Shrinks, spats and Superclasicos

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Argentine football is a distressingly uncaring rollercoaster of a ride.

The ups are up and the downs are subterranean. And if you are an Argentine, who are not generally known for their reserve and stiff upper lips, it can be an emotional affair.

Here I’d like to add my own reason as to why there are more psychiatrists per muddled head in Buenos Aires than anywhere else in the world, including neurotic New York.

The answer is simple: New York doesn’t have football.

Despite a crushing 6-1 defeat to Bolivia at altitude (La Paz is at 3,700 metres up Ã¢Â€Â“ although Maradona couldn’t complain as he has previously campaigned with Bolivia president Evo Morales to stop FIFA banning games at altitude) they did drub Venezuela 4-0 scoring goals like these.

Bolivia deliver a battering 

Who needs Riquelme? Well, Boca do.

Maradona doesn’t rate him, and Riquelme has decided he won’t play under El Diez (which for an Argentine is the equivalent of telling St Peter at the gates of heaven: “Well, whatever, I never believed in God anyway, I choose hell"), so no one really knows who will end up with egg on their face.

On Friday, Boca play Paraguay’s Guarani Asuncion at the Bombonera in the ever-important Copa Libertadores.

They are currently at the top of their easy mini league group, and are faring better than fellow Argentine outfits River, Estudiantes and Lanus, despite the latter currently topping the domestic league.

And then on April 18 it is the Superclasico – Boca vs River at the Bombonera.

Due to Boca’s lacklustre season – they are 9th – their focus must be on the Libertadores. But River’s season is not faring so well either, although being fourth in the league must be making them reasonably content considering last year's implosion when they finished bottom.

Who’d be a River fan eh? Who’d be an Argentina fan for that matter? But given this correspondent's Scunthorpe United fanaticism (damn you Luton), Argentine football’s unpredictable rally of successes and failures may suit me just fine.

La Bombonera awaits...

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