In the match against Palmeiras, Colo Colo captain Esteban Paredes used an armband with colours of the German flag and the number seven on it. Was he taking the piss?
Social media hawks, eagle-eyed television viewers and sensitive Brazilians still coming to terms with their country’s World Cup capitulation against Germany four years ago, were quick to criticise the Colo Colo captain his armband in Colo Colo’s Copa Libertadores quarter final first leg against Palmeiras played in Santiago on Thursday.
This certainly did seem to be a provocation. Why else would Colo Colo’s captain wear an armband with the colours of the German flag in a Copa Libertadores match against a Brazilian team? After all, Colo Colo and Esteban Paredes are from Chile and the club’s colours are white and blue – not the red, yellow and black of the Germany flag. On top of that, the armband used by Paredes had the number seven on it. Surely, this was a dig against Brazil for their 7-1 defeat to Germany in the World Cup semi final in 2014. A few explanations have been offered, neither of them entirely satisfactory. Here they are, with my take on them.
Rubbish excuse number 1:
He uses it in other games.
Interesting, but that’s not a reason is it?
Rubbish excuse number 2:
The colours have something to do with the badge of Colo Colo, and the fact that it represents the indigenous Mapuche who bravely resisted colonization by the Spanish.
This bit of trivia and history is very interesting. But as a reason, this is complete and utter bullshit.
Rubbish excuse number 3:
Something to do with the colours of the Chilean national flag.
Rubbish excuse number 4:
Once upon a time Colo Colo had the same club sponsor as the German national team. During this time Germany won the World Cup. Colo Colo were then given the armband by the sponsor and they ended up becoming champions themselves that year. With such a good outcome for both teams, superstition dictates that the captain of Colo Colo should continue to wear the armband as a good luck charm. The number seven on the armbands is apparently because Paredes wears the number seven shirt for Colo Colo.
Are you kidding me?
Now. Some of those reasons clearly are nonsense and in this day and age of fake news and nonsense floating around social media, its hard to know the truth. However, it does seem to be the case that rubbish excuse number four might actually have some truth to it. I know this is not an entirely convincing answer and this story contains an awful lot of coincidences. Should we give the player the benefit of the doubt? It remains to be seen whether Palmeiras fans will in the return leg in Sao Paulo. We could always check if he wears it in the next Chilean league match, which might help clear things up.
As it happens, Palmeiras won the game 2 – 0 thanks to goals from Bruno Henrique and Dudu. With that win, they have now won five Libertadores away matches on the bounce. Normally, it is extremely difficult to get anything away from home in South America’s premier club football competition so this run by Palmeiras is very impressive. And thanks to this latest victory, they have taken a big step towards reaching the semi final of the competition.
Elsewhere, Cruzeiro lost 2 – 0 at Boca Juniors in the first leg of that quarter final. Cruzeiro can consider themselves very unlucky after Dede was ridiculously sent off following a VAR review. It was a nasty clash of heads between the Cruzeiro captain and the Boca Juniors keeper, and the keeper came off worst. But there was no way that Dede deliberately tried to head the keeper in the face – he was attacking a cross and it was an entirely accidental clash. In fact, it was a brave attempt by Dede. There has been outrage in Brazil about the decision and by Cruzeiro fans in particular. The Cruzeiro club president made a personal trip to the Conmebol headquarters to complain and it seems that at least the player’s suspension for the second leg will be overturned.
The red card happened with around 15 minutes to go and Cruzeiro were trailing 1 – 0 at that stage. They were, however, having a good spell at the time and conceded a second goal when Dede was off the pitch. Clearly the sending off hurt them. Most probably, the game would have ended 1 – 0 had Dede stayed on the pitch. A 2 – 0 win will be hard, but not impossible, to overturn in the second leg in two week’s time.
The other Brazilian sides Corinthians, Vasco, Flamengo and Corinthians have all been knocked out of the competition already, but Gremio are doing a good job of defending their title and they beat Atletico Tucuman 2 – 0 away from home on Tuesday night. Alisson and Everton scored the goals for Gremio. In the other quarter final, River Plate drew 0-0 away against seven-time Champions Independiente.
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