Argentinos Juniors is an Argentine football club, founded in La Paternal, Buenos Aires, on 15 August 1904. The club was originally called the Martyrs of Chicago, in homage to the eight anarchists imprisoned or hanged after the 1886 Haymarket Riot in Chicago.
The team plays in a red top with a diagonal white sash running from the right shoulder to the left waist. Over recent years they have also used a plain red top, a red top with a single vertical white stripe and a red top that gradually fades to white at the bottom. The club have used both red or white shorts and socks over the years, their current first kit features white shorts and red socks. The club used a number of different colors in their early years, but in 1917 they settled on red, inspired by the club's socialist beginnings.
The club currently plays in Estadio Diego Armando Maradona which is also often referred to as La Paternal after La Paternal district of Buenos Aires where the club is based. The stadium was named after Diego Maradona because he started his career in the Argentinos youth team. Between 1983 and 2003 Argentinos had a groundshare with Ferro Carril Oeste at Estadio Ricardo Etcheverry. The club has had a number of other homes in their history, all based in the city of Buenos Aires.
The club, which is nicknamed Bichos Colorados (Red Bugs), is one of the most prolific sources of football players in Argentina. Diego Maradona, Fernando Redondo and Juan Roman Riquelme being some of the most famous players who began their career at the club. This ability to keep producing world class players has given them the nickname El Semillero, meaning the Nursery or the "Seed Garden".
The club was founded in the Villa Crespo neighbourhood of Buenos Aires on August 14, 1904. In 1905 it joined the "Futbol de competencia" league playing its first game against Club La Prensa, which it lost by a catastrophic scoreline of 12-1. After several moves in their first few years Argentinos settled in Villa Urquiza.
In 1909 Argentinos gained affiliation with the Argentine Football Association, but in 1912 they were involved in the first schism in Argentine football when they joined the breakaway "Federacion de Futbol". In 1920 they played a promotion playoff with El Porvenir but lost 3-2 on aggregate, one year later they secured promotion to the Primera, and made their debut in the 1922 season, where they competed well, finishing in 6th place.
The club endured a terrible season in 1925, but they followed it up in 1926 with a 2nd place finish behind champions Boca Juniors.
In 1927 the two separate football associations reunified and Argentinos played in a massive 34 team league, the league was expanded to 36 and Argentinos managed to keep their place until 1930.
In 1931 Argentinos joined 17 other clubs in forming a breakaway professional league, a move that marked the beginning of the professional era of Argentine football. In 1934 the Amateur league was broken up and Argentina once again had a unified first division. As part of this move, Argentinos Juniors were unified with Club Atletico Atlanta, the season progressed badly, and after 25 rounds the union was dissolved due to financial irregularities in the Atlanta books. Argentinos Juniors played on but finished bottom of the league with only 2 wins from 39 games.
Argentinos were allowed to keep their place in the Primera, but succumbed to relegation in 1937 after finishing second from bottom of the table.
In 1940 Argentinos enjoyed a good campaign in a new stadium, which culminated in winning the 2nd division, but the club were not allowed promotion because their ground did not meet the requirements of the Primera Division, and AFA would not make an exception for Argentinos to play at another ground, even though they had done so for several other promoted clubs in previous seasons.
In 1943 Hector Ingunza made his first appearance for the club, he went on to become the top scorer in the clubs history with 143 goals in official games between 1943 and 1946.
In 1948 Argentinos suffered another injustice at the hands of AFA, they had qualified to the end of season playoff for promotion to the Primera and were top of the league after 7 of the 11 rounds when a players strike interrupted the competition. AFA eventually abandoned the playoff and gave automatic promotion to the teams that had been relegated in 1946 and 1947 instead.
In 1954 Argentinos finished in 2nd place in the league having scored 88 goals in the league, making them the highest scoring team by far. In 1955 they finally secured promotion back to the Primera after 18 long years. They returned to top flight competition in 1956 and after finishing near the bottom of the table that year, they secured comfortable mid-table finishes over the next few seasons.
In 1960 there was a complete overhaul of the Argentinos Juniors team, the new team performed well and it was only on the last game of the season that they missed out on the championship. They finished in 3rd place, only 2 points below the eventual champions Independiente. Although they didn't win the championship, the team is fondly remembered by those old enough to have seen them play. In the following years the team did not live up to expectations, rarely finishing in the top half of the table.
1967 saw the introduction of the Metropolitano and Nacional system, Argentinos struggled to adapt and only just survived relegation from the Metropolitano in the inaugural season. Over the next few seasons Argentinos had to play in several short tournaments to earn the right to stay in the Metropolitano and were far from qualifying to play in the Nacional.
From 1971 Argentinos stabilised themselves and avoided the lower positions in the table, they also qualified to play in the expanded Nacional tournaments of the early '70s, they performed well enough, but failed to qualify for the final stages.
In 1975 Argentinos Juniors finished 19th of 20 teams, but were extremely fortune in that no teams were relegated from the Metropolitano that season.
On Thursday 20 October 1976, fans of Argentinos Juniors and a few travelling Talleres fans witnessed probably the most important debut in the history of Argentine football. With Argentinos losing 1-0 the manager, Juan Carlos Montes sent on a fifteen year old debutant named Diego Armando Maradona making him the leagues youngest ever player until his record was broken by Sergio Aguero in 2003. Argentinos lost the game but Diego went on to propel the club forward over the next four years and to achieve great successes with other clubs and the Argentina national team. In the 1979 Metropolitano Diego became the youngest topscorer in the history of Argentine football with 14 goals, he went on to become top scorer in the following three tournaments, matching Jose Sanfilippo's record of being Argentina's topscorer on four consecutive occasions. In 1980 Argentinos finished 2nd in the Metropolitano and reached the quarter finals of the Nacional. The 2nd place finish was their best since the beginning of the professional era in 1931.
In 1981 Maradona was sold to Boca Juniors in 1981 for a fee of 1million. Maradona never won a title with Argentinos but his massive transfer fee allowed Argentinos to strengthen their squad for the years ahead, although his departure almost cost Argentinos their place in the top flight, they needed a last day win over San Lorenzo to avoid relegation at San Lorenzo's expense.
In 1982 Argentinos failed to progress to the latter stages of the nacional and finished in mid table in the Metropolitano. The season of 1983 saw a distinct improvement under the leadership of Angel Labruna, he had brought in a new group of players a new system of play and moved them to the Estadio Ricardo Etcheverry of Ferro Carril Oeste to give the team a wider pitch to play on. The team were making good progress, they had made it to the semi-finals of the Nacional and were in the middle of the Metropolitano when Labruna died suddenly on 20 September 1983, the team held themselves together under new manager Roberto Saporiti for a mid table finish. They then made it to the Quarter-finals of the Nacional in 1984.
Saporiti had kept faith with Labruna's attacking style of play, and largely retained the same group of players. Argentinos managed to win the title by a single point from landlords Ferro Carril Oeste on the last day of the season. This was the first major title in the clubs history and gave them automatic qualification to the Copa Libertadores in 1985.
Saporiti was replaced as manager by Jose Yudica who had worked wonders in previous seasons including leading unfashionable Quilmes Atletico Club to the Metropolitano championship in 1978 and rescuing San Lorenzo from the 2nd division at the first time of asking. The Nacional championship of 1985 was the last, and featured by far the most complicated structure in the history of the Argentine Primera. Once the competition reached the knockout stage, the eliminated teams got another chance to play on in the losers knockout. Argentinos won the winners group with a 4-2 win on penalteis against Velez Sarsfield after a 2-2 aggregate score, but Velez got another chance to play for the title after beating River Plate in the losers final. Argentinos and Velez played for the title and after a 1-1 draw, Velez won the penalty shootout, but because they has come from the losers group a new game was needed, which Argentinos won 2-1.
Copa Libertadores 1985
The 1985 edition of the Copa Libertadores saw the inclusion of three Argentine teams, Independiente as the previous years champions, Ferro Carril Oeste as the champions of the 1984 Nacional and Argentinos Juniors as the champions of the 1984 Metropolitano.
In the first round Argentinos and Ferro were put into the same group with Brazilian teams Fluminese and Vasco de Gama. The group was dominated by the two Argentine teams, who finished level on points at the top of the group. This necessitated a playoff game to determine which team would pass to the semi-final, which Argentinos won 3-1.
In the semi-final round Argentinos found themselves in a group of three with Independiete who had received a bye to the semi-finals and club Blooming of Bolivia. Argentinos progressed thanks to a 2-1 win in Independiente's stadium in the last fixture of the group.
The final was against America de Cali of Colombia, after a 1-0 home win each, the final went to a deciding game in Asuncion, Paraguay. The game finished 1-1 and Argentinos won 5-4 on penalties. It was only the second time the competition had been decided on penalties, and marked the finest achievement in the history of Argentinos Juniors.
The players involved in the final playoff game were:
Manager: Jose Yudica
In 1985 Argentinos Juniors represented South America in the Intercontinental Cup against Juventus F.C. of Italy, the game ended in a 2-2 draw, but Argentinos lost in the penalty shootout. Argentinos went on to win another trophy in 1986. They won 1-0 in the Copa Interamericana against Defence Force of Trinidad and Tobago.
Argentinos qualified for the 1986 Copa Libertadores, receiving a bye to the second round as holders, but were elimnated in the group of three, behind River Plate of Argentina who went on to win the tournament.
1985-1986 saw the start of Eupropean-style seasons. Argentinos performed well, finishing in the top half of the table for most of the rest of the 1980s and never fearing relegation, although they also never really challenged as title contenders.
By 1988 the majority of the Libertadores champions had gone and Argentinos were a vastly different team.
On 20 November 1988 the club set a world record for the longest penalty shootout, which occurred in a league match against Racing Club, the shootout finished 20:19 to Argentinos after 44 penalties. The rules of the time granted an extra point for the winner on penalties after a drawn match.
1990 saw the introduction of the Apertura and Clausura system in Argentina, Argentinos enjoyed a number of decent finishes, although they finished 19th in Apertura 1992 and were saved from relegation by the points averaging system.
Argentinos finished 20th and last in Clausura 1995 and were again saved by the points averaging system, the next year they finished bottom of the clausura and were relegated from the primera only eleven years after being champions of South America.
In the 1996-1997 season Argentinos won the second division under manager Osvaldo Sosa to bounce back into the Primera at the first attempt. They remained in the top flight until they were relegated again after another sequence of poor finishes, the best finish they managed in that period was 4th in Clausura 2001.
Argentinos spent two seasons in the 2nd division before returning in 2004 through a playoff with Talleres de Cordoba who had finished the season in 3rd place in the Primera.
Argentinos spent a couple of nervous seasons narrowly avoiding relegation in 2005 by beating Atletico de Rafaela in a playoff. The following season they survived a playoff against Huracan. The 2006-2007 season saw Argentinos finally claw their way clear from the relegation places after over two years of flirting with relegation.
In 2008 Argentinos qualified for an international tournament for the first time in 12 years by quilifying for Copa Sudamericana 2008. They eventually progressed to the semi-final where they were eliminated by Estudiantes de La Plata over two legs despite beating them 5-0 in the league game which was sandwiched between the cup ties.
2nd Division 1940 (not allowed promotion), 1955, 1996-1997
Copa Libertadores 1985
Copa Interamericana 1985
Amateur First Division Runners-up: 1926
Amateur First Division's Copa Competencia Runners-up: 1925
Metropolitano Runners-up: 1980
To appear in this section a player must have played at least 50 games for the club or set a club record
Hector Ingunza (1943~46)
Jose Pekerman (1970~74)
Carlos Fren (1973~1978)
Oscar Quintabani (1974~76)
Diego Maradona (1976~81)
Pedro Pasculli (1980~85)
Claudio Borghi (1981~86)
Adrian Domenech (1982~87)
Mario Videla (1982~87)
Carmelo Villalba (1982~88)
Armando Dely Valdes (1983~?)
Renato Corsi (1983~87)
Jose Luis Pavoni (1983~88)
Juan Jose Lopez (1984~86)
Carlos Manuel Morete (1984~86)
Jorge Pellegrini (1984~87)
Enrique Vidalle (1984~87)
Emilio Commisso (1984~88)
Jorge Olguin (1984~88)
Nestor Lorenzo (1985~89)
Fernando Redondo (1985~90)
Carlos MacAllister (1986~92)
Oscar Dertycia (1988~89)
Ramiro Castillo (1988~90)
Fernando Gabriel Caceres
Diego Cagna (1988~92)
Roberto Mogrovejo (1989~93)
Leonel Gancedo (1990~96)
Cristian Traverso (1991~94)
Christian Dollberg (1992~94)
Leonardo Mas (1993~97)
Liber Vespa (1994~98)
Rolando Schiavi (1996~01)
Fabian Garfagnoli (1996~02)
Cristian Raul Ledesma
Federico Insua (1997~02)
Mariano Herron (1998~02)
Fernando Zagharian (1998~02)
Facundo Perez Castro (1999~07)
Pablo De Muner (2000~07)
Ariel Seltzer (2000~08)
Gaston Machin (2002~05)
Leonardo Pisculichi (2002~05)
Nicolas Pareja (2004~06)
Franco Niell (2004~07)
Nestor Ortigoza (2004-present)
Leonel Nunez (2005~07)
Matias Caruzzo (2006~present)
Gabriel Hauche (2006~2010)
Andres Scotti (2007~2009)
Famous graduates of "El Semillero"
Juan Roman Riquelme
Juan Pablo Sorin
Sergio Daniel Batista (2001-2004)
Chiche Sosa (2004-2005)
Gregorio Perez (2005-2006)
Adrian Domenech (2006)
Ricardo Caruso Lombardi (2007)
Nestor Gorosito (2007-2008)
Claudio Vivas (2009)
Claudio Borghi (2009-present)
Los Bichos colorados
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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Argentinos Juniors