With over 100 years of passion, deeds, legends and a kind of antagonism that rocks the entire City of Rosario, the historical duel between Newell’s All Boys and Rosario Central summons crowds...
There are many derbies in Argentina, such as Boca-River, Independiente-Racing or Estudiantes-Gimnasia. Throughout history, these duels have been enriched by anecdotes and myths that only contributed to stirring up the passion for soccer. And this rule includes the Rosario derby: every time the ball inaugurates a new episode in this rivalry, this city in Santa Fe comes to a complete halt.
“Canallas” vs. “Leprosos”
Legend has it that the antagonism dates back to a time when an invitation to play a friendly match between the two teams in order to help the lepers in a hospital in Rosario was made by Newell’s. It seems that Central rejected the invitation, thus getting the nickname of “canallas de la ciudad”, which in Spanish stands for “scoundrels of the city”. To get back at the mock, the fans of Central gave their rivals the counter-insult of “leprosos”, which stands for “lepers”, thus ridiculing their interests to play this charity match in favor of the hospital.
As time went by, the nickname gained importance, to such an extent that it has become a symbol among the fans. Whether the derby takes place at El Coloso del Parque (Newell’s stadium) or El Gigante de Arroyito (Central’s stadium), today, the rivalry between “canallas” and “leprosos” summons 40,000 spectators at any of both venues.
The stadium Marcelo Bielsa
The Gigante de Arroyito Stadium
The Colossus of Independence Park
Disputed in 1905, the result of the first match was a 1-0 victory over Central. The parity of the derby is so notorious that both clubs have achieved the same amount of official titles along history.
Passion for the Game
Many anecdotes have added a legendary touch to a century of duel. It is said that Ernesto “Che” Guevara himself was a fan of the blue and golden T-shirt of Central and that the fans of the red and black T-shirt of Newell’s had the honor to count Maradona as a player during five matches in 1993.
Another memorable event was “palomita de Poy”, a historical “flight” performed by player Aldo Pedro Poy when he headed a cross that would close Central’s 1-0 victory in the semifinals in 1971. That move was immortalized in the feelings of the fans, to such an extent that every year on December 19, they gather up to shout the new goal that opened up their way in the championship.
Even though the passion of this great derby between canallas and leprosos has been present for over a century, it is more alive than ever. We only need to wait for that the magic to awake again during the next match.
Sebastián Picchetti Gentileza de los Clubes de Fútbol
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