National Athletic had revenge. After falling with Sports Tolima with a Athanasius Girardot to burst in the first half of 2018, the green paisa returned to favors and prevailed last Sunday in the Manuel Murillo Toro.
In the midst of the exciting final that was lived in the Liga BetPlay 2022-Itwo renowned journalists and great friends saw each other’s faces: Pilar Velasquezfurious fan of the green of Antioquia, and Julian Caperaextreme fan of the pijao painting.
They both talked with FOOTBALL and they covered both sides of the coin: coverage of football as journalistic professionals and the experience of these duels, which by the way have become important in recent times, as fans and teammates. All under a message of peace to the fan in general.
Sensations left by the final Sports Tolima vs. Atlético Nacional
PV: The feeling that it leaves the Nacional fan is the best, of revenge. Complete happiness and also, one that is very cliché, finals are definitely not played but won. Nacional brought us accustomed, at least the latest titles and specifically the one from 2016, to a showy, beautiful, practically overwhelming game. This Nacional, with a different style of play, showed that glory can also be achieved. Obviously the satisfaction remains, especially after five years of not having been champion in Colombia, that the two historical rivals are taken two stars ahead. Even more so with the team with which it was achieved: players like Sebastián Gómez who left the neighborhood, with a highly criticized Jefferson Duque up front but who always showed a great sense of belonging, with a Kevin Mier who came from the lower divisions, the return of great players who were champions such as Dorlan Pabón and Álex Mejía, others who came to seek their title after 12 years such as Giovanni Moreno, plus the other pieces that were consolidated. It is very satisfying.
JC: I think there is a feeling of pain because of how close Deportes Tolima was, because of how the series unfolded. Tolima had done the most difficult thing, which was to match the very important advantage that Atlético Nacional had achieved in Medellín. After coming so close with a penalty that could have meant getting back on the scoreboard, losing hurts without a doubt. Already with the passing of the hours there remains the tranquility and pride of a process that is being done well. This is the way. From my part, the absolute support, always until my last breath for Deportes Tolima.
How each one behaves watching his team’s games
PV: Every time Tolima wins, Julián sends me a lot of memes. The two finals that we have experienced (2018-2022) unfortunately we did not have the opportunity to see them together. In the first, I was in Milan covering José Néstor Pékerman’s Colombian team and Julián was already preparing to travel to the World Cup (Russia 2018) and I think that when he made a stopover in Madrid, he realized that Tolima had been champion. For me it was very hard because obviously I was very excited. I saw it with my friend-quasi-dad Juan Felipe Cadavid at the hotel where he was staying, because he had Win’s account and unfortunately I couldn’t celebrate. It was even a funny moment because Juan Felipe is a Medellín fan so he enjoyed me, not mockingly or anything. And Juli, when he turned on the cell phone, uploaded a video so emotional that it didn’t even make me angry. I do remember that she sent me two little pig emoticons and from there we started talking about the final. In this (final 2022), he was going to give me lodging, but unfortunately I’m in quarantine and I couldn’t travel to the final. He already had everything planned, ballot ready because he wasn’t even going to go with accreditation but as a patch to enjoy with him. It was dry because I really want to meet Ibagué, the people of Tolima, its leaders, players that I have a lot of love for. It was the opportunity to enjoy the final together, but here I am recovering.
JC: Pilar screams at everything and laughs at everything. Much more so when she is feeling rowdy at a football game. She kicks, she sticks out her tongue, she bursts out laughing. It’s a patch, but I really enjoy it. She knows how much love I have for her and how much I enjoy these plans with her.
Teasing and ‘cock sucking’ between one and the other
PV: The one who mocks the most, in a very good mood, is Julián. Obviously in 2018, Nacional arrived as the great favorite, also because of that goal in Ibagué by Dayro Moreno. Sebastián Villa is the one who ends up making our night bitter at the Atanasio, we never forget how the bus was already marked with the star. All this has been a reason for bullying, but in a good way. I am one of those who believes that without bullying there is no friendship, obviously keeping a lot of respect. And not only because of the 2018 final, all this time it has been no secret to anyone that Tolima was clearly dominant in the matches with Nacional: they won or tied them. Of course Juli has made fun of me, but I repeat in a good way. All of that has been part of the bullying, on good terms.
JC: It is from side to side. We come from a streak in which I had more joy so I had more opportunity to celebrate, but it is always with great respect, good vibes and understanding that above the football rivalry is the love I have for her. All of this is part of enjoying a football game. When there was a chance to mount it to the other, we did it and we did not let the opportunity pass.
A duel Atletico Nacional vs Deportes Tolima that is well remembered
PV: Those of us who live while we work together at Caracol Radio. Any game that we had the opportunity to see while we were working or simply watching it with his people and mine. We talked about it on chat, we laughed or argued and the next day on the show we gave our arguments. From there came an anecdote when we were in the VBAR. At some point in the discussion-debate, I referred to the Ibagué team as ‘Tolimita’ and it was like a boom on social networks because Julián got upset, the Tolima fans misunderstood him, but later they realized that he said it for love
JC: There is no particular match that I enjoy. We live in the age of memes, so we used to send each other a lot and even make fun of ourselves. I sent her memes that made fun of Tolima and she sent me the ones that made fun of Atlético Nacional. It was to spice it up.
Watch the game as a fan or cover it as a journalist at work
PV: Whether it’s a National match, the Colombian National Team, other teams, women’s soccer or whatever it’s called, I’ll always prefer to do it working. I love covering these types of disputes from work. I enjoyed it a lot when I was in Medellín for five years as a correspondent for Nacional, because of that feeling and energy that I have always had towards the green of Antioquia. Always of course with a lot of professionalism. What has touched me in Bogotá, I have also enjoyed it from work, but also with the family or traveling to Medellín as one more spectator, watching it with my grandmother who is 97 years old and is a super fanatic. In the case of the first leg final, it was my dad’s turn to see him here in Bogotá with my covid. It was difficult to live it because although we were together in the same house, we could not celebrate or show signs of effusiveness and affection because the required distance was what was important. In the second leg, since I couldn’t travel, I watched the final here alone with my dog. When these things happen to me, I don’t like meeting up in bars or with friends. I prefer to see her alone, calmer, calmer because of course it was a very tense final in which revenge was at stake.
JC: I both enjoy them. I thank God for the opportunity he has given me to be close to the sport that excites me and that I love. The fact of living a little more from within. For example, what can be experienced in a Sports Tolima final and I really enjoy that. When for some reason I am not in cover and I have the possibility to express that feeling of the fan a little more with friends, family, in the stadium or at home, I also enjoy a lot and treasure those moments.
Bets or anecdotes that have left the Atletico Nacional vs Deportes Tolima
PV: Imagine from 2018 to 2022, the bets I had the opportunity to make with Julián. I lost all of them. Down from Caracol there is a pizza restaurant and there came a time when I think that Julián was already sorry to see me paying so many bets and he told me: “come on, I’ll invite you”. He took me as a daughter, literally, even for bets. But already, for the rest we had a great time. Every time we talk about Nacional and Tolima, it is not often but we enjoy it.
JC: We almost always bet food because what I love most in life is eating. Our bets were on that side. Several times it was her turn to lose, but in the end we ended up renegotiating the issue because we always live it based on her love.