1973 Intercontinental Cup
Stadio Olimpico of Rome, Venue
|Date||28 November 1973|
|Venue||Stadio Olimpico, Rome|
|Referee||Alfred Delcourt (Belgium)|
The 1973 Intercontinental Cup was an association football match played on 28 November 1973 between Juventus, runners-up of the 1972–73 European Cup, and Independiente, winners of the 1973 Copa Libertadores. The match was played at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. It was Juventus' first appearance into the competition and Independiente's fourth appearance after the defeats against Internazionale in 1964 and 1965 and against Ajax in 1972. Despite initially refusing to participate in the competition, Juventus replaced Ajax as representative UEFA team in the competition after Ajax as the European champions declined to contest a possible meeting in South America officially for financial reasons. The Cup was played in a single match instead of a two-legged final as happened in the previous and following years until 1979.
Independiente was the 1973 Copa Libertadores title holder after beating Chilean club Colo-Colo with a goal in extra time. The Intercontinental Cup was a long longing for the club so they had lost the previous final v Dutch team Ajax –led by Johan Cruyff, most of its players would were part of the Netherlands national team that showed the revolutionary tactical theory (called the "total Football") at the 1974 FIFA World Cup – just one year before and had the opportunity to take revenge of that defeat. Nevertheless, the Dutch club refused to play the 1973 edition alleging they didn't want to suffer the "rough game" of the Argentine team again. Therefore, the runner-up of 1972–73 European Cup, Juventus, took Ajax's place to contest the competition. The Italian club refused to come to Buenos Aires, putting as a condition to play a unique match at Rome. Independiente executives accepted it, scheduling the match for November 28, 1973.
During the match, dominated by the Italian team, the Bianconeri had several opportunities to take the lead with two shots on the cross, a penalty kick, drawn by Cuccureddu, ended up over the bar and a shot in the last minutes of the race, which was blocked by the goalkeeper Santoro in daring action. Ten minutes from the end, an own goal by Gentile in a Bochini's shot, the only significant offensive action made by Independiente in the match, was decisive for the victory of the Diablos Rojos ("Red Devils").
It was the first Intercontinental Cup won by Independiente (and the third won by an Argentine club after Racing and Estudiantes de La Plata success in 1967 and 1968 respectively). The victory was largely celebrated by Independiente fans due to the importance given to that competition in Argentina.
The victory was also the breakthrough of 19-year old Ricardo Bochini as a raising star. Bochini would continue and finish his career always playing for Independiente, becoming one of the greatest idols in the history of the club. On the other hand, the other keyplayer of the match, Daniel Bertoni, would then win the first FIFA World Cup with Argentina in 1978, also scoring the third goal v Netherlands in the final.
In their own words
The following phrases are extracted from an interview to Ricardo Bochini, Daniel Bertoni and Francisco Sá, three of Independiente players that won the Cup in 1973:
It was a very important match in my career. The goal gave me the opportunity to be famous, not only for Independiente but for all people related with football in Argentina. It was because the match was aired by the RAI for several countries in the world.— Ricardo Bochini
Nobody trusted us because nobody believed we could win the cup in a single match series. When we crowned champions, the only people supporting the team were the Fragata Libertad crew that were in Italy. They were our only supporters in the stadium— Daniel Bertoni
The Juventus players were very fast and strong, they had 3 or 4 players in the Italy national team and another in Brazil. Despite we had won the Copa Libertadores some months earlier, we were not in a good level and therefore it was very hard to win the match— Ricardo Bochini
To achieve a victory in an only match and playing as visitor, the team had no low points. On the other hand, Bochini and Bertoni, were champions of the world at a very early age— Francisco Sá
If we had played Ajax instead of Juventus, the match would have been so much complicated because Ajax was the best team in the world— Ricardo Bochini
The lost video
Although the match was broadcast by Canal 7 in Argentina, it is believed that the video containing the images of the match could have been erased or stolen during the military dictatorship that governed from 1976. As those images were lost, the interest of Independiente fans and journalist in the match was increasing as years were by.
On the basis on some Independiente members (with then president of the institution Javier Cantero among them) initiative, the search for the video started. After some contacts with RAI (the Italian broadcasting company that had aired the match in 1973), they provided a copy of the film to musical producer (and Independiente fan) Mariano Asch, putting as condition it had to be returned after being used in Argentina.
In 2009, the 3-minute long copy of the video was aired for the first time during a celebration in Teatro Roma of Avellaneda held to commemorate the 35th. anniversary of the victory. Independiente legend Ricardo Bochini (who scored the goal at the final in 1973) was the star guest attending the event.
Watching the video was a huge surprise for me because I didn't know (the video) existed. I loved it because I didn't remember how the goal had been exactly. I did remember the goal had come from a wall-pass with (Daniel) Bertoni. To relive that experience was like completing the history of that match— Ricardo Bochini, during an interview in 2013
- "La Juventus ha rinunciato alla finale intercontinentale" (in Italian). La Stampa. 25 July 1973. p. 14.
- "Intercontinental Cup 1973". Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Archived from the original on 6 March 2008. Retrieved 5 November 2014.
- El gol invisible de Bochini cumple 40 años, Clarín, 28 Nov 2013
- Hace 40 años, Independiente conquistaba al mundo en Roma, La Nación, 2013
- "Vola in Argentina" (in Italian). La Stampa. 29 November 1973. p. 19.
- De la mano del Bocha el Rojo era campeón del mundo Archived 2019-04-19 at the Wayback Machine by Octavio Cabrera on Diario Publicable (Deportea), 30 Nov 2013
- "El gol a la Juventus lo conseguí yo" interview to Mariano Asch by Daniel Galoto, 9 Dec 2013
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to 1973 Intercontinental Cup (association football).|