Cup Winners Cup

Cup Winners Cup. One old winner of the trophy against the losing finalist of 1989. Anderlecht, well respected and constantly strong, was looking for its 3rd Cup Winners Cup. Sampdoria reached the final for a second consecutive year and was eager to win this time. The road to the final of both teams was impressive – collectively, they lost just a single game. Both finalists had their tougher opposition in the 1/8 finals: Sampdoria eliminated Borussia Dortmund (West Germany) 1-1 and 2-0 and Anderlecht prevailed over Barcelona 2-0 and 1-2 in extra time. That was the only match which either finalist lost on their way to the final. The rest was relatively easy: Sampdoria rolled ever Brann (Norway) 2-0 and 1-0, then came Borussia Dortmund, followed by Grasshopper (Switzerland) 2-0 and 2-1, and in the ½ finals Monaco (France) 2-2 and 2-0. Anderlecht: Ballymena United (Northern Ireland) 6-0 and 4-0, Barcelona, Admira-Wacker (Austria) 2-0 and 1-1, and Dinamo Bucharest (Romania) in the ½ finals 1-0 and 1-0. So, no favorite at the final even if Sampdoria had more famous stars: Katanec (Yugoslavia) and especially the lethal strikers Vialli and Mancini. Like the Champions Cup final, here was a clash of great coaches too: Yugoslavian Vujadin Boskov (Sampdoria) and Dutch Aad de Mos (Anderlecht).

A match between equals, so regular time ended scoreless.

Things changed in the extra time, Sampdoria getting the upper hand.

Vialli scored twice. And that was it.

Final, Nya Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg, 9 May 1990, att 20103

UC Sampdoria (0) 2 RSC Anderlecht (0) 0 aet
105′ 1-0 S: Vialli
107′ 2-0 S: Vialli

UC Sampdoria: Pagliuca; L.Pellegrini, Mannini, Vierchowod, Carboni; Pari, Katanec (Salsano 93),
Invernizzi (Lombardo 53), Dossena; Vialli, Mancini
RSC Anderlecht: De Wilde; Grün, Marchoul, Keshi, Kooiman; Vervoort, Musonda, Gudjohnson,
Jankovic (Oliveira 112); Degryse (Nilis 103), Van der Linden
Referee: Galler (Switzerland)
Sampdoria happily got the Cup.

Then it was just the see of blue on the pitch and on the stands.

Anderlecht was unable to win 3rd Cup Winners Cup and it was just right under the circumstances: no matter how good and steady the club was, money talked more than ever before by the end of the 1980s. And the Italian clubs had the money… Yes, Anderlecht had top coach and impressive squad, but Keshi, Grun, Vervoort, Jankovic, de Wilde, Degryse, and Gudjohnsen were bellow the level of Sampdoria’a leading players. Luc Nilis was still too young to be a big factor and Oliveira was beyond his prime. Anderlecht was strong, well balanced, but… not at Sampdoria level, not even on the level of its own earlier vintages. Small difference, but crucial in matters of life and death. And the Africans were not yet prime stars of world football…

Sampdoria won its first European trophy. Of course, the team was going up for some time, but they lost the same Cup final the previous year and now did better, adding one more name to the list of Cup winners. Not only the city of Genoa equalized itself to Milano and Torino, bypassing Rome, but the success of Samdoria also firmly established the leading position of Italian club football in Europe. Vujadin Boskov knew his job very well indeed and he made impressive blend of young and experienced stars – Katanec (Yugoslavia), Dossena and Mannini at their prime, Vialli and Mancini, still young, but experienced and top talent, old, but very impressive Vierchowod, and young talented Pagliuca. The rest were well respected players, if not first class stars. Well rounded team, combining fresh talent and experience, as every great team does. Thus, success came and it did not look that Sampdoria was one-time wonder, but a team going to stay for awhile and do even better things. Well deserved victory.

European Champions Cup

European Champions Cup. Two well known teams met at the final – the current Cup holder AC Milan and Benfica, which was hoping once again to restore the glory of the 1960s. Benfica reached the final after impressive run of 7 wins and only 1 lost match, but they had lucky draws too: Derry City (Ireland) 2-1 and 4-0, Honved (Hungary) 2-0 and 7-0, Dnepr (USSR) 1-0 and 3-0, and in the ½ finals Olympique Marseille (France) 1-2 and 1-0. Milan had it tougher: HJK Helsinki (Finland) 4-0 and 1-0, Real Madrid (Spain) 2-0 and 0-1, KV Mechelen (Belgium) 0-0 and 2-0 after extra time, and finally Bayern (West Germany) 1-0 and 1-2 after extra time. At the end, away goals brought both opponents to the big final in Vienna (Austria). Both teams in full strength and equally ambitious made for rather tough final in which Frank Rijkard shined.

He was everywhere
Defending, organizing, and attacking, outshining his equally famed teammates Gullit and van Basten.
And in the 68th minute Rijkard crowned his performance by scoring the goal, which happened to be the whole difference at the final whistle between winners and losers.
AC Milan (0) 1 SL Benfica (0) 0
68′ 1-0 M: Rijkaard

AC Milan (trainer Sacchi): G.Galli; Tassotti, Costacurta, Baresi, Maldini; Colombo (F.Galli 89),
Rijkaard, Ancelotti (Massaro 72), Evani; Gullit, Van Basten
SL Benfica (trainer Eriksson): Silvino; Jose Carlos, Aldair, Ricardo, Samuel; Vitor Paneira (Vata 76),
Valdo, Thern, Hernani; Magnusson, Pacheco (Brito 66)
Referee: Kohl (Austria)
Thanks to Rijkard, Franco Baresi received the European Champions Cup

One more triumph for the best team in the world.
European champions two years in a row!

One can be sorry for Benfica – once again they came close to triumph and once again they were beaten. Great coach – Sven Goran Eriksson (Sweden) – and impressive squad featuring along with Portuguese top players Brazilian stars Ricardo, Aldair, and Valdo, plus Swedish best Thern and Magnusson. Yet, Benfica permitted a goal in its net and failed to score… There was no consolation, only grieve and cursing the ‘Bela Gutmann curse’.
Hardly a need to introduce the winners – Arrigo Sacchi made excellent team, led by the great Dutch trio Gullit-van Basten-Rijkard. Compared to Benfica, Milan had more class and was a team at its peak. So much talent provided for different players taking a key role in particular games – this time, it was Frank Rijkard and Milan repeated its success of 1989. Not only that, but Milan climbed to number 2 most successful European club, collecting their 4th European Champions Cup. Now they shared second place with Liverpool, but looked like the Italians not only will come ahead of the English, but will challenge and perhaps overcome the great record of Real Madrid.

Intercontinental Cup

Intercontinental Cup. On December 9, 1990 the top clubs of Europe and South America met in Tokyo in front of 60 000 fans.
Arrigo Sachi’s team was expected to win – Milan was already hailed as the best team in the world and their Paraguayan opponents were little known outside South America, hence, seen as an outsider.
Of course, European teams were terribly surprised many a time, but contrary to the photo, not this time.
Rijkard opened for Milan near the end of the first half and after that it was just adding more goals.
Stroppa made it 2-0 in the 62nd minute.
Three minutes later Rijkard scored his second goal and Olimpia was finished.
Milan was classier for sure and dominated the match.
Olimpia simply had no answer to Baresi and company.
Tokyo, National Stadium
December 9, 1990 Att: 60.228 Ref: Wright (BRA)

Milan AC (ITA) 3-0 (1-0) Olimpia (PAR)
1-0 43′ Rijkaard
2-0 62′ Stroppa
3-0 65′ Rijkaard

Milan AC: Pazzagli – Baresi, Tassotti, Costacurta, Maldini (Galli 22), Carbone, Donadoni (Gaudenzi 82), Rijkaard, Stroppa, Gullit, Van Basten
Olimpia: Almeida – Fernández, Cáceres, Guasch, R. Ramírez (Chamac 48), Suárez, Hoyn (Cubilla 68), Balbuena, Monzón, Amarilla, Samaniego.
After the last whistle – smiles and pretty pictures of the winners.
At the top of the world, trophies and all.
Olimpia made their pretty picture, but no trophy… As good as the team was, it was no match to Milan – and the Paraguayans modestly recognized that by expressing pride to be second-best. One may be sorry for the veteran goalkeeper Almeida, who retired soon after the final. Olimpia did what they could, unfortunately Milan was too strong.
Milan was the club champion of the world. Hardly a need to list the stars here – it will be enough just to say that Carlo Ancelotti and Aberigo Evani missed the match and Milan did not suffer from their absence. Could be said that this was the finest year of the ‘Dutch’ Milan – they won second Intercontinental Cup in a row and their 3rd altogether.

South American Player Of The Year

Player of the Year. Two rankings existed and they vastly differed from each other – the one run by Venezuelan newspaper permitted players based in Europe and in it the big stars dominated – Maradona was number 1. However, the ranking run by the Uruguayan newspaper El Pais had real recognition and it was the official ranking somewhat. In it only those playing in South America were included and because of that only one player appeared among the top three in both rankings: Rene Higuita (Colombia and Atletico Nacional) was 3rd both times. In El Pais classification he shared third position with his compatriot and teammate Leonel Alvarez, both having 25 points. Second was Ruben da Silva (Uruguay and River Plate, Argentina) with 32 points and number one – Raul Vicente Amarilla (Paraguay and Olimpia) with 57 points.
Thus, he was proclaimed the South American player of 1990 – perhaps the least known outside the continent player to win the honour. It came to that because by now practically all great South American stars played in Europe and their absence made at the end a player from the top club side the winner – it was Olimpia (Asuncion), hence, the number one player was Paraguayan.
Strange enough, Amarilla was not new name at all – he was already 30-years old and had very impressive career already: he debuted for Sportivo Luqueno in his native city at 17, made impression and soon was signed by Real Zaragoza in Spain. Then he was loaned to Racing Santander for the 1980-81 season, again made good impression and next season he was full fledged Real Zaragoza player and become the second-best scorer of Spain in 1982-83. At that time perhaps he made a crucial mistake, leaving him to relative obscurity: he was invited to play for the Under-21 National team of Spain and accepted – and that is why he never played for Paraguay and as it turned out, not for the first team of Spain either. But he was still impressive and Barcelona hired him in 1985.
He played for Barcelona between 1985 and 1988 and then returned to Paraguay and signed with Olimpia (Asuncion), becoming not only a key player of the new and successful squad winning Copa Libertadores in 1990, but also one of the most beloved players by the fans. So, it was the success of Olimpia which brought him to international recognition at last. As a whole, so far he won the Spanish title with Barcelona (1984-85), the Spanish Cup with Barcelona (1987-88), was Paraguayan champion with Olimpia (1988), won Copa Libertadores, Supercopa Sudamericna, and Recopa Sudamericana in 1990 with Olimpia and those three last trophies propelled him to number one player of South America. Well deserved recognition.


Venezuela. Simple league championship – a refreshing formula in South America – and dramatic battle for the title between 3 teams. From the Second Division Valencia and Anzoategui were promoted.
First Division.
Deportivo Galicia had very weak season, finished last with 14 points and was relegated.
Internacional lost the battle for survival – 15th with 21 points and relegated.
Union Deportiva survived – 14th with 22 points.
Estudiantes – 13th with 24 points.
Maracaibo – 12th with 24 points.
Trujillanos – 11th with 26 points.
Portuguesa – 10th with 28 points.
Deportivo Italia – 9th with 28 points.
Zamora – 8th with 28 points.
Mineros – 7th with 32 points.
Pepeganga Margarita – 6th with 33 points.
Pepeganga Margarita deserves one more picture, because this was their last season of existence – the club popped up just recently in the top league and did very well, but… different name and different city appeared in the next season.
Caracas FC – 5th with 36 points.
Universidad de Los Andes – 4th with 36 points.
Minerven, Maritimo and Deportivo Tachira were entangled in the battle for the title and at the end not only 1 point separated first from third, but the regular championship ended undecided.
Minerven finished 3rd with 42 points.
The other 2 teams had 43 points each after the 30 rounds of the championship. Maritimo was 2nd because of 2-goal worse goal-difference. The best Venezuelan team in the recent years, Deportivo Tachira, finished 1st. Minerven played collected and careful football – they lost only twice and permitted just 18 goals in their own net. Deportivo Tachira preferred attacking football and finished slightly better than Maritimo thanks to that: 17 wins and 59 goals scored. Only Minerven won more games than them – 18. Defense was secondary for Tachira and they allowed the ball to end in their net 32 times. Yet, they were number 1 in the final table… but got no title. Since goal-difference counted only to make the table comprehensive, in case of teams finishing with equal points a final play-off followed. In it Maritimo got the upper hand, winning 2-0.
Thus, Deportivo Tachira won the regular season, but lost the title.
Maritimo won the title – it was their 3rd. A great season. 15 wins, 13 ties, and only 2 losses in the regular season, 43-18 goal-difference. And after that they won the championship play-off, cool and collected.
Once again, the Venezuelan champions for 1989-90. No famous players here – outside Venezuelan context, of course – but champions. This was the strongest period of the club, which was not finished yet.


Bolivia. A nightmarish championship impossible to grasp. 13 teams played in the top league, but only 11 played in the first half of it, or Apertura. Why? A question without answer. As few other things. Two teams were relegated – how it was decided who to go out is a mystery, but at least the unfortunates are known: San Pedro (Cochabamba) and Litoral (La Paz). From the lower level 3 teams were promoted somehow – apparently, the top league was going to be 14 teams next season. The lucky ones were:
Chaco Petrolero (La Paz)
Petrolero (Cochabamba), and
Orcobol (Cochabamba). This may be a photo of happily promoted Orcobol, but one cannot be sure.
In any case, the Bolivian championship was mainly a battle between the cities of La Paz, Santa Cruz de la Sierra and Cochabamba – next year in the top league would play 4 teams from La Paz, 4 from Santa Cruz de la Sierra and 3 from Cochabamba.
So, 11 teams in the Apertura, which went through 3 stages. In the first stage the 11 teams were divided into 2 groups and the top 4 teams in each group qualified to the second stage. For reason unknown, but surely wise one, Litoral (La Paz) and Always Ready (La Paz) did not participate. The number of games each team played in the first stage makes no sense: Serie B had teams and they played 12 games each. Three times against each other, it seems. Serie A had 6 teams, but 4 of them played 14 games and 2 teams played 12 games. Bolivar and San Jose (Oruro) played fewer games for ‘not having an inter-series rival’ and for that privilege they received 2 points each. The second stage was smooth affair: two groups of 4 teams, round-robin tournament, every team played twice against the rest of the group. The top 2 teams in each group sailed to the semifinals, played in two legs and the winners played a two-leg final. Which was undecided, for goals did not count and final play-off followed. Oriente Petrolero and Bolivar met at the final. At home, Oriente Petrolero won 2-1, then lost 0-2 in La Paz. The third match was played in neutral Cochabamba and Oriente Petrolero won 1-0.
Bolivar finished 2nd.
Oriente Petrolero won the Apertura. Thus, Oriente Petrolero qualified to the grand final for the title.
The Clausura followed. This time all teams played, divided in 3 groups. Teams had bonus points unclear from where and for what, but started the Clausura with them. Serie A was made from the teams of Santa Cruz de la Sierra and played in the city. 3 teams qualified from this group the second stage. Serie B was played in La Paz and was made of local teams only – 2 teams qualified to the next stage. Serie C was made of the rest – 2 teams from Cochabamba plus the representatives of Oruro, Tarija, and Sucre – it was not played in one city, like the other groups, and 3 teams qualified to the next stage.
This was the end of season for Destroyers (Santa Cruz de la Sierra) – they finished last in Serie A.
Litoral (La Paz) and Always Ready (La Paz) ended the season after finisheing 3rd and 4th in Serie B. For Litoral it was amazingly short season: since they did not play in the Apertura, their whole season was made of the first stage of Clausura – a grand total of 6 games of which they lost 4 and won only one.
In Serie C Jorge Wilstermann was 4th and San Pedro 5th – the season ended for them, leaving Cochabamba without a team going ahead and thus making this season terrible as a whole. San Pedro was last in its group in the Apertura and last again in the Clausura.
The second stage was a copy of second stage Apertura: 8 teams divided into 2 groups, the top 2 going to the Clausura semifinals. This stage ended the season for Independiente Petrolero (Sucre), Ciclon (Tarija), Real Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz de la Sierra), and
Blooming (Santa Cruz de la Sierra).
Clausura semifinals:
The Strongest (La Paz) lost to Bolivar 1-2 and 3-4.
San Jose (Oruro) was eliminated by Oriente Petrolero, although it is unclear why: the results were 0-3 and 3-0. May be a penalty shoot-out? No record… Standing from left: Arnaldo Mansilla, José Daniel Valencia (Argentine), Marcos Francisquine, Freddy Cossio, Roberto Pérez, Luís Esteban Galarza. First row: Luis E. Padilla, Dionisio N. Gutiérrez, Juan C. Sánchez, José Luis Valverde, Silvio Rojas.
Thus, the Clausura final repeated the Apertura final: Oriente Petrolero against Bolivar. And it was full repetition… at home, Bolivar won 4-1, then lost 1-2 away, and third match was scheduled, like in the Apertura, in Cochabamba. It ended 1-1 and in the following penalty shoot-out Oriente Petrolero prevailed 4-3.
Bolivar (La Paz) was second again and, thus, overall second, which was not what club and fans expected, but at least the team qualified to the Copa Libertadores.

Oriente Petrolero (Santa Cruz de la Sierra) won both Aperura and Clausura and that canceled grand final between the winners of the two parts of the championship: the team was the champion of Bolivia. Great success, no doubt – this was their 3rd title, but they had to wait a whole decade for it, after winning their 2nd in 1979. Not an easy success, but leaving no doubts – Oriente Petrolero won both the Apertura and the Clausura.


Peru. By now, the largest championship in the world – 44 teams played the top tier season. The aim was largely full representation of the country, which naturally complicated the championship formula. Torneo Descentralizado had 2 parts, played the same way and the winners of Regional I and Regional II met at the end to decide the title. Regional I was a bit shorter, it seems. It seems, because early stage results are still not available – only final tables. The participants were geographically divided into 5 leagues at first – the largest and strongest was the Metropolitan, from which the 4 top teams qualified to the next stage, the Octagonal. The winners of the other 4 leagues qualified to the Octagonal too. The Octagonal was practically a knockout stage similar to ¼ finals in cup tournaments. The winners went to the final stage, the Liquilla, a round-robin format, in which the finalist played once against the rest of the group. The winner was the champion of Regional I or Regional II, for both parts had the same formula. The winner of Regional I also qualified to Copa Libertadores. At last the winners of both parts met to contest the title in one match – that is, if the winners of Regional I and Regional II were different teams. Seven teams were relegated down to the second tier – Copa Peru – at the end of the season, but the relegation rules are not clear: apart from the Metropolitan league, where clearly the last placed went down, it is a mystery why the other 6 teams were relegated, for they were not last in the their leagues. It is also unclear why 2 teams were relegated from the Central and Oriental leagues, but from the other leagues only 1 team went down. Because of the size and the formula of the championship, it will be abbreviated here only to second stage of first part and final positions in the second part. The first stage leagues were: Metropolitan – 12 teams, Central – 8 teams, North – 10 teams, Oriental – 6 teams, and South – 8 teams.
Since it is not clear why most relegated teams went down, let just mention them now:
Meteor – true to its name, this club is difficult to find today, if it exists at all. Possibly from Lima, they played in the Metropolitan league, finishing last in both Regional I and Regional II. Naturally, relegated and disappeared from sight and mind.
Defensor ANDA (Aucayacu) and Alipio Ponce (Mazamari) were relegated from Central league – impossible to tell why.
This may be a photo of Alipio Ponce from the season.
15 de Septiembre (Trujillo) was relegated from North.
Chacarita Versalles (Iquitos) and
Atletico Belen (Moyobamba) were relegated from Oriental. Again, a mystery… why 2 teams were relegated from the smallest regional league?
Atletico Huracan (Moquegua) was relegated from South. The photo may be from this season.
Regional I.
The top 4 teams from Metropolitan qualified to Octagonal – Universitario, 1st, Alianza (Lima) – 2nd, Union Huaral – 3rd, and Sport Boys – 4t. Deportivo Junin won Central and qualified. Deportivo Pacifico won North and qualified. Deportivo Hospital won Oriental and FBC Melgar won South.
In the Octagonal FBC Melgar eliminated Alianza (Lima) 2-0, 1-3 and 5-4 in the penalty shoot-out. Deportivo Junin lost to Universitario 1-0 and 1-6. Deportivo Hospital was eliminated by Union Huaral 1-1 and 1-5. Sport Boys eliminated Deportivo Pacifico not on the pitch – the first in Callao ended 0-0 and seemingly Deportivo Pacifico withdrew after that and Sport Boys qualified to the final without playing.
Liguilla Final:
FBC Melgar – last with 1 points, Union Huaral – 3rd with 2 points, Universitario – 2nd with 4 points, Sport Boys – 1st with 5 points.
Sport Boys (Callao) won Regional I – may be a bit lucky, but winners. So far, they qualified to the next Copa Libertadores and had a good chance to be Peruvian champions too.
Regional II.
Meteor – last with 11 points. They were last in the Regional I and now again.
Deportivo AELU (Lima) – 11th with 14 points. Standing from left: Pedro Bonelli, Luis García, Gabriel Kanashiro, Robert Yamamoto, Willy Uehara, Juan Mármol. First row: Carlos Takeuchi, Edwin Uehara, Juan José Oré, Luis Chiaveri, Alberto Akatsuka.
This club deserves a note: ethnic clubs exist everywhere in the world and some are even traditionally strong, but most of them have European roots. To have Asian community club was quite unusual at the time – there was at least one Chinese club in Peru, Lau Chun, but not at top level. Deportivo AELU belonged to the Japanese community of Lima and did quite well playing top tier football. And true to its roots, it had many players of Japanese descend, which makes it even more remarkable than most ethnic clubs in South America, which for a long time already had professional players having nothing to do with the ethnic banner.
Internazionale (San Borja) – 10th with 16 points.
Octavio Espinoza (Ica) – 9th with 18 points. May be a photo from this season.
San Agustin (Lima) – 8th with 18 points.
Sporting Cristal (Lima) – 7th with 21 points. Standing from left: Percy Olivares, Luis Avila, Jorge Arteaga, Jorge Olaechea, Miguel Miranda. Crouching: Francesco Manassero, Pablo Zegarra, Pedro Novella, Julio César Antón, Oscar Calvo, Luis Redher.
Miserable season, which perhaps still disgusts the club and its fans – it is hard to find a team photo of 1990: this one is labeled 1989-90. Could be 1989, could be 1990 – the squad is practically the same.
Defensor (Lima) – 6th with 24 points. Standing from left: Manuel Earl, Lucio Del Mul,
Roberto Aguillar, Julio Colina, Enrique Peña. First row: Mario Aceval, Roberto Lanatta, Ricardo Zegarra, Edgar Agui, Pedro Meza, Christian Luna.

Deportivo Municipal (Lima) – 5th with 25 points.
Union Huaral – 4th with 27 points and qualified to Octagonal.
Universitario – 3rd with 29 points and qualified to Octagonal.
Sport Boys – 2nd with 30 points and qualified to Octagonal. Remarkably, they did not lose even one match at this stage: 8 wins and 14 ties.
Alianza – 1st with 31 points and qualified to Octagonal.
Central: no results and very likely no real final table are preserved, so apart from the winner, the rest is approximate.
Union (Huayllaspanca) – may be a photo of the season, may be 8th… One thing is sure: not only Sport Boys used pink.
Union Minas (Cerro de Pasca) – may be 7th.
Alipio Ponce (Mazamari) – may be 6th, but relegated.
Defensor ANDA (Aucayacu) – may be 5th. Relegated.
Leon (Huanuco) – may be 4th.
Mina San Vicente (Junin) – often given as Minas San Vicente. May be 3rd.
Deportivo (Junin) – may be 2nd.
ADT (Tarma) – 1st and qualified to Octagonal.
North: same as Central and the rest of provincial leagues – no information.
Atletico Grau (Piura) – may be 10th.
Deportivo Canana (Lambayeque) – may be 9th.
15 de Septiembre (Trujillo) may be 8th and relegated.
Deportivo Morba (La Esperanza) – may be 7th.
Libertad (Trujillo) – may be 6th.
Atletico Torino (Talara) – may be 5th.
UTC – Universidad Tecnica (Cajamarca) – may be 4th.
Carlos A. Mannucci (Trujillo) – may be 3rd.
Deportivo Pacifico (Tumbes) – may be 2nd, may be a photo of this season.
Alianza Atletico (Sullana) – 1st and qualified to Octagonal.
Oriental – the smallest league.
San Martin (Porres) – may be 6th.
Atletico Belen (Moyobamba) – may be 5th but relegated.
Chacarita Versalles (Iquitos) – may be 4th and relegated.
Deportivo Hospital (Pucallpa) – may be 3rd, may be a photo of the season. They had their day in the first part of the championship, but could not repeat it.
Deportivo Bancos (Pucallpa) – may be 2nd.
Union (Tarapoto) – 1st and qualified to Octagonal.
Atletico Huracan (Moquegua) – may be 8th and relegated.
Juvenil Los Angeles (Moquegua) – may be 7th.
Cienciano (Cuzco) – may be 6th.
Coronel Bolognesi (Tacna) – may be 5th.
Alfonso Ugarte (Puno) – may be 4th.
Diablos Rojos (Juliaca) – may be 3rd.
Aurora (Arequipa) – may be 2nd.
FBC Melgar – 1st and qualified to Octagonal.
Union (Tarapoto) was eliminated by Universitario 0-5 and 1-1. All depends on size… small and little known Union had a season to remember: they reached Octagonal stage, a big achievement for almost anonymous club.
ADT (Tarma) was destroyed by Alianza: 0-1 and 0-6. May be a photo of this season.
FBC Melgar had no luck – and Sport Boys again had luck on their side: 2-1, 0-1, and finally Melgar went down in the penalty shoot-out 4-5.
Union (Huaral) lost to Alianza Atletico 1-1 and 0-1.
Liquilla Final: the last four created a drama –Alianza and Universitario battled for top place and ended with equal points. Goal-difference did not count, so an extra play-off was staged.
Alianza Atletico (Sullana) finished last with 2 points.
Sport Boys was 3rd with 2 points.
Alianza (Lima) -2nd with 4 points and 4-2 goal-difference.
Universitario – 1st with 4 points, but 6-1 goal-difference. This mattered not and the rivals met again on January 30th, 1991, the 1990 season already spilled over the next year. Universitario prevailed 1-0 and thus won Regional II, which propelled them to the championship final.
And after all that, the big final on February 3rd, 1991: Universitario – Sport Boys, the winners of the first and second part of the long season. And Sport Boys run out of luck this time – they lost 2-4 and the title.
Callao lost the rivalry with Lima – Sport Boys had wonderful season, yet, one cannot help but notice that they were lucky of few crucial occasions. But good luck does not run forever – Sport Boys was seemingly weaker at the Liguilla Final of Regional II. Out of steam, they lost the title. Still, very strong season. Only players, standing from left: Roberto Arrelucea, Leoncio Cervera,Martín Duffo, Ochandarte, Quiroz, César Chavez Riva. Front: Abel Lobatón, NN, Atoche, Oswaldo Flores, Ramón Anchisi.
Universitario (Lima) won the final and its 19th title. Strong season – they won the Metropolitan league in the first part of the championship and ended 2nd in Regional I. They were 3rd in the Metropolitan league in the second part and battled hard to win Regional II against the arch-enemy Alianza and prevailed. At the championship final they were clearly much stronger than Sport Boys – well deserved title! All together, the champions played 45 games – 2 more than Sport Boys – of which they 26, tied 12, and lost 7. Scored 87 goals, received 29. Sport Boys had considerably weaker record – they did not win neither Metropolitan championship, played 2 games less than Universitario and won 17, tied 20, and lost 6. Scored 64 goals, received 41. Most of all, Universitario was evenly strong during the whole season – Sport Boys looked like running out of steam near the end. As for the squad… it is hard to tell: Peruvian football was not at its best at this time and no outstanding players were around. This applies, inevitably, to the champions too. Perhaps not a great team, but champions are champions.


Ecuador. No escape from complicated formulas of championships… the Ecuadorian championship had 4 stages. The first was regular league formula: the 12 teams in top league played twice against all others. The top 4 teams qualified directly to Third stage – but still played in the Second stage. The last in the table was relegated to Second Division and the winner of the First stage of Second Division was promoted to the top league for the rest of the season. The 11th in the table was directly qualified to the relegation final stage.
Juventus (Esmeraldas) was last with 7 points and was relegated to play in Second Division for the rest of the season.
Universidad Catolica (Quito) won the First Stage of Second Division and was promoted to play the rest of the season in First Division. This was the first time Universidad Catolica won Second Division championship, for this stage was counted as somewhat separate championship due to the immediate promotion of the winner. So, a trophy was collected by Universidad Catolica.
Meantime, at the top of First Division First Stage ended: Emelec – 4th with 25 points (ahead of LDU Quito on better goal-difference), Deportivo Quito – 3rd with 26 points, Barcelona – 2nd with 26 points (ahead of Deportivo Quito on better goal-difference), and El Nacional was 1st with 34 points. They were absolutely great at this stage: 13 wins, 8 ties and only one lost match. Scored 47 goals, permitting only 18 in their own net.
The Second Stage divided the league into 2 groups of 6 teams each. Every team played twice against the other teams in its own group. The promoted Universidad Catolica played in this stage, replacing relegated Juventus. The top 2 teams in each group qualified to the Third Stage. Deportivo Quito won Group 1 with 17 points, followed by El Nacional with 15 points. Emelec finished 2nd in Group 2 with 12 points, topped by newcomer Universidad Catolica with 14 points. Thus, a team which started the season in the Second Division had a chance to finish it as champion of the country – something impossible anywhere else, but Eduador. Tecnico Universitario was penalized with 2-point deduction, but the final standings were unaffected by that – with full record the team would have been 3rd, now it was 4th.
Then the Third Stage? Not yet… 8 teams played in the Third Stage and the other 4 played in the Relegation Liguilla. 5 teams already qualified to the Third Stage in the previous stages. To determine the last three and those going to the relegation group (Macara already qualified for it in the First Stage) an aggregate table was made of First and Second Stages – that is, a table according to 32 games already played by each team. Except already relegated Juventus and already promoted Universidad Catolica, having 22 and 10 games at this moment. A table of 13 teams, not of the actual number of league teams which was 12. From this table only the middle part – from 5th to and including 10th position – mattered. The better placed 3 went to the Forth Stage of the championship, the worse placed – to the relegation group. Delfin – 5th, Deportivo Cuenca – 6th, and LDU Quito – 7th, qualified to the Third Stage. Tecnico Universitario – 8th, Filanbanco – 9th, and Aucas – 10th went to the relegation group. Here Tecnico Universitario was really punished – if they did not have 2 points deducted in the Second Stage, they would have qualified for next championship stage, but now were in risk of relegation.
Third Stage. It decided 2 things: the 4 teams qualifying to the Firth and final stage and the second relegated team for the season.
Relegation Liquilla. Here negative bonus points were included: Macara started with -1 point for finishing 11th in the First Stage (and perhaps also last in Group 1 of Second Stage). Aucas started with -0.5 point. Why Aucas got ‘a bonus’ is unclear – they were 10 th in the first stage and in the second stage wer 3rd in Group 2. Apart from that, the relegation group was played as regular round-robin tournament, every team playing twice against the others.
Aucas (Quito) was weak and finished last with 0.5 points – they lost 5 games and tied 1. Relegated, therefore.
Macara (Ambato), so weak until this stage and prime candidate for relegation, pulled itself together when it came to the question of life and death: they won 3 matches, tied 1 and lost 2. Their minus bonus placed them 3rd instead of 2nd, but they achieved their goal – avoided relegation.
Tecnico Universitario (Ambato) ended 2nd with 7 points.

Filanbanco (Guayaquil) finished 1st with 9 points. First, second… in this group the only point was not to finish last.
So, Aucas was relegated and the Second Division got its second champion for the season:
Centro Juvenil (Esmeraldas) won the second part of Second Division championship and was promoted. Like Universidad Catolica, they won the Second Division for the first time, but were going to play First Division football in 1991.
Meantime the top 8 teams played the Third Stage of the championship divided in 2 groups again and the group winners qualified to the final Forth Stage. Top teams in the Second Stage carried bonus points to this stage: 1.5 points the group winners in the previous stage, 1 point – the second placed. Or so it looked like as explanation, but… Emelec and Universidad Catolica had 1 bonus point each; El Nacional and Deportivo Quito started with 1.5 bonus points each. A mystery, really… Deportivo Quito and Universidad Catolica were group winners in the Second Stage, but got different bonuses – so the other two teams.
Group 1.
A possible picture of Deportivo Cuenca – they ended last in the group with 4 points.
Deportivo Quito failed when mattered most – 3rd with 6.5 points.
LDU Quito was 2nd with 7 points and qualified to the final stage.
El Nacional won the group with 9.5 points and qualified to the final stage.
Group 2.
Universidad Catolica (Quito) finished last with 4 points. They did not won a single match at this stage – perhaps to confirm that a second level team can’t really surprise the elite.
Delfin (Manta) – 3rd with 5 points. So-so season so far and no surprise heroics at the end.
Barcelona – 2nd with 8 points and reaching the final stage.
Emelec – 1st with 9 points and qualified to the final stage.
Forth – or Final Stage. Again the qualified teams played a round-robin tournament. No bonus points were carried to the final, all teams starting with clear sheets.
El Nacional (Quito) finished last with 5 points. They collapsed at the end after having been so strong during the season. 1 win, 3 ties, 2 losses. However, complicated championships often provide ironic twists: El Nacional finished with the best scoring record in the Forth Stage: 11-8. Most goals scores and +3 goal-difference. All that because of their sole win – they destroyed Emelec 6-1.
Emelec (Guayaquil) was 3rd with 6 points: 2 wins, 2 ties, 2 losses, 6-9 goal-difference. They still had to play two more games: a play-off for 2nd place against Barcelona. Yet, they finished 3rd. As for their name, it is abbreviation and should be written as such: EMELEC from Empresa Electrica del Ecuador, the full name of the club, which after all is – or at least originally was – a company club.
Barcelona (Guayaquil) – 2nd with 6 points. 1 win, 4 ties, 1 lost match, 10-8. Their fantastic Copa Libertadores performance perhaps reduced their strength in the domestic championship. They were quite economical through the early stages, but even at the end they could not do much. Silver medals were secured only after a play-off against Emelec – Barcelona managed a 1-1 tie away and won 3-1 at home.

LDU (Quito) – Liga Deportiva Universitaria – won the final stage with 7 points. 3 wins, 1 tie, and 2 losses. Scoring record 7-9! The champions finished with negative goal-difference. Only Emelec di it worse than them. LDU won all home games in the final stage, but lost the away match against Barcelona 0-4. Yet, who cares? LDU won the title.
The champions were just one more case of teams playing wisely complicated championships: what was the point to spend much strength in the first and longest stage? In it LDU finished 5th – 9 points behind El Nacional. In the second stage they were 5th again in Group 1 – only Macara was behind them and that because of worse goal-difference. This time they were 12 points behind the group winner Deportivo Quito, winning just one match. Luck on their side in the aggregate table – they were 7th there, but only because Tecnico Universitario was penalized with deduction of 2 points. Barely qualifying to the Third Stage they accelerated at last and finished 2nd in Group 1. Enough to reach the final stage. And only here they played really strong, but compared to other teams, their strategy was perfect: Deportivo Quito did not reach the final stage at all, El Nacional fell apart after having been so strong earlier in the year. LDU was fresher when mattered most and prevailed. Thus, they won their 4th title – so far, not a club to be taken really as a leading one, for their successes were always after a long pauses: they waited 9 years for this one. This was also a success for the capital city, for Quito was losing the battle with Guayaquil already.


Paraguay. Small league, but long complicated championship, going through 4 stages, giving bonus points to the top placed teams in each stage and also having play-offs to decide final positions of teams with equal points. And the second team to play in Copa Libertadores was decided in separate play-off. One team relegated, one team promoted from Second Division.
Cerro Cora (Asuncion) won the Second Division championship and was promoted to top flight.
Tembetary was relegated from First Division.
Colegiales (Asuncion) prevailed at the play-off for Copa Libertadores over Sportivo Luqueno 3-1 and 2-1. Contrary to the proud text on the picture, they were not champions, although the team had good season and played all the way to the last group stage, in which they finished last in their group.
Guarani (Asuncion) had rather weak season – they ended the season at the third stage just behind Cerro Porteno, which took 3rd place thanks to 1 goal better goal-difference.
Olimpia (Asuncion) had fantastic international season and naturally appeared to be favourit in the league too, but they did not succeed – strong almost to the end, but at the crucial ½ final after the 4th stage they met Libertad, equally ambitious. Libertad won the first leg 2-1 and preserved their fragile advantage in the second leg – 1-1. Olimpia was out.
In the other ½ final Cerro Porteno eliminated Sportivo Luqueno 4-0 and 2-1.
At the final Cerro Porteno continued its dominance by beating twice Libertad: 2-0 and 2-1.
Thus, Cerro Porteno (Asuncion) won their 21st title. Stronger than rivals Olimpia, which were the strongest in South America and in the world… one can take it like that: the squad, by Paraguayan standards, matched Olimpia’s at least. However, only domestic triumph for Cerro Porteno…


Colombia. Back to playing after the cancellation of 1989 championship. Still the complicated 3-staged formula, so confusing to outside eye – Apertura, in which the 15 participants played 12 games each (!), followed by Finalizacion – which was played as a normal league championship. That is every team played twice the others to the total of 28 games. After that an Overall table was made including all games played so far – that is 40 games total – and the top 8 teams in it went to third stage or final round. Top-4 of Apertura and Finalizacion obtain bonus points for final rounds:
1 for the winners, 0.75 for 2nd place, 0.50 for 3rd placed, 0.25 for 4th
placed teams. The complicated formula is the reason the first 2 stages are omitted here, starting with the overall table.
America (Cali) won the Apertura with 19 points, followed by Independiente Santa Fe, Atletico Nacional and Millonarios – these 4 teams got bonus points, according to their final positions.

America won Finalizacion as well – with 40 points – followed by Deportivo Independiente, Bucaramanga, and Cali. These four got bonus points according to their positions.
And the combined Overall table was made, which for the bottom 7 teams was the final table and the top 8 going to the final stage.
Sporting Barranquilla (Barranquilla) – last with 22 points. Although Colombia was moving to introduce Second Division and promotion/relegation between the two top national leagues, it was not effective yet and Sporting Barranquilla remained top tier club. To row from left: Fabián Lara, Harold Freyle, Alex de Alba, Carlos Arroyo, Amado “El Gandhi” Rodríguez, Miguel Calero. Crouching: Chedy Devenich, Edison Domínguez, Adolfo Prescott, Yosvida Fuentes, Roberto Vizcaíno.
Cucuta Deprotivo (Cucuta) – 14th with 24 points. Top row from left: Luis C, Sánchez, Arsecio Correa, William Mosquera, Asdrúbal Álzate, José F. Salazar, Pedro Barbosa. First row: Francisco Cassiani, Héctor Ruiz, Carlos Guerrero, Juan Carlos Gutiérrez, Carlos Mario Molina.
Union Magdalena (Santa Marta) – 13th with 27 points.
Atletico Junior (Barranquilla) – 12th with 31 points.
Deportivo Tolima (Tolima) – 11th with 33 points.
Deportivo Pereira (Pereira) – 10th with 39 points.
Millonarios (Bogota) – 9th with 41 points. Standing from left: Sergio Goycochea,?, Cerveleón Cuesta, Wilman Conde, Eduardo Pimentel. Front: Carlos Enrique Estrada, ?, Oscar “Pájaro” Juárez, Hugo Galeano, Alberto Gamero, Freddy León.
Nothing achieved this season, but their Argentine goalkeeper suddenly became famous at the World Cup.
Cristal Caldas – or Once Caldas – was 8th with 43 points, Deportes Quindio – 7th with 44 points, Independiente Santa Fe – 6th with 45 points, Deportivo Cali – 5th with 46 points, Atletico Nacional – 4th with 47 points, Atletico Bucaramanga – 3rd with 49 points, Deportivo Independiente – 2nd with 50 points, and America, naturally, was on top with 59 points. These teams moved to the final stage.
Final stage. Here the teams with bonus points earned earlier started with them. The 8 teams were divided into 2 groups, playing twice against their group opponents. The top 2 teams in each group qualified to the Final Group, in which bonus points were carried on and after every team played against the others the group winner was declared champion of Colombia.
Group A:
Deportes Quindio (Quindio) – last with 5 points.
Deportivo Cali (Cali) – 3rd with 6.25 points.
Atletico Bucaramanga – 2nd with 6.50 points and America – 1st with 9 points qualified to the final round.
Group B:
Deportivo Independiente – or DIM (Medellin) – 4th with 5.75 points.
Cristal Caldas (Manizales) – 3rd with 6 points.
Independiente Santa Fe – 2nd with 6.75 points and Atletico Nacional – 1st with 7.50 points qualified to the final.
Final Group: bonus points from the first 2 stages of the season carried on.
Independiente Santa Fe (Bogota) – 4th with 3.75 points.
Atletico Bucaramanga (Bucaramanga) – 3rd with 5.50 points.
Atletico Nacional (Medellin) – 2nd with 7.50 points.
America (Cali) – first with 11 points. They did not lose a single game at this round: 3 wins and 3 ties. Scored 12 goals, permitting only 3 in their own net. 9 points from the final round were enough for the title, but since America carried 2 bonus points from the earlier stages, they finished with total of 11 points.
Brilliant season for America – they won every stage from start to finish and were particularly strong at the very end. Interestingly, the squad was not so well known as the team their closest rival Atletico Nacional had and even compared with some earlier squads of America they lacked well-known abroad players, but these boys played stronger than star-studded formations. Perhaps their best known player was the 29-years old Uruguayan midfielder Jorge Da Silva, a newcomer, coming from Palestino (Chile). The other 2 foreigners were both hardly known Argentines: the 28-years old striker Pedro Olalla and newcomer Jorge Balbis, 29-years old defender, arriving from Rosario Central (Argentina). Famous or not, newcomers or old hands, the players blended well together, delivered strong football during the whole season and brought back to Cali the title for the first time since 1986. It was the 7th title for America and becoming second all-time best club in Colombia – they pushed Independiente Santa Fe to 3rd position (6 titles), but were still far behind Millonarios (12 titles).