Arsenal – Father’s Phone Call
Arsenal’s most famous player, while they were still in the lower divisions, was midfielder Jorge Burruchaga. After moving to Independiente, he earned a place in the national team, for whom he scored the winner in the 3-2 victory over West Germany in the 1986 FIFA World Cup™ final. Later, he became Arsenal’s coach when they won promotion to the top flight in 2002.
Julio Grondona was Arsenal’s first president, remaining in that position until 1975 when he became independiente’s boss. Arsenal have always been a family club, with only five presidents in its 51 years of existence. The current president is his son, Julio junior. This has led people to call it “the Grondona club” and when it won promotion several times it was often rumoured that they were receiving help from the AFA. But during their rise up the league ladder, they were also relegated one year, from the third to the fourth division (in 1965), but quickly bounced back.
Julio Grondona senior never comes to watch the team now as he feels that it would add fuel to the rumour that the team is being helped by the AFA (through referees), but together with his brother Hector, he is still their greatest fan. His son says that as soon as matches are over, he always receives a phone call from his father – even when he is abroad with the national team or on his frequent visits to FIFA in Zurich – to find out all about the game.