Mr. Apuzzo and his miraculous Huracán

1 November 2014

Club Atlético Huracán are losing badly by 3-0 against the modest Sportivo Belgrano on a new round of the Second Division tournament of Argentina.

With this defeat the ‘Globito’ are dangerously close to compromising their chances of climbing to the new Primera Division Tournament, scheduled to begin – to much dispute – from February 2015 and featuring the participation of 30 teams.

The fans insult everyone: players, manager, the board. No one is safe from the condemnation of the crowd.

The most raucous begin to fire all kind of objects onto the pitch and try to break the fences which separate the stands from the playing field.

The referee of the match, given the magnitude of the incidents, has no choice and decides to suspend the game in the second half.

The future of Frank Kudelka, the maligned Huracán manager of the club, is sealed.

The crisis that involves Huracán seems endless and his replacement, Néstor Apuzzo, has the difficult task of guiding a boat that is sinking quickly.

 

3 March 2015

Huracan gets a valuable draw against Cruzeiro on Brazilian soil. Nestor Apuzzo’s team, recently promoted to the top flight of Argentine football, demonstrates against the Brazilian giant the same tactical order and concentration that led them to win the Copa Argentina late last year.

With this draw, the Argentine team is well placed in Group 3 of the Copa Libertadores and their fans look forward to the future.

Although it seems a screenplay for a movie, Huracán today are living in its most glorious time since 1973 when, under the guidance of Cesar Luis Menotti, the ‘quemero’ team was crowned champion of Argentine football.

How is it that a team can go from hell to paradise in so little time?

If we look at the current roster we find that, since that fateful in November until today, there have not been many changes.

Although now Huracan counts among its ranks veteran Daniel Montenegro, the fact is that in the last transfer market the club lost its brightest talent, 21-year-old midfielder Gonzalo Martinez, who was transferred to River Plate for an amount US$ 4,500,000.

The answer to the question has a name: Nestor Apuzzo. The current manager has provoked a revolution in the club and has become one of the top names in the Argentine football.

With a discreet past as a football player Apuzzo, who until taking over the first team of Huracán was the coordinator of club’s youth divisions, restored the confidence of a squad decimated by poor performance.

Under his guidance Huracán visibly improved its football level. Players who were highly criticized by the press and fans some months ago are now at a great moment. Such is the case of the forward Ramon “Wanchope” Avila who went from being one of the most reviled – due to his slovenly way of playing – to be an idol of the fans.

Another strong point of the ‘quemero’ team was undoubtedly the goalkeeper Marcos Díaz, who was not only the best performer during the most difficult days of Huracán, but he also portrayed himself as a leader on the field.

In late 2014, the players, lead by Apuzzo were finally able to chain a series of triumphs together that deposited them back into the top flight of Argentine football, after defeating Atlético Tucumán 4-1 in the playoff for the last place in the first division.

To add to the joy of the ‘Globo’ fans, only a few days before the defining match against Tucuman, Huracán won the second title of its history after beating Rosario Central in the final of the Copa Argentina.

In that game, which was decided on penalties, aforementioned goalkeeper Marcos Díaz was the hero of the night stopping two decisive penalties.

In the history of football – and in almost all sports – have always been stories of this type. A team that is over, that does not raise its head miraculously returns from darkness, playing above their expectations, achieving the unthinkable.

This is the main reason why we love this sport. Because no matter how bad your team is, in the end you always have the hope that something will change. You never know what could happen.

Author Details

Juan D'Angelo
Juan D'Angelo

Amateur football journalist, currently pursuing a degree in History at the National University of La PLata (Argentina).

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