At first the group met in the Degiorgi family’s home in upscale Recoleta, but decided to officially establish the club at the Monserrat home of another early member, Daniel Bevilacqua, on January 1, 1905. The club’s immediate orders of business were to elect a first president (the commanding, mustachioed goalkeeper Arístides Langone); select their colors (blue and white, inspired by Argentina’s first soccer champions, Saint Andrew’s Scots School); firm up their name (“Independiente Football Club”); and secure a playing field. The latter proved complicated, and Independiente eventually settled in neighboring Avellaneda in 1907.
The century of success that followed, turning Independiente into one of Argentina’s premier soccer teams, was largely a matter of elite connections, good financing, and even better luck.
You would be hard-pressed to find a fan of today’s Club Atlético Independiente who tells the story that way—myself admittedly included.
I wrote this article about the class-coded mythology of Independiente, a storied Buenos Aires soccer team, for the new site Unusual Efforts. UE is staffed entirely by women in soccer media, and I feel so privileged and honored to be among their first contributors. If you’d like to support UE, please donate here. And if you’d like to support my academic writing, send me coffee.