Racing Club won their 18th league title on Sunday as they drew 1-1 in dramatic fashion against relegation-compromised Tigre. Once that result came in as well as the draw between Unión and Defensa y Justicia from the opposite side of Buenos Aires, Racing fans went into a frenzy as they took to the streets of the Argentine capital.
Amongst the massive congregation of fans, there was one very bizarre story. Maybe even bizarre would not be the right term to use. Some would even go as far as saying macabre.
Gabriel Aranda walked around El Obelisco with a skull in his hand celebrating his team's 18th league title, which helped them pass cross-street rivals Independiente in terms of league titles won.
He was approached by TNT Sports for an interview and explained with the most matter of fact tone a person could give as to why he had the skull in his possession.
This skull happened to be part of his grandfather Valentin's remains. Aranda's grandfather happened to have been a big Racing fan and even was a club member when he was alive according to his testimony. "(The body) was in its niche and I would take it out every time Racing would play. He was Racing's good luck charm. He would be very proud of me for doing it," said Aranda with great pride and satisfaction.
As insane as this may sound, this is not the first time something like this has happened within South American football. Back in 2011, a group of barrabravas at Colombian club Cucuta Deportivo entered the stadium with a coffin that still had a cadaver in it. There have been other stories that have talked about individuals wanting to throw ashes onto the pitch and events of that nature, but this is quite an extreme even for South American standards.
It is safe to say that Aranda will have that skull with him this coming Sunday in the final round of the Argentine Superliga when Racing close out their campaign against second-place Defensa y Justicia in a match that has very little meaning in the outcome of their respective seasons. Both squads have already qualified for the group stage of next year's Copa Libertadores.Published 02 Apr 2019, 08:34 IST