The Pincharratas have repeated their success from 2006 and have won the 2010 Argentinean Apertura Tournament frustrating Velez Sarsfield in their centenary.  

Argentina has a new champion: Estudiantes de la Plata has come to replace the until then defending champion Argentinos Juniors – winner of the Clausura tournament- and has crushed Velez Sarsfield last chance of celebrating the year of their centenary with a trophy in their hands. In the last game of the season, Estudiantes made useless Velez’ 2-0 road victory against Racing Club, as they also did their duties versus Arsenal with a 2-0 home victory and maintained the two-point difference that was definitive.  

Head coach Alejandro Sabella is the cornerstone of this project that began in 2009 with the Copa Libertadores de America championship, and has written a new glorious page in the history of the club with the 2010 Apertura title. He created a team with the strongest defense in the tournament. The squad only suffered eight goals in 19 games. But that was not all, the team also had a good offense that was able to score 32 goals despite losing their striker Mauro Boselli in June -sold to Wigan from England-. Last but not least, was the clever balance in the starting eleven that mixed both experience and youth.

With a 3-5-2 formation Sabella’s team was able to win 14 games, tie three and lose only two for a total of 45 points. It closest contender, Velez, came pretty close to those numbers with 43 points, product of winning 13 games, tying four and losing two.  Even though the Fortin displayed a game that was more entertaining for the fans, Estudiantes’ was more effective. This doesn’t mean that the Pincharratas fans didn’t enjoy of a pinch of exquisite football on games like the 3-0 win against Lanus or the 4-0 road victory versus River Plate.

Sabella’s work didn’t go unaware in Argentina, and River Plate is interested in his services for the upcoming season, but Estudiantes’ management and players have other plans, as they want to dispute the 2011 Copa Libertadores under his command. Sabella is under contract for one more year, but everybody is aware of the power that traditional teams have in their leagues, and how tempting a job offer from them could sound to anybody.  But the Pincharrata president Ruben Filipas is convinced that because of the kind of person that Sabella is he will fulfill his contract.

Gaston Fernandez or La Gata as he is popularly known was one of the high points of the team, showing a great disposition to sacrifice his play maker roll and deal with the demands of being a reference in attack, where he became the top scorer of the team with 6 goals.

Chapu Brana and Enzo Perez also performed at a great level, and they even overshadowed the star of the team Juan Sebastian Veron through some passages of the championship. They created a great duo in the midfield, exactly where the team needed to be more balanced since they were defending with three players, which was a big risk of being exposed in a counterattack.   

Now its time for celebrations, for the next year will bring its own new challenges, like a title to defend.

Andrew Hill has been a prominent writer on sports news and the sports betting industry for many exceptional sports web sites. You may reprint this article in its full content, please note no modifications to it are accepted.

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