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Rosario Central

For the former train station, see Rosario Central Station.
Rosario Central
Full name Club Atlético Rosario Central
Nickname(s) El Canalla (The Scoundrel)
La Academia Rosarina (The Academy of Rosario)
Founded 24 December 1889; 126 years ago (1889-12-24)
Ground Estadio Gigante de Arroyito,
Rosario, Santa Fe,
Ground Capacity 41,824
Chairman Raúl Broglia
Manager Eduardo Coudet
League Primera División
2014 Final 8th
Website Club home page

Club Atlético Rosario Central (Spanish pronunciation: [roˈsaɾjo senˈtɾal]) is a football club based in Rosario, Argentina that currently plays in the Argentine Primera División. The club was officially founded 24 December 1889, being one of the oldest Argentine teams, and took its name from the British-owned Central Argentine Railway company. It is one of the pioneers of Argentine football. Originally member of Rosario's Football Association, Rosario Central affiliated to the Argentine Football Association (AFA) in 1939.

The club is one of the most successful football teams not based in Buenos Aires, and has won the Argentine's First Division four times; its last domestic title was the 1986–87 season. In addition, Rosario Central won the Conmebol Cup (the precursor of the current Copa Sudamericana)[1][2][3][4][5][6] once, in 1995, being the only team in Santa Fe province which has won an official international title.

It is considered by FIFA, as one of the most traditional clubs in the Argentine football.[7]

Rosario Central has a strong rivalry with Newell's Old Boys. The matches played between them are named "El Clasico Rosarino", and is amongst the most heated rivalries in the sport due to both teams and due to Rosario Central's local popularity. Rosario Central's home stadium is Estadio Dr. Lisandro de la Torre, known simply as "El Gigante de Arroyito", which is the largest stadium in the city.


The beginning

File:Central railw athl 1903.jpg
The football team in 1903, still using the squared jersey

Central Argentine Railway Athletic Club was founded on December 24, 1889 by 16 British railway workers of the British-owned Central Argentine Railway company as a football club. They wanted to be unlike Rosario Cricket Club (then Club Atlético del Rosario) which was focused on rugby union.

The first President was the British Scotsman Colin Bain Calder. And the First VicePresidente was British Englishman Thomas Hooper.

The recently created club played its first match thanks to the efforts of Mr. Mulhall, who searched for rivals at the port zone.

He arranged a match with the crew of an English ship, playing it on May 1890. The game ended 1–1. A new game was played, with Central Argentine the winner by 2–1.

During many years Central Argentine played only internal matches or facing Rosario Cricket Club occasionally. The British-owned railway did not allow people outside the company to become a member. In 1904 the railway companies Central Argentino and Buenos Aires merged so the club's members decided to modify the name of the institution. The club changed to Club Atlético Rosario Central and also decided to accept new members with no restrictions.[8]

Amateur era: 1905-30

File:Equipo de Rosario Central de 1919 (2).gif
Rosario Central team that won the Liga Rosarina title in 1919

The Liga Rosarina de Fútbol (Rosario´s Football League) was created in March 1905, formed by teams from the city of Rosario, Santa Fe. The first tournament managed by the league was the "Copa Santiago Pinasco", named that way because the Mayor of Rosario, Santiago Pinasco, donated the trophy.

Central debuted on May 21, 1905, defeating Atlético del Rosario 3–1. On June, Central played a friendly match against English team Nottingham Forest, losing 5–0. Rosario Central won its first regional title in 1908. In 1913 the club disaffiliated from the league, although Central would return in 1914. That same year Central played 20 matches, winning 19 games with 1 draw. The team scored 99 goals and only conceded 10, being Harry Hayes the top scorer of the tournament with 51 goals.[9] The team also won the 1915 and 1916 titles, becoming three-champion. Its last title in the league was in 1919, so in 1920 Rosario Central left the league again.

Once Rosario Central left the league, it joined other clubs to form the Asociación Amateur, although Central and the dissident clubs would return again to the league one year later. Central won the 1923, 1927, 1928 and 1930 championship, becoming the most successful team in Liga de Rosario's history.

National Cups

File:RCentral 1915.jpg
Rosario Central in 1915, the team that won the Copa Dr. Carlos Ibarguren

In 1915 Central won its second national title, obtaining the Copa Dr. Carlos Ibarguren. That was a trophy contested by the champions of Buenos Aires and Rosario. Central defeated Racing Club 3–1 in the final match.[10]

In 1916 Central won the Copa de Honor Municipalidad de Buenos Aires after beating Independiente 1-0. That same year the Rosarino team won the Copa de Competencia Jockey Club defeating Independiente again. A new national title would come in 1920, when Central won the Copa de Competencia against Almagro.

Professional era

In 1931 football became professional in Argentina, so a new Association, the Asociación Rosarina de Fútbol was created in Rosario to organize the first professional championships. The Copa Nicasio Vila changed its name to Torneo Gobernador Luciano Molinas, honoring then Governor of Santa Fe Province Luciano Molinas. Rosario Central won the 1937 and 1938 titles.

In 1939, Rosario Central and arch-rival Newell's Old Boys requested Argentine Football Association to be added to national championships of Argentina. The Association accepted the requirement.

File:Rosariocentral 1951.jpg
Central won its second promotion to Primera División in 1951.

In 1941 Rosario Central was relegated to Primera B, after losing 20 matches with only 6 won. Nevertheless, Central only lasted one season in second division, returning one year later, after 25 matches won and only 4 lost. In 1950 Central was relegated again after a poor campaign in Primera. As its precedent relegation, Central promoted to the top division one year after being relegated, so the team returned to Primera in 1951.

First championships in Primera

Rosario Central won the Nacional championship in 1971 with Angel Labruna as coach defeating San Lorenzo in the final game. Central had previously defeated arch-rival Newell's 1-0 in semi-finals with a goal scored by Aldo Poy, who dove to head the ball (what is known as "la palomita" in Spanish). That goal is still remembered by Central supporters who usually reunite on December 19, to recreate the goal. Many times Poy himself has taken part of the celebration.[11]

The second professional title for the club came two years later, winning the 1973 Nacional with Carlos Griguol as coach. Some of the most notable players were Poy, Carlos Aimar and Eduardo Solari. The most frequent line-up was: Carlos Biasutto, Jorge González, Aurelio Pascuttini, Daniel Killer, Mario Killer, Carlos Aimar, Eduardo Solari, Aldo Poy, Ramón Bóveda, Roberto Cabral and Daniel Aricó.

For the 1974 season, Central acquired striker Mario Kempes from Instituto Atlético Central Córdoba (Kempes and Instituto mate Osvaldo Ardiles were to be reunited in the national team that won the 1978 World Cup).

The 1980s

After seven years without titles, Central won the 1980 Nacional with Ángel Tulio Zof on the bench. That team was called La Sinfónica (the Symphony Orchestra) because of the exquisite playing displayed by the team on the field. Central defeated Racing de Córdoba 5–0 in the first final game, and lost 2–0 in the second match but proclaimed champion due to goal average. Daniel Carnevali, Juan Carlos Ghielmetti, Edgardo Bauza, Oscar Craiyacich, Jorge García, José Gaitán, Daniel Sperandío, Eduardo Bacas, Félix Orte, Víctor Marchetti and Daniel Teglia was the frequent line-up on the fields.

After a few years with bad seasons, the team was relegated in 1984, but returned to first division just one year later after winning the Primera B championship, coached by Pedro Marchetta. Central returned to Primera to play the 1986–87 season, winning the title at the end of the tournament but coached by Zof again. This was a first in Argentine football (oddly, Central Español performed a similar feat in Uruguay in the years 1983–84, also a first).

The 1986–87 team was formed by Alejandro Lanari, Hernán Díaz, Jorge Balbis, Edgardo Bauza, Pedernera, Omar Palma, Adelqui Cornaglia, Roberto Gasparini, Osvaldo Escudero, Fernando Lanzidei and Hugo Galloni.

International titles

The first years of the decade of 1990 Central did not make good campaigns in domestic tournaments, although the team won the CONMEBOL Cup (the precursor of the current Copa Sudamericana) in 1995, being the only international title achieved by a Santa Fe Province based team to date. Central defeated Brazilian squad Atlético Mineiro 4–0 in Arroyito after losing by the same score in the first match in Brazil. Finally Central won the Cup by Penalty shoot-out, with a score of 4–3.

The club has participated in ten editions of the Copa Libertadores, and is currently tied for fifth place with Estudiantes de la Plata and Vélez Sársfield, all of which trail participation leaders Boca Juniors, River Plate, Independiente, and San Lorenzo de Almagro.

Decline and resurrection

After the 2010 Clausura, Rosario Central's poor form over the past three years forced it into a relegation/promotion play-off against Nacional B side All Boys, which won the tie over two legs 4–1 on aggregate (defining the series with a thrashing 3-0 in Arroyito), relegating Rosario Central to Primera B Nacional, the second tier of Argentine football. It was the fourth time the club was relegated to play in the second division.

Rosario Central spent several seasons in the B Nacional until 19 May 2013, when the squad secured the promotion to Primera División after beating Gimnasia y Esgrima de Jujuy by 3-0. The three goals were scored by Javier Toledo. The team was coached by Miguel Ángel Russo.[12][13]

Kit and badge

Uniform evolution

Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors

Since July 2012, the clothing of Rosario Central is provided by the company Olympikus, who takes from the sports uniform up to the extra-sports clothes. Starting in 2015 the clothing will be provided by Nike. In turn, the jacket is sponsored by the argentinian bank: Banco Municipal.

Badge evolution


Rosario Central plays in the Gigante de Arroyito stadium, located in the confluence of Avellaneda Boulevard and Génova Avenue, in the Lisandro de la Torre neighborhood (popularly known as Arroyito), in north-east Rosario. It has an official capacity of 41,654.

In that tournament, all three second-round games of the Argentine squad were played in the Gigante. Local hero Kempes enjoyed the support of the fans and went on to become the top scorer of the tournament.


Central's common nickname is canallas ("scoundrels", which is a rather mild insult in Argentina) because it is said that the club refused to play a charity match for a leprosy clinic in the 1920s; rival side Newell's acquired the leprosos (lepers) nickname when it did play in that event.

Another version states that in 1928 the Central supporters burned down some canvas near the Club Belgrano stadium (which Central had a strong rivalry). When the Belgrano supporters saw that, they started to shout to them: "you're scoundrels! scoundrels!".[16]

In a January 2007 press conference presenting the New Jersey, Rosario native Roberto Fontanarrosa revised the definition and spelling of Central's nickname. The new spelling he gave was canaya, because according to him, people from the city of Rosario do not use the Spanish word canalla for any other reason than referring to the club.

Central is also known as La Academia (like the Argentine team Racing Club) due to the amount of players that become professional from the youth teams, and to the amount of consecutive Rosario's League titles that the club won in the amateur era, in comparison to Racing Club (called La Academia), that won a lot of championships in the Buenos Aires´ League at the same time too.


File:Hinchada de Rosario Central Bandera151.jpg
Central fans displaying a gigantic banner.

Rosario Central's supporters are considered one of the most significant of Argentina. The Newspaper Olé was published last January 5, 2008 by a recent study realized by the English magazine UK Football. The same one, published that a ranking with the 50 most vibrant supporters of the world. The results were the following ones: as first, Milan represents the supporters of the AC, then that of Real Madrid, and third that of the Galatasaray of Turkey. Between the Argentinians that of Rosario Central turns out to be like first in the position 14, second that of River Plate in the position 20, third turn out to be the supporters of Boca Juniors in 23, and fourth that of Racing Club in the place number 48.[17]

It is provided also with certain proper rituals, as being the « Throwing of Towel », on November 23 in recognition to the party that Rosario Central imposed on his rival for 4 on 0 and this one was considered finished to 11 minutes of the second half, is known as the day of the abandonment, or the celebration of the « Day of the Friend Canaya », which is celebrated on July 19 (date of death of Roberto Fontanarrosa) and the most important, the celebration of the Little dove of Poy, who celebrates all on December 19 in different cities of the world, raised an order so that between to the book Guinness as the most celebrated goal of the history

In popular culture

Rosario Central has featured in many films, books, songs and plays. The club has also featured on several occasions in prose. Roberto Fontanarrosa's story 19 de diciembre de 1971 is about a fan who travels to Buenos Aires for a Semi-Final match against Newell's Old Boys.

Celebrity fans include Alberto "El Negro" Olmedo, Rita la Salvaje, Libertad Lamarque, some writers such as Osvaldo Bayer and Roberto Fontanarrosa, and some musicians as well as Fito Páez, Juan Carlos Baglietto, Joaquín Sabina are all fans of the club.

Ernesto "Che" Guevara, a major figure of the Cuban Revolution, was a Rosario Central fan.[3] [4] [5] [6]


Current squad

Current squad of Rosario Central as of February 25, 2015 (edit)
Sources: Official website and Argentine Soccer

No. Position Player
1 23x15px ARG GK Mauricio Caranta
2 23x15px ARG DF Alejandro Donatti
3 23x15px ARG DF Pablo Álvarez
4 23x15px ARG DF Paulo Ferrari
5 23x15px ARG MF Damián Musto
6 23x15px COL DF Yeimar Gómez Andrade
7 23x15px ARG FW Walter Acuña
8 23x15px ARG MF Fernando Barrientos
9 23x15px ARG FW Marco Ruben
10 23x15px ARG MF Franco Cervi
11 23x15px ARG MF José Luis Fernández
12 23x15px ARG GK Manuel García
14 23x15px ARG MF Lucas Lazo
15 23x15px ARG MF Maximiliano González
16 23x15px ARG MF Walter Montoya

<td width="1%"> <td style="background-color:#FFFFFF;vertical-align:top;" width="48%">

No. Position Player
18 23x15px ARG MF Pablo Becker
19 23x15px ARG FW César Delgado
20 23x15px ARG MF Gustavo Colman
21 23x15px ARG DF Elías Gómez
22 23x15px ARG FW Franco Niell
23 23x15px ARG MF Nery Domínguez
24 23x15px ARG DF Tomás Berra
26 23x15px ARG DF Jonathan Ferrari
27 23x15px ARG MF Jonás Aguirre
28 23x15px ARG MF Hernán Da Campo
29 23x15px ARG DF Víctor Salazar
31 23x15px ARG GK Jeremías Ledesma
32 23x15px ARG MF Federico Flores
33 23x15px ARG DF Cristian Villagra
</table>Manager: Eduardo Coudet

Former players




National cups

Other honours

Regional titles:

  • Rosario´s Football League (12): 1908, 1914, 1915, 1916, 1917, 1919, 1923, 1927, 1928, 1930, 1937, 1938 1 [19]
  • Rosario's Football Federation (1): 1913 [19]
  • Rosario's Amateurs Football Association (2): 1920, 1921 [19]


  • 1 Since 1939, Rosario Central begun to participate in the Argentina`s First Division into the AFA tournament. Before that year, the club participated in the Asosiación Rosarina de Fútbol (A.R.F.) but also competed in the AFA national official cups.



  1. ^ A commemorative edition of this uniform was released for the 2012-13 season.[14]
  2. ^ This badge has slight changes until the 1973 logo was introduced.
  3. ^ The number of stars (symbolizing the successive championships won) have been the only changes made to this badge as years went by.
  4. ^ Organized by the dissident association "Federación Amateurs de Football" (FAF) in 1913 and 1914.


External links