The original 'Next Maradona' nears history as Palermo's ex calls in the lawyers

Impressed by La Liga Loca’s Beginer’s Guide to La Liga’s Last Day, there seemed no reason, in much the same way as Argie Bargy’s adopted country copied the language, not to copy the idea from the motherland.

Here are the weekend’s talking points…

Title race

He of the rabona (the Joe Cole wrap-around to you and me), he who was the original 'Next Maradona', he who compared winning the title but not being the best team in the league to the best looking girl not being up to much in the sack, could become He of the Clasura ’10 champions.

Argentinos Juniors travel to Huracán on Sunday. A win, and perhaps a draw, will see the club win their first title since 1985, and add another chapter to the legend of Claudio ‘Bichi’ Borghi, the Argentinos coach.Libertadores

Keeping an eye on how things pan out for Argentinos will be Estudiantes, still in with a shout of winning the title. A single one goal has all but dashed hopes of the double. 0-0 last Sunday with Central means they need Argentinos to lose to have a chance of winning the league.

On Thursday, they lost – undeservedly - to Internacional in the Libertadores to a late header. The result isn’t beyond reach for next week’s return leg, but it is the proverbial montaña that they have to climb.

Sudamericana watch

Everyone may see it as a rubbish Europa League, which is really saying something, and it may be concocted to attract TV money and simply fill in the non-Libertadores Cup half of the year, but the Sudamericana is in fact a fair reflection of the season’s best teams.

The traditional European season, as you all know, is broken down into the Apertura and Clausura in Argentina, allowing two champions. Together, they make up the ‘normal’ season and it is the top six from this table that provides Argentina’s entries to the competition.

So far Argentinos, Banfield, Newell’s, Estudiantes and Independiente have all qualified. Vélez and Lanús both need to win, and the other not to, to grab the final spot.

Relegation watch

Tigre fans conducted a peaceful, amicable, and in-no-way-violence-inciting pretend funeral up in the stands for their hated rivals Chacarita last weekend. The Undertakers, together with Atlético Tucumán have hogged the first two relegations spots all to themselves. Central and Gimnasia will play the relegation playoff, against sides from the second division yet to be decided.

River/Boca watch

After three spells at the club, six league titles, one Libertadores, one Supercopa, over 300 games and nearly 70 goals, Marcelo Gallardo is leaving River Plate. Wiping away the tears, the playmaker – affectionately known as ‘Chucky’ (from Child’s Play, for his looks) told the press that it was best for him to leave.

He wants to carry on playing, but with a injury record that makes Arjen Robben look like Bruce Willis in Unbreakable, we may not be seeing much more of Gallardo.

Mauro Camoranesi won’t be replacing him. Offered half of what River’s top earner takes to the bank, the Juve player’s agent walked out of the meeting after four (4) minutes. Second choice Argie Bargy also scoffed at the $400,000 offer. River clearly don’t know what journalism pays…

Riquelme, meanwhile, is injured and needs surgery. The debate about him not going to the World Cup is now officially null and void, because it doesn’t matter that he is a genius but also refers to himself as Riquleme, and that he fell out with Maradona. The debate is over. He wouldn’t have made it.

World Cup squad watch

Ariel Garcé is going to South Africa, yes or yes (as the Argentines would say it). “I booked the flights with my mates months ago,” said the defender. He, like most of us, clearly wasn’t expecting Diego to offer him the chance to play while he was there.

Martín Palermo, meanwhile, may have his chances of making the final 23 scuppered by his ex-wife, Lorena Barrichi. Lorena has filed a lawsuit against Palermo, citing tax evasion and money laundering. No hard feelings after the split, then.

Final Day FixturesArsenal-Godoy CruzSan Lorenzo-Newell’sBanfield-BocaChacarita/Palermo Dead-RacingGimnasia – Atlético TucumánRiver-TigreIndependiente-LanúsCentral – VélezHuracán – ArgentinosColón - Estudiantes

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