Newell's Old Boys
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|Full name||Club Atlético Newell's Old Boys|
|Nickname(s)||La Lepra ("The Leprosy")|
|Founded||3 November 1903|
|Ground||Estadio Marcelo Bielsa,
|Website||Club home page|
Club Atlético Newell's Old Boys is an Argentine sports club based in Rosario, Santa Fe. The club was founded on 3 November 1903, and is named after Isaac Newell, one of the pioneers of Argentine football.
Originally member of Rosario's Football Association, Newell's affiliated to the Argentine Football Association (AFA) in 1939. They were the 2013 champions in Argentine football, and have won AFA's Primera División six times throughout their history. Newell's has also been twice Copa Libertadores runner-up (in 1988 and 1992).
The club's football stadium is the Estadio Marcelo Bielsa, named after the team's former player and manager Marcelo Bielsa (twice champion, and runner-up of one Copa Libertadores). Newell's plays the Rosario derby against Rosario Central, a club with which they have a huge historical rivalry.
Newell's is also notable for its youth divisions, being the club with most national titles in AFA's youth tournaments. Players from the club's youths who have represented Argentina at World Cups are Gabriel Batistuta, Américo Gallego, Jorge Valdano, Gabriel Heinze, Roberto Sensini, Mauricio Pochettino and Maxi Rodríguez, among others. Lionel Messi also played in the club's youths, but left at a young age to Barcelona to seek treatment for his growth hormone deficiency, while Diego Maradona played briefly for the first team in 1993 (5 games).
Club Atlético Newell's Old Boys was established on November 3, 1903. Claudio Newell was one of the founding members. Newell called teachers, pupils and alumni of the school to sign the act of foundation of the club. The name chosen paid tribute to Isaac Newell's life. The first president was Víctor Heitz.
The name "old boys" is referred to graduates of a school. Therefore, "Newells Old Boys" would mean "Graduates of Newell's school" or something similar. In fact, the players of the first football team were graduates of that school.
The colours of the club were taken from the Colegio Comercial Anglicano Argentino emblem (designed by Isaac Newell himself) that were red and black inspired in the colours of the English and German flags respectively.
Newell's Old Boys is often referred to as leprosos (lepers) because the team was invited to a charity match (against arch-rival Rosario Central) to raise funds for a leprosy sufferers of Hospital Carrasco, in the 1920s. The club immediately accepted to take part in the event, but Rosario Central did not so, therefore the match was cancelled.
Liga Rosarina (1905–1930)
On March 30, 1905, the Liga Rosarina de Football (Rosarian Football League) was established, since a proposal of Newell's president Heitz, who invited representatives of Rosario Athletic, Rosario Central and Atlético Argentino for that purpose. The main objective was to organise a championship, so a trophy was donated by the major of Rosario, Santiago Pinasco. The trophy was later named in his honour. Newell's was the winner of the first edition, having won 8 games and finishing unbeaten. The team also scored 39 goals and only received 4.
Previously, the historic first Rosarino derby had been held. Newell's won 1–0 with a goal scored by Faustino González. The next year Newell's won its second championship.
In 1907 the Liga Rosarina established a second division. The Copa Santiago Pinasco tournament moved to that division and "Copa Nicasio Vila" (named in honour of then major of Rosario) was created to be played by the first division teams. Newell's won the first edition of this trophy, which they won a total 9 times between 1907 and 1930.
The Copa de Honor Municipalidad de Buenos Aires allowed teams from Buenos Aires and Rosario to take part in the competition. Newell's won the 1911 edition defeating Porteño 3–2 at the final. Other trophy were teams of both cities played together was the Copa Dr. Carlos Ibarguren, won by Newell's in 1921, defeating Huracán by 3–0.
The arrival to Primera División
In 1939 Newell's asked Argentine Football Association to play the Primera División championship. The AFA accepted the request so Newell's played its first tournament in 1939, along with Rosario Central which was also added to the competition. Despite playing in the national tournaments, Newell's continued participating in the regional leagues of Rosario, but with youth amateur players. Newell's debuted in the AFA tournaments on March 19, 1939, defeating San Lorenzo by 2–1. The line-up was: Heredia; Gilli, Soneyro; Sisniega, Perucca, Reynoso; Belén, Fabrini, Gómez, Franco, Sánchez.
Newell's Old Boys have won the Primera División championship six times (1974 Metropolitano, 1987–88, 1990–91, 1992 Clausura, Apertura 2004 and 2013 Final) and were the runners-up of the Copa Libertadores de América twice (1988 and 1992). The 1990–91 championship was contested between the 1990 Apertura (Newell's) and 1991 Clausura (Boca Juniors) champions, which Newell's won in home-and-away matches. Even though the 1990 Apertura was not considered official by itself, it is considered by Newell's supporters to be their "seventh" championship.
Newell's also won a friendly youth mini-tournament called the Little World Cup in 1988, against River Plate, Milan, Juventus, Real Madrid and Manchester United, and is, together with Boca Juniors, San Lorenzo and Racing one of the few Argentine clubs that made a long and successful tour in Europe (in 1941), in which they defeated several important teams such as Valencia, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Real Madrid and the Spanish National "A" Team. These are the only major international achievements of the club until now (although several minor international summer tournaments were won, with the 1943 Copa de Oro Rioplatense standing up). So far the club has not won an official international championship.
Newell's Old Boys is one of a very few teams to have had all their players represent the National team in a single game, when they represented Argentina in a Pre-Olympic Tournament with their undefeated reserve team. It finished third in America, after Brazil and Uruguay.
The team has also contributed a great number of players to the Argentina national team, and exported many players to Europe's top leagues, mostly to Italy and Spain. Among its great players were Gabriel Batistuta, Abel Balbo, Jorge Valdano, Américo Gallego, Mario Zanabria, Gustavo Dezotti, Roberto Sensini, Walter Samuel, Mauricio Pochettino, René Pontoni, Gerardo Martino, Ángel Perucca and several more. It has recently produced Argentine internationals Gabriel Heinze, Maxi Rodríguez and Lionel Messi.
The club's president is Guillermo Lorente who was elected during 2008.
The Newell's Old Boys stadium has been in the Parque Independencia neighborhood of Rosario since 1911, and is commonly called El Coloso del Parque (the Colossus of the Independence Park). Capacity was increased from 31,000 to 39,000 in 1997. On 22 December 2009 the stadium was renamed to Marcelo Bielsa, in honor to the former player and coach of the team.
- Primera División (6): 1974 Metropolitano, 1987–88, 1990–91, 1992 Clausura, 2004 Apertura, 2013 Final
- Copa de Honor Municipalidad de Buenos Aires (1): 1911
- Copa Ibarguren (1): 1921
- Copa Adrián C. Escobar (1): 1949
- Liga Rosarina:
- Copa Santiago Pinasco (2): 1905, 1906
- Copa Nicaso Vila (9): 1907, 1909, 1910, 1911, 1913, 1918, 1921, 1922, 1929
- Asociación Rosarina:[note 1]
- Trofeo Luciano Molinas (4): 1931, 1933, 1934, 1935
- Copa Estímulo (1): 1925
Current squad of Newell's Old Boys as of 19 February 2016 (