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Arsenal de Sarandi

Arsenal Futbol Club, usually called Arsenal de Sarandi or simply Arsenal, is a football club from the Sarandi neighbourhood in the city of Avellaneda, Argentina, which was founded in 1957 by the Grondona brothers. Arsenal currently plays in the top tier of Argentine football, the Primera Division Argentina. They play their home games at the Estadio Julio H. Grondona, named after one of the founders, which has a capacity of 16,000. It opened in 1964 but was not used in the First Division until 2004. The club's colours are red and light blue, in honour of the traditional teams of Avellaneda. They have never won an Argentine league championship. The club's first major title was the Copa Sudamericana 2007.


The club was founded in January 1957 by brothers Hector and Julio Humberto Grondona, inspired by the English club Arsenal. The teams shirt colour is light blue with a diagonal red band (similar to the shirt used by River Plate). The colours were chosen as a combination of the two older clubs in Avellaneda - Racing (light blue) and Independiente (red).

Julio Grondona went on to become the president of Independiente, and then, in 1979, president of the Argentine Football Association, a post he still holds. He is also a vice-president of FIFA. Hector Grondona, and then son Julio Ricardo, became presidents of Arsenal.

The club's best known former player is Jorge Burruchaga, who started his career at Arsenal in 1979, and had several stints as coach. Burru, as he is nicknamed, scored the winning goal for Argentina in the 1986 World Cup final against Germany.

The club were promoted to successively higher divisions in 1962, 1986 and 1992, finally reaching the Primera Division in 2002.

On 6 September 2006, Arsenal and Spanish club FC Barcelona (Barca) struck a deal whereby in exchange for the option to acquire young players that have not played more than one year in the Arsenal first team, Barca would help to improve Arsenal's infrastructure.

A member from Barca was to oversee the project, and visit the club on a monthly basis. This deal, however, fell through in 2007, reportedly because Arsenal could not afford the infrastructure to keep up with the plan.

International tournaments

The club's first appearance in an international tournament was in 2004, when, coached by Burruchaga, they reached the Quarter-finals of the Copa Sudamericana, eliminating Banfield and River Plate before losing to Bolivian club, Bolivar in their first ever official tie with a non-Argentine team.

Arsenal finished fifth in both the Apertura and Clausura of the 2006-07 season, which gave them enough points to claim a place in the Copa Libertadores 2008, the first time in their history that they have qualified for South America's premier club tournament. They also qualified for the Copa Sudamericana 2007. They beat reigning Argentine champions San Lorenzo in the qualifying round to earn a place in the Round of 16 where they faced Brazilian team Goias. Arsenal won 3-2 in Brazil and recorded a 1-1 draw in the second leg to win the tie 4-3 on aggregate, their first official victory over foreign opposition.

After the victory over the Brazilian team, Arsenal met Mexican side Guadalajara in the Quarter-finals, with a 0-0 draw at home, and a 3-1 victory at Estadio Jalisco. Arsenal qualified for the Semi-finals, where they met the other Argentine team in the running, River Plate. Both games against River ended 0-0, Arsenal progressed to the final after winning the penalty shootout 4-2, with a number of saves from Mario Cuenca, Arsenal's goalkeeper.

In the first leg of the final Arsenal beat Club America of Mexico 3-2 at Estadio Azteca, giving them a good advantage for the 2nd leg. This advantage was mitigated by the fact that their home leg could not be held in their compact Estadio Julio H. Grondona stadium because its capacity of 16,300 did not meet the CONMEBOL criteria of 40,000 for major finals. The game was held at the Estadio Juan Domingo Peron in Avellaneda. Another mitigating factor was the fact that their captain Carlos Castiglione was suspended for the last game, due to a red card in the first leg.

Arsenal needed to avoid defeat by a two goal margin, but the match started badly for Arsenal with Christian Diaz scoring an own goal inside the first 20 minutes. Jose Luis Calderon then hit the woodwork twice for Arsenal. In the 2nd half Arsenal conceded a second goal, but with only 7 minutes remaining Martin Andrizzi scored a famous goal to give Arsenal their first major title on the away goals rule.

On 30 July 2008, Arsenal won their second international cup, the Suruga Bank Championship, which they played as reigning champions of the Copa Sudamericana against J. League Cup champions Gamba Osaka in Japan. After a tough match, captain Carlos Casteglione broke the deadlock with a precise header on the 86th minute of play and sentenced the match in favour or the Argentinian team.


The Julio H. Grondona stadium in Sarandi has a capacity of 16,300, and is known as el Viaducto (The Viaduct). It is located at 3660 Juan Diaz De Solis in Sarandi.

Arsenal's first stadium was constructed on 11 October 1962 and officially opened on 22 August 1964. When Arsenal won promotion to the Primera, their basic concrete stadium was deemed unfit for the league and they played at the grounds of Club Atletico Lanus and Racing Club de Avellaneda for two seasons until work on their stadium was complete. The remodeled stadium Estadio Julio Humberto Grondona was opened on 7 August 2004 with a party for the fans. The first game was against Club Atletico Banfield in the Copa Sudamericana. The new stadium has witnessed defeats of the biggest teams in Argentine football such as Boca Juniors and River Plate.


Copa Sudamericana:

*Winners (1): 2007

Primera Division C:

*Winners (1): 1964


*Winners (1): 1962

Suruga Bank Championship:

*Winners (1): 2008

Notable players

To appear in this section the player must have played at least 50 games for the club, have made a notable contribution to the team such set a club record or have played for their national team.

Antonio Valentin Angelillo

Raul Blanco (1962~66)

Jorge Burruchaga (1979~81)

Oscar Ibanez (1986~92)

Gustavo Grondona

Carlos Ruiz (1993~08)

Dario Espinola (1993~present)

Nestor Clausen (1997~98)

Silvio Gonzalez

Alejandro Limia

Gaston Esmerado (1999~05)

Patricio Gonzalez (1999~06)

Javier Morales

Martin Andrizzi

German Denis (2003~05)

Javier Gandolfi

Santiago Hirsig (2003~06)

Carlos Casteglione (2002~09)

Jean-Jacques Pierre (2002)

Sebastian Rambert (2002~03)

Jose Luis Calderon

Victor Lopez (2004~06)

Cristian Llama (2004~07)

Jorge Nunez (2004~05)

Alejandro Gomez (2005~08)

Ibrahim Sekagya (2005~07)

Juan Pablo Caffa (2005~07)

Javier Yacuzzi (2005~present)

Wilfredo Caballero (2006)

Mario Cuenca (2006~09)

Anibal Matellan (2007~present)

Josimar Mosquera (2007~09)

Cristian Campestrini (2008~present)

Jose Manuel Contreras (2008~09)

Former coaches

Gustavo Alfaro (2006-2008)

Daniel Garnero (2008-2009)

External links

Official site

Unofficial site

Unofficial site

Unofficial site

Unofficial forum

Current team and latest developments as of 7 August 2007.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Arsenal de Sarandi

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