Photo: Laura Lescano.
Deportivo Riestra, a modest club on the deep rise of Argentine soccerwith just over a thousand members, this Saturday became the new member of the Professional Football League (LPF), after achieving its first promotion to the top category in 92 years of history.
Since its founding in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Pompeya, on February 22, 1931, Deportivo Riestra Asociación de Fomento Barrio Colón – such as its official name – played mainly in the lower divisions: 26 seasons in the First D and 42 in the First C .
A few years after his management, The club began its best sporting stage with two consecutive promotions which allowed him to debut in the Primera Nacional (2017/18), the second category of the AFA.
The day Maradona returned to training with the Deportivo Riestra squad
The lawyer Víctor Stinfale, CEO of the energy drink company Speed, took charge of the project and revolutionized Riestra football, to which Diego Maradona joined with presences and motivational talks for matches of great importance.
That media exposure and the sponsorship of a leading clothing company (Adidas) contrast with the origin of the club founded by a group of young people known as “those from Riestra”, after the street where they used to meet to play football. and develop other activities.
On that same avenue, the club had two first two fields and forged its classic rivalry with Sacachispas, the neighbor of Villa Soldati. The second court, located in Riestra and Lacarra, was expropriated by the military dictatorship in 1981 for the construction of a highway.
— Deportivo Riestra (@prensariestra) December 2, 2023
After renting a field for 12 years, Riestra built his new house in Ana María Janer at 2600, in the Bajo Flores neighborhood, meters from the San Lorenzo stadium.
There stands the Guillermo Laza, a stronghold with capacity for 3,000 people, which is usually attended by its 1,200 members and other fans of the neighborhood who identified with the “Malegos of Pompeii”.
Starting in 2024, those faithful companions, who for years watched teams from all promotion categories pass by, will have the luxury of receiving the traditional first division teams.
The captain’s relief: “It was us against everyone”:
The captain of Deportivo Riestra, Milton Célizexploded after the historic promotion to the first division achieved this afternoon in Córdoba and recalled that his team had to face “everyone” to achieve the objective, given the criticism received and the suspicions generated by alleged referee aid.
“It was us against everyone, we beat everyone, everyone was against us. We were alone: the players, our families, and the leaders.”Céliz reacted before the TyC Sports microphone, just after the game on the Institute field.
Throughout the season, the Bajo Flores team was noted for receiving arbitration favors, especially in the first instance of the Reduced in which they eliminated San Martín de Tucumán, as a visitor.
“We broke our backs all year, they beat us all year, they attacked us and our families,” recalled Céliz, former All Boys and Tigre player.
Minutes after the promotion was consummated, the club’s Wikipedia profile was sabotaged with the title “Deportivo Riestra Chorros” and references to Stinfale’s influence to benefit it on the field.
“We went everywhere, to all the fields and we won,” stressed the captain of Riestra, a team that entered the Reduced on the last date of the regular phase and in the “mata-mata” matches, Riestra dropped all the favorites: San Martín de Tucumán, Quilmes, Almirante Brown -finalist for the first promotion- and Maipú.
“Many times we train triple shifts, we have been focused for weeks. I have been playing hard for five games and I did it for this team and for this group,” Céliz highlighted.
For his part, forward Walter Acuña described: “This is crazy, for a month and a half we have been concentrating four days a week, we leave our families aside, we are justly deserving of promotion.”
And finally, goalkeeper Ignacio Arce expressed: “We went from least to greatest, always in front. We are worthy winners, this is a very special moment. At the end of the road everything balances out, this group works with great desire and a lot of will, with great humility, since no one believed themselves to be more than anyone else.”
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