San LorenzoFriday, August 15, 2014
Saints go to Avellaneda, then to Rome
Without the support of its fans and at a difficult venue, San Lorenzo will play its first match as Libertadores Cup champion on Sunday against Racing for the Argentine tournament, before travelling next week to the Vatican to visit Pope Francis, the club’s most famous fan.
The Saints, who conquered the international championship for the first time in their history on Wednesday after beating Nacional of Paraguay 1-0 at home, will play in Avellaneda against the team led by former Inter Milan striker Diego Milito. Visiting supporters are not allowed to enter stadiums.
San Lorenzo finally clinched the Libertadores Cup since its start 54 years ago, when the club from Boedo was eliminated from the semifinals, to join the other Argentine teams which also lifted the trophy (Boca Juniors, River Plate, Independiente, Racing, Vélez Sarsfield, Estudiantes de La Plata and Argentinos Juniors).
The club’s Vice-president Marcelo Tinelli said that the squad and officials will travel to Rome “to give the cup” to the Pope, as it happened when the team won the Initial Tournament in 2013.
“We will try to keep the same squad. We have one of two contracts that we need to extend, and we want to do that because the idea is to have the same players for December,” said president Matías Lammens.
San Lorenzo qualified for the Club World Cup in December, where it could play the final against Champions League winners Real Madrid.
Coach Edgardo Bauza, who won his second Libertadores Cup after claiming it with Liga de Quito in 2008, said the players “believed in themselves.”
“We didn’t rest to give the team the quality it showed. The players understood my style,” said the trainer.
Many former San Lorenzo players, such as Ezequiel Lavezzi, Pablo Zabaleta and Gonzalo Bergessio — all playing in Europe, congratulated the team for clinching the trophy.
Even the club’s archrival, Huracán, sent its regards. “Congratulations, San Lorenzo, for the title. Board, members and fans for this historic moment, product of a good administration. See you soon.”
Herald staff with agencies