Colón: a team that rose from the ashes to be champion

Colón: a team that rose from the ashes to be champion

Glory or Devotee, an old Argentine phrase patented by Carlos Salvador Bilardo usually says. In recent years, Columbus was one step away from both extremes. Very close to glory at the end of 2019, when he lost the final of the Copa Sudamericana.

And in a short time, after that fall to Independiente del Valle, he found himself fighting for relegation in the 2019/2020 Super League.

But soccer, an old soccer saying also goes, always gives revenge. And today Sabalero resurfaced in an incredible way to be the Argentine soccer champion, after defeating Racing in the final of the Professional League Cup.

An event that will be unforgettable for the Santa Fe institution: it is the first official title in the history of the club.

Anxiety over the first achievement in that South American Cup made the squad led at that time by Pablo Lavallén focus only on the international level, dangerously neglecting the Argentine tournament.

The results were positive in the Cup, but very bad in the championship. The 3 to 1 defeat in Paraguay against Independiente del Valle ended the dream and forced everyone to look at a reality from which they were escaping: they had to improve their performance in the tournament so as not to enter the dangerous relegation zone.

But that did not happen. The bad results followed one another, Lavallén resigned and at the end of February the team was fighting for permanence. Yes, from glory to nonstop Devotee.

Diego Osella had arrived in place of Lavallén, but nothing changed in that period. The crisis grew with threats from the bar, financial problems and fans angered by the devastating present of a team that did not give answers.

In March 2021 an old acquaintance arrived at the club: Eduardo Domínguez. The former Huracán coach started his second cycle at the Sabalero, and little by little things got better.

After his debut on the bench in the first and only match played for the Super League Cup, suspended due to the start of the pandemic, in March 2020, Domínguez began to work in silence.

Already in the Diego Armando Maradona Cup, the team was different. Colón won his group and qualified for the championship zone.

And this year he ratified all the good things he had been doing. He prevailed with authority in his group in the Professional League Cup, beating River, Racing and San Lorenzo, among others. Thus he advanced to the quarterfinals, where recent history is known. He beat Talleres on penalties, after equaling 1 to 1, and then defeated Independiente 2 to 0 and Racing 3 to 0, in the final, to go down in history.

Many survivors of the Copa Sudamericana 2019 are still on the roster: Leonardo Burián, Gonzalo Escobar, Cristian Bernardi, Federico Lértora, Rodrigo Aliendro and el Pulga, Luis Miguel Rodríguez. In addition to them, Lucas Acevedo, Nicolás Leguizamón and Santiago Pierotti, also protagonists of this conquest, were in the final in Paraguay, on the substitute bench.

Today, Colón looks at the table of averages calmly: he is ranked 18 out of 26 teams. He found a game idea, an identity. He took off the heavy backpack that he was dragging for not having won official titles since its founding. And he is the deserved champion of Argentine soccer.

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