Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata
Based in La Plata, Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, was founded on the 3rd of June, in 1887. It was initially known as Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima. The principal sport of the club is football, and they compete in Argentina’s premier league, the Primera Division Argentina. The club was instated a mere five years after the creation of the city of La Plata. The original sports offered were gymnastics and fencing. The team stadium is known as Estadio Juan Carlos Zerillo, or Estadio del Bosque, and has a seating capacity of 31,460.
The club has witnessed a name change at least five times. Starting with Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima, the name changed to Club de Esgrima in April, 1987, a name it retained till December, 1987. In the same month it was renamed to its original name, Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima. Another name change occurred in July, 1952, when the club was renamed to Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima de Eva Peron, a result of the city of Le Plata being renamed to Eva Peron. This lasted till September, 1955, after which the club name once again returned to its original name and so did the city name. But since then the club has been known as Club de Gimnasia y Esgrima de La Plata.
Champions of the Division Intermedia, in 1915, Gimnasia y Esgrima entered the Primera Division in 1929, after having secured runner up position in the same division in 1924, a feat they achieved five times. Following the advent of the professional football era, Gimnasia held on to their championship tag in the Copa Centenario de la AFA, in 1994, and also in the Segunda Division, in the years 1944, 1947 and also 1952. They have now been participating in the Primera Division since 69 seasons, and is ranked eighth in this regard.
The team initially suffered consistent failures, and this resulted in coach Troglio resigning from his post in 2007. Francisco Maturana and Julio Cesar Falcioni, followed him as coach, but met with only moderate success. In December, 2007, Munoz did not run for re-election and Walter Gisande the new club president hired Guillermo Sanguinetti, a former player as the team coach. He further tried to get former players such as Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Diego Alonso to return to the team, though only Alonso returned from China to play for the team.
The new management, then tackled the issue of El Bosque, their traditional ground. The ground underwent an evaluation after several required updates were made, and in June, 2008 Gimnasia returned to play on El Bosque, which was against Lanus, and was the last game of the 2008 Clausura championship. Some of the more notable players on the team were Francisco ‘Pancho’ Varallo, Leandro Cufre, Roberto ‘Pampa’ Sosa amongst many others.
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