“Thanks JR. Player #12.” The blue and gold flag, with three emblematic photos of Juan Roman Riquelme, wore this Friday in one of the garments of the Hazza Bin Zayed stadium, in Al Ain, one hour from Abu Dhabi. Over there Mouth played against racing for the International Super Cup. The Xeneize bar and also that of the Academy arrived there to see for themselves how their teams, 14,000 kilometers away and in the middle of the desert, placed the first star of the year. The two, in principle, avoided accidents. And they’re dedicated to doing the right part of their job: cheering them on over and over again.
The rag, a sign of gratitude seen before the game, marks it clearly The relationship between “the guys behind the arc” and the Boca vice president is going through its best moment. A relationship that for a long time, especially at the time when Román was a player and idol of the La Ribera team, was interrupted. But times have changed. The footballer is now the leader and head of a political group, “I am Bostero”, which seeks to remain in charge of the club. And bars want the usual. Having the power of the grandstand and maintaining the business that allows them, among other things, to travel across the world to see the team.
The arrival of La 12 was cinematic. A group of around 50 people entered the stadium and started taking their places in the goal that Gabriel Arias defended in the first half. Mauro Martín was leading and Rafael Di Zeo was closing. The historic head of the bar entered, as always, signing autographs and delivering selfies.
In the other masthead there was also the bar of the Avellaneda club, albeit in smaller numbers. The Los Pibes de Racing are the ones who took power in and around the Cylinder and showed the rag of the Imperial Guard, beyond the fact that almost nobody is left of that faction. These are not peaceful times in La Academia, given that recently, in the midst of cross-threats, Aprevide decided that the friendly against Racing de Montevideo would be played behind closed doors for fear of a possible clash with a group of Docks South – which has old members of the Imperial Guard – trying to keep the stands.
For a moment there was fear of a possible crossing of violent people in Al Ain. The second and third lines of bar Boca began looking for their academy peers with the intention of marking territory. “There are racing fans there, there are racing fans there”, some exclaimed. However, Di Zeo and his subordinates immediately took them from the place and prevented the situation from escalating.
The reason is clear. The security operation is entrusted to local forces. And from the organization they warned that their wrist would not shake with anyone who tried to disturb the order in the stadium and its surroundings.
How the 12 traveled
Why are the bars of the two teams in Al Ain? The Argentine Justice has authorized the trip to all those who have pending judicial proceedings and who have requested it. And, moreover, because there is no agreement on the right of admission between our country and the United Arab Emirates, therefore the ban on entering stadiums does not affect anyone, as happened, for example, at the 2022 Qatar World Cup.
One of those who benefited from this legal nod is Di Zeo himself, who had to put up for sale a property he owned in the Villa Luro neighborhood in Buenos Aires, valued at $450,000, as a guarantee to comply with the oath bond imposed on him. a condition to guarantee his return to Argentina.
This means that Di Zeo will lose that property, which is registered to his partner, Mirta Condello, should he decide to flee. Something that seems unlikely.
What is the legal situation of the strong man of La Doce? For these days he has two open cases.
One is for aggravated cover-up -in which there are ten other bars, including Martín himself- because it would have facilitated theon the run from Maximilian Oetinger, then three in the chain of command of the tribune, wanted for extortion kidnapping. However, the case, which is being pursued by Judge Sabrina Namer, Federal Oral Court No. 8, is about to be dropped because the prosecution has no evidence to direct the prosecution. The death of a key link in the investigation during the pandemic ended up collapsing the case that will surely end with the acquittal of all the defendants.
In the other case that Di Zeo has opened, he is accused of instigating an internal brawl between members of La Doce culminating with two dead serves on the eve of the match against San Lorenzo, played on 20 July 2013 at the Nuevo Gasómetro. Even there, after fulfilling all his duties, the leader of La Doce is on his way to acquittal, since not even the prosecution has been able to build evidence against him.
It was also because of this situation that Di Zeo had to ask for authorization to leave the country before the Oral Criminal Court n. 13, composed by Enrique Gamboa, Diego Leif Guardia and Adolfo Calvete. Since the prosecutor Aldo de la Fuente did not object, the request was re-examined by the waitresses.
However the request came during the judicial fair and the court consisted of other magistrates. The vote ended up being in favour: Gustavo González Ferrari, of Court 16, gave him the thumbs up, but Liliana Barrionuevo, of Court 19, and Hugo Cataldi, of Court 14, authorized it. And they imposed a sworn bail of 10 million pesos, which is about $53,000 at the official exchange rate. To cover this obligation, Di Zeo placed the property of Villa Luro, of about 370 square meters, the value of which far exceeds the condition of Justice.
The million dollar question is knowing where the money comes from so that the bars can pay for the travel and stay in one of the most expensive places on the planet.
In 2017, in an interview with the newspaper La Nación, Di Zeo himself explained how bars are financed in Argentinaa. “Of the country’s 45 million people, 20 million are from Boca. Of those, imagine a million who are businessmen and have money. With ten of those businessmen to help us, we can travel the world. It’s always It was like that. There they have a lot to do with fan clubs, tourist stuff, shirts, lotteries. This country is run by football. They always want to help you. The same thing happens with the River people. If there is no football in this country , civil war will break out. There were 80 days without football and they only talked about that mess,” he said.
And with reference to his ties to politics, Di Zeo also acknowledged his ties to power: “I worked for politics, for some leaders and they weren’t all Kirchnerists as they think. There were so many radicals and so many others who are now in the PRO”.
In recent years, in addition to the income that has multiplied from being patron of the stands, he has launched a clothing and merchandising shop for La Doce and Boca which is sold online through the La Pecera Xeneize 12 website. The account can be found at Instagram and there you can find club clothing and also clothing lines bearing the name RD, Player Number 12 and The owners of history.
The relationship with Riquelme
Throughout his career it has been an open secret that Juan Román Riquelme, unlike other idols, maintained a long-distance relationship with La Doce.
However, during the launch of his party group on December 28 on the Bombonera beach, he was surprised when he spoke of “the guys behind the door”.
“Our players are grateful for the welcome you give them every Sunday, every Wednesday. Our house is a party and this is thanks to you and to the guys behind the goal, whom I also thank for how they are behaving, for how they are doing taking care of our club”, said Román during his presentation speech of “I am Bostero”.
Those words made it clear that there has been a rapprochement since Riquelme was chosen as the club’s vice president and took over the management of professional football.
In fact, last season, flags were hung at the bar to recognize the idol and there was also applause and standing ovations. The same scene was repeated this evening in the middle of the desert.
Al-Ain. United Arab Emirates. Special delivery.
Jason Root is the go-to source for sports coverage at News Rebeat. With a passion for athletics and an in-depth knowledge of the latest sports trends, Jason provides comprehensive and engaging analysis of the world of sports.