Independiente del Valle:South America’s miracle story

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One of the biggest football fairtytale stories comes from South America,but it isn’t known well since it doesn’t involve Argentina or Brazil since both countries in 2016 are in a state of crisis with Brazil facing a nightmare scenario where it wouldn’t make the World Cup in Russia and Argentina is in a middle of huge problems in the AFA and the league is restructuring.With that Chile has used the situation on its own advantage to win the Copa America Centenario,while in the Copa Libertadores no Brazilian or Argentinian made to the final.Instead a club from Ecuador made history and wrote one of the chapters of the football fairytales in 2016.Equador is one of South America’s middleweights and they made their first World Cup appearance in 2002 and since then they only missed the World Cup in South Africa,while two years ago in Brazil they made an exit in the group stage.Meanwhile the first time an Ecuadorian club won the Copa Libertadores was in 2008 when LDU Quito when they beat Fluminense on penalty shootouts,but this isn’t a story them,nor their biggest rival Barcelona SC which Ecuador’s most successful club with 14 Serie A titles.But it is a story about the club from Sangoloqui which is a suburb of Quito which is Independiente del Valle.The Negriazules were founded in 1957 by a football fan named Jose Teran with a group of friends which included Jose Diaz,Jorge Atapuma and Marino Guayasamin.The club had many name changes since Teran in 1977 passed away and carried the name Independiente Jose Teran playing in red colors which were the same like the more famous Argentinian Club Atletico Independiente with that changing in 2006 when the club due to marketing reasons is known as Independiente Del Valle and plays in black and blue colors which are like of Inter Milan.For most of its history the Negriazules played in lower divisions of Ecuadorian football until 2010 when for the first time achieved promotion to the Ecuadorian Serie A.In 2012 the club hired Uruguayan coach Pablo Repetto who will turn the club’s fortunes around and begin the Cinderella story in the Copa Libertadores.With an accent of developing young players within the club’s youth system like Junior Sonorza who had an unsuccessful spell in Mexico,19 year old defender Bryan Cabezas,23 year old midfielder Jefferson Orejuela and Gabriel Cortez with a mix of veteran players like midfielder Mario Rizotto and defender Christian Nunez who provide leadership to young players,Repetto build a very decent squad which is a mix of youth and experience.In 2015 the Negriazules crashed in the qualifying round of the Libertadores which almost happened this year as well when they barely passed in two legs on aggregate goals defeated the Paraguayans from Club Guarani.In the group stage of the Libertadores they faced Atletico Mineiro which won the Libertadores just three years ago,Colo-Colo which won the Libertadores in 1991 and Melgar from Peru.But against all odds the Negriazules advanced to the next round with 11 points and included a 3-2 victory against Atletico Mineiro,but no one even believed what would happen in the next stages of Libertadores where the Negriazules have done the impossible and reached the final of the Libertadores.First the Argentinian giants of River Plate which won their third Libertadores lasr year was beaten by the Negriazules besides the Negriazules in the first leg where defeated by a single goal,but in the return leg in Ecuador,the Negriazules in front of their home crowd beat the Millonarios 2-0,next to fall was the Mexican club Pumas UNAM,after both legs ended 2-1 victories for both clubs,it came to the penalty shootuts where thanks to a miss from the penalty spot,the Negriazules advanced to the semifinals of the Libertadores where the legendary Boca Juniors which gave numerous Argentinian legends like Maradona,Riquelme,Caniggia,Battistuta,Palermo,Tevez and others,which in its case has in total six Copa Libertadores titles with the recent won in 2007 was standing between them and the final of the Copa Libertadores.Besides the Negriazules won the first leg of the semifinal at home 2-1,they pulled a stunning upset at the legendary Bombonera in the second leg by winning 1-3 and shocked the Xeneizes who thought of anoher final of the Copa Libertadores with the Brazilians of Sao Paulo which also sensationally lost its semifinal against against Atletico Nacional from Colombia.The Negriazules wrote history and made it to the final of South America’s biggest and oldest club competition and there was one more step for to make the dream a reality,beating Atletico Nacional which won its Copa Libertadores in 1989.Unfortunately besides earning a draw in the first leg of the Copa Libertadores final,the Negriazules were defeated in the second leg by a single goal.Nevertheless of their defeat in the Copa Libertadores final,Independiende del Valle besides playing in a stadium which holds only 7000 spectators has wrote one of the football fairytale stories of 2016 with optimistically looking in the future where they can be more successful club in Ecuador and South America.

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