Some love lasts a lifetime. Also in football. A stadium: the Olla de Asunción. Rainy and windy. A final: 3-1 to Colón. A champion team of the South American Cup: Independiente del Valle and its first international trophy. And a coach: Miguel Ángel Ramírez. The lives of those there on 9 November 2019 were marked forever.
Three years later, Negriazul will fight again in a unique final. Placing Ecuadorian football to the top as the only non-Brazilian team to sneak into a Conmebol definition. Waiting for Goianiense or San Pablo in the Libertadores at Guayaquil will be decided between Flamengo and Athletico Paranaense.
The celebrations for reaching a continental final on Saturday, 1 October, in Córdoba (Argentina) after beating Melgar 3-0 extended to the dressing room where the players celebrated and posed together in a photo group that the club’s networks titled: “My family”.
A message that Ramírez reciprocated through Twitter: «And mine… Congratulations, @IDV_EC, for this new Final of @Sudamericana! This team has forged something special for many years to come. Stay true to what makes you #UnClubDifferent.” After leaving Independiente del Valle (69 games managed) at the end of 2020, the Spanish strategist followed his career at Internacional de Porto Alegre, which lasted 28 games. And from there, he went to Charlotte FC of the MLS, where he stayed until May this year (17 games). He is currently jobless.
A curiosity: Ramírez’s assistant manager at the time was Martín Anselmi IDV’s current coach, who arrived for the round of 16 from Chile and led the team to a new international final in the Lanús art series (eighth), Deportivo Táchira (fourth) and Melgar (semifinals), with a forceful 6-0 aggregate.