BUENOS AIRES, AFP
Euphoric crowds gathered here Tuesday in answer to the Argentine president’s call for a national “fiesta” after Boca Juniors beat Real Madrid 2-1 in the Intercontinental cup in Tokyo.. Argentine president Fernando de la Rua, a fanatical Boca fan, described his overwhelming joy at the victory. “Today is a “fiesta” for all Argentina, it doesn’t matter which team you support because this was an Argentine side that won,” said de la Rua who spoke to goal-scorer Palermo via satellite link. “They’re all jealous of me because I spoke to the star of the match,” he said waving a hand at the celebrating crowd in the presidential office. Boca went two up in the first six minutes after a double-punch from man-of-the-match Martin Palermo, who was speechless after the match. “How are you Fernando,” was all the Palermo, known as “Loco” (crazy) could manage. The president, like many in Argentina was “loco” with joy as parties were due to go on all day. Half of Argentina had got up early to see the match that kicked off shortly after seven in the morning local time. Crowds gathered, as is traditional, at the city centre Obelisk on Avenida 9 Julio, where much of the singing was dedicated to the mockery of Boca’s arch rivals River Plate.
Former Boca captain and self-declared No1 fan Diego Maradona praised coach Carlos Bianchi for both his intelligence and tactical brilliance after the victory. “I was sure Boca would win and win with style,” said Maradona, who went on to insist that the Spaniards had approached the game with equal intent to Boca. “It really bugged me, these people going round saying Madrid weren’t interested in this cup. It’s an outright lie! They were dying to win it,” he said. “Oh how I would have loved to have been there,” exclaimed the 40-year-old former great, now as well known for his cocaine addiction which the Japanese authorities decided was grounds to deny him an entry visa to watch the match.