Saturday, September 25, 2010

If Super Cup appeared stillborn and incapable of living, the Intercontinental Cup looked like old veteran nearing his last second after years of excessive, self-abusive, violent life. Once again the holders of the European Champions Cup refused to play – this time it was Bayern – and were replaced by the losing finalist: Atletico Madrid. The contest was not played in 1974, but in the spring of 1975 – and there was big distance between the first and the second leg as well: the first match was in March; the second – in April. At least in Europe the interest was nil. It was assumed that two archaic and ugly teams will kick each other to death. At the end, the challenge mattered most to Atletico Madrid. They lost the away match – Independient won measly 1-0 at home. In Madrid the battle lasted almost until the end, when Ruben Ayala scored the second goal for Atletico in the 85th minute. At least there was a bit of irony: an Argentine sunk the Argentines. Atletico collected the Cup.
The Mouse killed the cat, but unlike those moments here, there was nothing spectacular in Ayala’s winning goal: it resulted from dreadful attempts for clearing the ball by clumsy Indepenediente defense.
1st. leg:
Venue: Avellaneda. Field: Independiente ("La Doble Visera").
March 12, 1975

Independiente (Argentina) 1-0 Atlético Madrid (Spain)
Goal: 34' Agustín "Mencho" Balbuena.

Independiente: José Alberto Pérez -Miguel Ángel López, Ricardo Elbio Pavoni -
Eduardo Comisso, Rubén Galván, Francisco Pedro Manuel Sa -
Agustín Alberto Balbuena,
Aldo Fernando Rodríguez (57' Alejandro Estanislao Semenewicz),
Percy Rojas, Ricardo Enrique Bochini,
Ricardo Daniel Bertoni (83' Luis Alberto Giribert).
Atlético Madrid: Reina; Melo, "Cacho" Heredia, Benegas, Capón;
Eusebio, Alberto (46' Heraldo Becerra), Adelardo, Irureta;
Gárate, Rubén Ayala.

Referee: Charles Corver (Netherlands).

2nd. leg:
Venue: Madrid. Field: Vicente Calderón.
April 10, 1975

Atlético Madrid (Spain) 2-0 Independiente (Argentina)
Goals: 23' Irureta, 85' Rubén "Ratón" Ayala.

Atlético Madrid: Pacheco - Melo, "Cacho" Heredia, Eusebio, Capón, Adelardo,
Irureta, Alberto (Salcedo), Aguilar, Gárate, Rubén Ayala.
Coach: Luis Aragonés.

Independiente: José Alberto Pérez - Miguel Ángel López, Ricardo Elbio Pavoni -
Eduardo Comisso, Rubén Galván, Osvaldo Miguel Carrica -
Agustín Alberto Balbuena, Hugo José Saggiorato,
Percy Rojas (69' Aldo Fernando Rodríguez),
Ricardo Enrique Bochini, Ricardo Daniel Bertoni.
Coach: Roberto Ferreiro.

Referee: Carlos Robles (Chile).
Champions of the world. It was only the second international trophy of Atletico. They waited 13 years for this one… which so far is also their last. I wonder who even remembers the ‘matressmakers’ ever won international tournaments.
Top, left to right: Luis Aragonés – coach, alineó a Pacheco; Melo, Heredia, Eusebio, Capón; Bottom: Irureta, Adelardo, Alberto, Ayala; Gárate, Aguilar.
Well.. the club, the fans, and the Mouse – Ruben Ayala (on the right) remembered 30 years later. When Atlettico celebrated 100 years of existence.
Once upon a time Adelardo lifted the Intercontinental Cup. And got kissed.