromán). Vélez was coached by Miguel Ángel Russo, and had a team formed mostly by players formed in the club's youth divisions, who averaged 25 years of age. In the starting eleven, only Gastón Sessa and Fabricio Fuentes were not from Vélez' youths. The team played 19 games in total, winning 11, drawing 6 and losing 2, scoring 32 goals and allowing 14.

The club's fans celebrating Vélez' 100th anniversary

The team's lineup was: Sessa; Cubero, Fuentes, Maximiliano Pellegrino, Ariel Broggi / Marcelo Bustamante; Jonás Gutiérrez, Leandro Somoza, Marcelo Bravo; Leandro Gracián; Castromán and Rolando Zárate. Other players who played regularly for the first team during the tournament were Juan Manuel Martínez, Santiago Ladino, Maximiliano Bustos, Emanuel Centurión, Hernán Pellerano and Mauro Zárate, among others.

Vélez subsequently finished third in the 2005 Apertura, reached the semifinals of the 2005 Copa Sudamericana and the quarterfinals in the 2006 Copa Libertadores. In the 2006 Apertura, Mauro Zárate was the 13th player in the club's history to finish as Argentine Primera top scorer (counting both professional and amateur eras), sharing the honour with Rodrigo Palacio.

By the end of 2008, Christian Bassedas, former player of the club during the successful 1990s era, was appointed as director of football; while Ricardo Gareca, former club player in the late 1980s and early 1990s, was contracted as manager. In the first tournament under Gareca's coaching, Vélez became Argentine league champion for the seventh time in history, by winning the 2009 Clausura. In the final fixture of the tournament, the team played against Huracán (who was first, one point above Vélez) at home, winning 1–0 (goal by Maximiliano Moralez) and therefore securing the championship. In total, the team won 11 games, drew 7 and lost 1, scoring 29 goals and allowing 13. Moreover, goalkeeper Germán Montoya was awarded the Ubaldo Matildo Fillol Award for having the lowest goals-to-games ratio in the tournament. The starting eleven for the final against Huracán was: Montoya; Gastón Díaz, Sebastián Domínguez, Nicolás Otamendi, Emiliano Papa; Cubero, Franco Razzotti, Víctor Zapata; Moralez; Juan Manuel Martínez and Hernán Rodrigo López. Other players who took part of the first team squad during the tournament were Jonathan Cristaldo (who could not play the last fixture due to an injury), Joaquín Larrivey, Nicolás Cabrera (who was a starter until he suffered a knee injury in the fifth fixture), Darío Ocampo, Waldo Ponce, Roberto Nanni, Leandro Coronel and Ariel Cabral, among others. Captain Leandro Somoza was out for the entire tournament due to an injury.

During the 2009–10 season Vélez Sarsfield contributed with 8 players to the different South American national teams: 6 for Argentina (Emiliano Papa, Nicolás Otamendi –who went on to play the 2010 FIFA World Cup–, Sebastián Domínguez, Jonathan Cristaldo, Gastón Díaz and Franco Razzotti), one for Chile (Waldo Ponce) and one for Uruguay (Hernán Rodrigo López).

On 1 January 2010 the club's fans celebrated Vélez' 100th anniversary by marching from Floresta to the José Amalfitani stadium in Liniers. A group of more than 50,000 people took part of the celebration.[17]

During 2010, the team's best tournament was in the Apertura, in which they were runners-up. Vélez made a 43-points campaign, 3 more than in their latest Clausura championship, but finished 2 points behind Estudiantes de La Plata. In that tournament, the Uruguayan forward Santiago Silva was the joint-top scorer, while goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero won the Ubaldo Fillol Award, conceding only 6 goals.

On the first semester of 2011, Vélez contested both the national championship and the Copa Libertadores. In the latter, after qualifying second in their group, they defeated LDU Quito in the round of 16 and Libertad in the quarterfinals with overall scores of 5–0 and 7–2 respectively. Vélez reached the semifinals for the first time since 1994, however, they were eliminated by Peñarol on away goals rule, after losing 0–1 in Montevideo and winning 2–1 in Buenos Aires. In this second match, Vélez' forward Santiago Silva missed a penalty with the game 2–1.

Despite being eliminated from the Copa Libertadores, Vélez had managed to maintain themselves as serious contesters of the 2011 Clausura. On the penultimate fixture, Vélez defeated Huracán 2–0 and, after Lanús' defeat to Argentinos Juniors 4 hours later, won the national championship. During the whole season the team kept a regular starting lineup with Marcelo Barovero; Fabián Cubero, Sebastián Domínguez, Fernando Ortiz, Emiliano Papa; Augusto Fernández, Leandro Somoza / Franco Razzotti, Víctor Zapata; Maximiliano Moralez; Juan Manuel Martínez and Santiago Silva. Ricardo Álvarez, Guillermo Franco, David Ramírez, Iván Bella, Jonathan Cristaldo, Fernando Tobio, Héctor Canteros and Agustín Vuletich also played regularly. Goalkeeper Barovero retained his Ubaldo Fillol Award during the tournament

Despite losing three of its key offensive players for the second half of the year (Maximiliano Moralez, Ricardo Álvarez and Santiago Silva, who were purchased by Atalanta BC, FC Internazionale and ACF Fiorentina respectively), the team finished up 2011 with another semi-finalist finish in an international competition, this time losing to LDU Quito in the Copa Sudamericana, as well as a joint runner-up position in the 2011 Apertura (behind undefeated Boca Juniors).

With Gareca's contract renewal, Vélez prepared 2012 to once again challenge the Copa Libertadores. The club retained its key players and brought three footballers for its attack: Federico Insúa, Lucas Pratto and Iván Obolo. However, Vélez faced defending champions Santos in the quarterfinals and were eliminated in the penalty shootout. Nonetheless, a third-place finish in the 2012 Clausura secured them a spot in the next season's Copa Libertadores.

The 2012–13 Argentine Primera División season appeared to be a transition championship for the team, after losing many of its key players in the last transfer window (Juan Manuel Martínez, Augusto Fernández, Marcelo Barovero and Víctor Zapata), replacing them mainly with players from its youth divisions. Uruguayan goalkeeper Sebastián Sosa and youngsters Facundo Ferreyra and Jonathan Copete were the only signings. Despite these changes, Vélez went on to win the 2012 Inicial and Ferreyra was joint top-scorer of the league. The championship-winning regular starters were Sebastián Sosa (although Germán Montoya was the starter during the first half of the tournament); Fabián Cubero, Fernando Tobio, Sebastián Domínguez, Emiliano Papa; Iván Bella, Francisco Cerro, Ariel Cabral; Federico Insúa; Lucas Pratto and Facundo Ferreyra. Other important first team players were Gino Peruzzi, Juan Ignacio Sills, Lucas Romero, Jonathan Copete, Agustín Allione, Brian Ferreira and Ezequiel Rescaldani.

With the Copa Libertadores as the main objective, Vélez signed Argentine international Fernando Gago on loan for the start of 2013. However, and despite finishing first in the group, the team was eliminated by Newell's Old Boys in the round of 16, on aways goals rule. Vélez could take revenge however by defeating Newell's (2013 Final champions) by 1–0 in the 2012–13 Superfinal, earning the 10th league championship for the club. The starting eleven for the Superfinal were Sosa; Cubero, Tobio, Domínguez, Papa; Bella, Franco Razzotti, Gago; Insúa; Pratto (who scored the winning goal) and Ferreyra. Peruzzi, Cerro and Romero entered in the second half.

After the end of the season, Ricardo Gareca left the managerial position after four years, in which he won four titles. His replacement was his assistant José Oscar Flores, former club forward and part of the 1990s multi-champions.

Flores started his spell as Vélez manager winning the 2013 Supercopa Argentina against Arsenal de Sarandí (champions of the 2012–13 Copa Argentina).

Uniform evolution[edit]

1910–12
1912–14
1914–33
1933–2014

Supporters[edit]

Vélez fans are usually known as 'Los Fortineros'.

"El Fortín" Champion 2009

Velez's fanbase is drawn from the west of Buenos Aires and the surroundings of Liniers, although Fortineros can be found in Moreno and Merlo as well.

However, due to the important success achieved since 1990 that included obtaining multiple local and international tournaments, Velez's fanbase grew significantly. Nowadays it is not uncommon to find Velez's fans all over Argentina as "Fortineros de Tucumán" group, 1600 km from Buenos Aires.[18]

Rivalries[edit]

Vélez Sarsfield has no direct rival. Ferro Carril Oeste, based in the neighbourhood of Caballito, was Vélez's historical rival. The matches played between them were known as the Clásico del Oeste (in English: "Western Derby"). However, this rivalry has faded since, as of Ferro's relegation, the teams play in different divisions. They have not faced each other since 2000, when Vélez beat Ferro away 1–0.

Stadium[edit]

Estadio José Amalfitani.

The Estadio José Amalfitani (named after José Amalfitani, club's president for 30 years) holds 49,540 people,[19] although it does not provide seating for all of them. It is also frequently used for concerts and Argentine national rugby union team test matches. The stadium, nicknamed el Fortín (in English: "the Small Fort"), was built between 1941 and 1943, later rebuild in cement between 1947 and 1951, and again remodeled in preparation for the 1978 FIFA World Cup.

The stadium is located on 9200 Juan B. Justo avenue, in the Liniers neighborhood of Buenos Aires, a short walk from the Liniers train station.

Chairmen[edit]

José Amalfitani, nicknamed Don Pepe (in English "Mr. Pepe"), was the club's president for over 30 years, and is one of the most important figures in Vélez' history.
Period President
1910–13 Luis Barredo
1913–14 Plácido Marín
1914 Roberto Piano
1914–17 Eduardo Ferro
1917–19 Antonio Marín Moreno
1919 Eduardo Ferro
1920–21 Antonio Marín Moreno
1921–23 Esteban Aversano
1923–25 José Amalfitani
1925–32 Enrique D'Elía
1932–35 Nicolás Marín Moreno
1936–37 Juan C. Sustaita
1937 Narciso Barrio
1937–38 Inocencio Bienati
1938–39 Nicolás Marín Moreno
1940–41 Roberto Orstein
1941–69 José Amalfitani
1969 Leonardo Pareja
1969–70 Domingo Trimarco
1970–76 José Ramón Feijóo
1976 Domingo Trimarco
1976–79 Osvaldo Guerrero
1979–85 Ricardo Petracca
1985–91 Francisco Antonio Pérez
1991–93 Ricardo Petracca
1993–96 Héctor Gaudio
1996–99 Raúl Gámez
1999–02 Carlos Eduardo Mousseaud
2002–05 Raúl Gámez
2005–08 Álvaro Balestrini
2008–11 Fernando Raffaini
2011– Miguel Calello

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

Current squad of Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield as of August 2, 2014 (edit)
Sources: Official website and Argentine Soccer

No. Position Player
1  ARG GK Alan Aguerre
3  ARG DF Emiliano Papa
5  ARG DF Fabián Cubero
6  ARG DF Sebastián Domínguez
7  ARG MF Jorge Correa
9  ARG FW Milton Caraglio
10  ARG FW Roberto Nanni
11  ARG MF Ariel Cabral
12  ARG FW Lucas Pratto
13  URU GK Sebastián Sosa
14  ARG DF Matías Pérez Acuña
15  ECU FW Jairo Vélez Cedeño
16  ARG MF Leonardo Villalba
No. Position Player
18  ARG DF Lautaro Gianetti
19  ARG MF Yamil Asad
20  ARG MF Brian Ferreira
21  ARG DF Fausto Grillo
22  ARG MF Leonardo Rolón
23  ARG MF Leandro Desábato
24  ARG FW Federico Vázquez
25  ARG GK Gonzalo Yordan
27  ARG MF Leandro Vera
28  ARG FW Ramiro Cáseres
29  ARG MF Lucas Romero
30  ARG DF Facundo Cardozo

Manager: José Oscar Flores

Records[edit]

Most appearances[edit]

Total games with the team, counting both league and international competitions.[20]

Player in bold is still active with the club. Therefore, the total number of appearances is likely to change regularly.

Rank Player Apps Career
1 Argentina Fabián Cubero 458 1996–2007, 2008–present
2 Argentina Pedro Larraquy 457 1975–87
3 Argentina Raúl Cardozo 411 1986–99
4 Argentina Ángel Allegri 399 1946–60
5 Argentina Armando Ovide 391 1941–55
6 Paraguay José Luis Chilavert 347 1991–2000, 2004
7 Argentina Christian Bassedas 331 1990–2000
8 Argentina Carlos Bianchi 324 1967–73, 1980–84
9 Argentina Luis Gallo 319 1965–74
10 Argentina Juan Carlos Bujedo 296 1979–87

All-time topscorers[edit]

Total goals scored for the team, counting both league and international competitions.[21]

Rank Player Goals
1 Argentina Carlos Bianchi 206
2 Argentina Juan José Ferraro 111
3 Argentina Norberto Conde 108
4 Argentina Agustín Cosso 95
5 Argentina Pedro Larraquy 82
6 Argentina Juan Carlos Carone 76
7 Argentina Miguel Ángel Benito 74
8 Argentina Patricio Camps 70
9 Argentina Daniel Willington 65
10 Argentina Omar Pedro Roldán 60

Top goalscorers[edit]

National championships[edit]

The following players have been Argentine Primera División top scorers playing for the club.

Player Championship Goals
Salvador Carreras 1920 AAF 20
Agustín Cosso 1935 33
Norberto Conde 1954 19
Juan Carlos Carone 1965 19
Omar Wehbe 1968 Nacional 16
Carlos Bianchi 1970 Nacional 18
Carlos Bianchi 1971 Metropolitano 36
Carlos Bianchi 1981 Nacional 15
Jorge Comas 1985 Nacional 12
Esteban González 1990–91 18
José Oscar Flores 1995 Clausura 14
Rolando Zárate 2004 Clausura 13
Mauro Zárate 2006 Clausura 12
Santiago Silva 2010 Apertura 11
Facundo Ferreyra 2012 Inicial 13
Mauro Zárate 2014 Final 13

International competitions[edit]

The following players have been top scorers in an official international competition playing for the club.

Player Competition Goals
Patricio Camps 1996 Supercopa Sudamericana 4
Sebastián Ereros 2006 Copa Libertadores 5

Individual awards[edit]

The following players have won an official individual award while playing for Vélez.

Player Award Year won
José Luis Cuciuffo South American Team of the Year 1986
Oscar Ruggeri South American Footballer of the Year 1991
Oscar Ruggeri Footballer of the Year of Argentina 1991
Oscar Ruggeri South American Team of the Year 1991
José Luis Chilavert South American Team of the Year 1994
José Luis Chilavert IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper 1995
José Luis Chilavert South American Team of the Year 1995
Roberto Trotta South American Team of the Year 1995
José Luis Chilavert South American Footballer of the Year 1996
José Luis Chilavert Footballer of the Year of Argentina 1996
José Luis Chilavert South American Team of the Year 1996
José Luis Chilavert IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper 1997
José Luis Chilavert South American Team of the Year 1997
José Luis Chilavert IFFHS World's Best Goalkeeper 1998
José Luis Chilavert South American Team of the Year 1998
José Luis Chilavert South American Team of the Year 1999
Germán Montoya Ubaldo Fillol Award 2009
Nicolás Otamendi South American Team of the Year 2009
Juan Manuel Martínez Footballer of the Year of Argentina 2010
Marcelo Barovero Ubaldo Fillol Award 2010
Santiago Silva South American Team of the Year 2010
Marcelo Barovero Ubaldo Fillol Award 2011

World Cup players[edit]

The following players represented their national team in a FIFA World Cup while playing for the club. The player in bold was part of a squad that also won that edition of the World Cup.

Player National team World Cup edition
1 Ludovico Avio  Argentina 1958
2 Nery Pumpido  Argentina 1982
3 José Luis Cuciuffo  Argentina 1986
4 José Basualdo  Argentina 1994
5 Pablo Cavallero  Argentina 1998
6 José Luis Chilavert  Paraguay 1998
7 Nicolás Otamendi  Argentina 2010

The following players were formed in the club's youth divisions and participated in a FIFA World Cup, regardless if they did so while playing for the club.

Player National team World Cup edition(s)
1 Ludovico Avio  Argentina 1958
2 Carmelo Simeone  Argentina 1966
3 Diego Simeone  Argentina 1994, 1998 and 2002
4 Pablo Cavallero  Argentina 1998 and 2002
5 Claudio Husaín  Argentina 2002
6 Nicolás Otamendi  Argentina 2010
7 Jonás Gutiérrez  Argentina 2010
8 Ricardo Álvarez  Argentina 2014

Managers[edit]

Honours[edit]

Domestic[edit]

International[edit]

Other sports[edit]

Basketball[edit]

Vélez Sarsfield has both men's[24] and women's[25] basketball teams. The men's team currently plays at the Liga Nacional B (3rd level). On the other hand, the women's team is the most successful in Argentina,[26] having won the Liga Nacional de Básquet Femenino (Argentine first division) 6 times, including the 2010 season.[27] Vélez's starting five during the 2010 championship (Sandra Pavón, Marina Cava, Paula Gatti, Paula Reggiardo, and Florencia Fernández) were selected to represent Argentina at the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women.[28]

Volleyball[edit]

The club also has men's[29] and women's[30] volleyball teams in Buenos Aires' metropolitan leagues.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Deportes y actividades at Vélez Sarsfield website
  2. ^ "Datos – Nombre completo" (in Spanish). Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac "Historia" (in Spanish). VelezSarsfield.net. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Historia del Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield" (in Spanish). Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  5. ^ Osvaldo José Gorgazzi. "Argentina 1919". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  6. ^ Osvaldo José Gorgazzi and Víctor Hugo Kurhy. "Argentina 1931". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  7. ^ Osvaldo José Gorgazzi and Víctor Hugo Kurhy. "Asociación del Fútbol Argentino – 1940". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  8. ^ Oscar Barnade (17 July 2009). "Vélez: el primer campeón profesional". Clarín (in Spanish). Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  9. ^ Osvaldo José Gorgazzi. "Argentina 1953". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  10. ^ a b Osvaldo José Gorgazzi. "Argentina 1968". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  11. ^ John Beuker. "Copa Libertadores de América 1980". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  12. ^ Osvaldo José Gorgazzi. "Argentina 1985 – Campeonato Nacional". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  13. ^ Pablo Ciullini. "Argentina 1990/91". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  14. ^ Guillermo Tagliaferri (18 December 2005). "Bianchi, cosecha 1995". Clarín (in Spanish). Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  15. ^ "La Recopa viajó a Liniers". La Nación (in Spanish). 14 April 1999. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  16. ^ "Vélez ni siquiera tuvo que transpirar para ser campeón". La Nación (in Spanish). 1 June 1998. Retrieved 2010-10-27. 
  17. ^ "Simplemente gracias" (in Spanish). Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield. 5 January 2010. Retrieved 2010-01-14. 
  18. ^ de Tucuman
  19. ^ "Estadio José Amalfitani" (in Spanish). Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield. Retrieved 2010-11-10. 
  20. ^ "Máximas Presencias" (in Spanish). Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  21. ^ "Máximos Goleadores" (in Spanish). Club Atlético Vélez Sarsfield. Retrieved 2011-08-06. 
  22. ^ "Argentina: Fourth level champions 1905-2008/09", RSSSF
  23. ^ Campeones de Cuarta División – AFA website
  24. ^ "Men's basketball section" (in Spanish). www.velezsarsfield.com.ar. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  25. ^ "Women's basketball section" (in Spanish). www.velezsarsfield.com.ar. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  26. ^ "Vélez, campeón del básquet femenino". Cancha Llena (in Spanish). 29 December 2009. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  27. ^ "Un verdadero Fortín" (in Spanish). www.velezbasquet.com.ar. 19 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  28. ^ "Las Gigantes, rumbo al Mundial". Clarín (in Spanish). 15 September 2010. Retrieved 2010-09-18. 
  29. ^ "Men's volleyball section" (in Spanish). www.velezsarsfield.com.ar. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  30. ^ "Women's volleyball section" (in Spanish). www.velezsarsfield.com.ar. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 

External links[edit]