This is one of those stories that seems like it came from a “magical realism” film produced by South Americans. The story we bring you today, nevertheless, is real, and is told to us by journalist Afonso de Melo, in the Portuguese daily Nascer do Sol, but it could just as easily have come from a book by García Márques or Juan Rulfo.
It all takes place at a soccer club in Guayaquil, Ecuador, which goes by the name of Barcelona Sporting Club, which was founded by a Catalan–Ecuadorian in 1921. We have no doubt that he wasn’t just a soccer fan, he was a true fan of FC Barcelona.
Afonso de Melo guides us through this tale, mixing history, sport, and the city, until he brings us to the point that inspired us to write this entry.
This team, whose crest even looks quite similar to FC Barcelona’s, played a match on April 29, 1971, their fiftieth anniversary year, against the Estudiantes de la Plata at the latter’s stadium. On that date, they won the semi-finals of the Libertadores Cup against an Argentine team on its own field—and not just any team, but one which had won that championship three times in a row!
Though they didn’t make it to the final, which in the end was won by Nacional de Uruguay, this humble team was able to beat a South American champion on their own field.
And the protagonist of this victory was Juan Manuel Basurko Ulacia. He was born in Mutriku in 1944, and in addition to being a professional soccer player, he was also a priest and philosophy professor, who we’ve spoken about before. It was he who got the ball past the Estudiantes de la Plata goalie and scored one of the most memorable goals Barcelona de Guayaquil has ever had.
Ecuador Martinez and Aristides Castro, commentators for Radio Atalaya, which was one of the three broadcasters to travel to Argentina to cover the match, immortalized the night with a chant that has been engraved in the area’s collective memory: “Benditos sean los botines del padre Bazurko” (Blessed be the buttons of Father Bazurko)
Nascer do Sol – 6/12/2022 -Portugal
Guayaquil. Barcelona no Equador e o golo do padre basco
A segunda cidade do Equador tem uma fortíssima influência catalã, um clube que foi uma cópia do Barcelona e que se tornou o mais popular do país sobretudo depois de um famoso jogo em Buenos Aires no qual um pároco se livrou da sotaina para abençoar as chuteiras.
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Last Updated on Dec 20, 2022 by About Basque Country