Hand Of Pod covers the world of Argentine football, from the domestic league to the national team. Sam Kelly and a rotating cast of friends give weekly updates during the season on what's happening on and off the pitch.
On this week(end)'s HOP, Sam, English Dan and Andrés round up a good week for Boca Juniors and a bad one for River Plate – the latter of whom, all the same, go into this Sunday's superclásico still six points clear at the top of the league. As well as previewing River v Boca we go over last weekend's Liga Profesional matches, give you a roundup of Argentine teams in both continental competitions so far this year and discuss Argentina's squad for this month's Under-20 World Cup, held in ... Argentina!
This week, Sam, Andrés and English Dan look back on last weekend's Liga Profesional action, which saw San Lorenzo get a vital late winner to remain six points behind River Plate. Delays in uploading mean we're a little out of date, because on Friday evening River were held 1–1 away to Atlético Tucumán, meaning the chasing pack have a chance to close the gap a little. Elsewhere, Racing and Boca are poor, Independiente's financial struggles continue and Argentina Under-20 boss Javier Mascherano is hoping Manchester United will let Alejandro Garnacho go to the Under-20 World Cup.
After an enforced break, we're back, and Sam, English Dan, Andrés and Santi get you caught up with what's happened in the three rounds of Liga Profesional action since we last recorded: River have streaked out in front in the title race, Boca didn't end up appointing Gerardo Martino as manager, no one ended the clásico de Avellaneda in a very good mood and San Lorenzo are as good as they've been for years. Oh, and Argentina will be hosting the Under-20 World Cup next month!
This week Sam, English Dan and Andrés review Argentina's first two friendly wins as world champions, 2–0 over Panama and 7–0 over Curaçao, which saw Lionel Messi pass 800 career goals and 100 international goals. We also discuss the managerial situation at Boca Juniors, who've sacked Hugo Ibarra as manager and – if the media can be believed – look set to replace him with Gerardo Martino.
On this week's Hand Of Pod, Sam, English Dan, Andrés and Tony have a HOP first to review: a win for Gimnasia over Estudiantes in the clásico platense, something that last happened a couple of months before Sam moved to Argentina. There were two hilarious penalties awarded in Independiente v Colón, a win for Instituto in the Bombonera and one for River Plate in Junín that takes them top of the table. And we preview the international break, as Argentina play their first matches as world champions, hosting Panama on Thursday and Curaçao on Tuesday.
Ignore Sam's confused numbering at the start: this is episode 454, not 444. He's joined by English Dan and Andrés to review a league weekend with an awful lot of 1–1 draws and only four red cards, in which San Lorenzo finally decided to cut loose and get a big win. Tickets for Argentina v Panama went on sale the day we recorded this and had (predictably) already sold out, and we discuss the format for the 2026 World Cup and the CONMEBOL qualifying process.
What a difference two weeks makes! Since we last recorded Lanús have gone from played four, won four to played six, won four, lost two. Sam and Dan review two weeks that have resulted in a mere two points separating the top seven teams.
In this week's Hand Of Pod (recorded on Wednesday, but Sam's only just getting the time to upload it on Friday night), Sam and Andrés discuss a fourth round of action in the Liga Profesional which saw more red cards to add to the already high tally (and, since we recorded, round five has kicked off with one in the second match of the weekend). Lanús continue to lead the way with a perfect record, but the other relegation strugglers aren't in such good form.
On this week's episode Sam and English Dan look back on a third consecutive win for early table-toppers Lanús, a drab defeat for Boca in Córdoba and an entertaining – and controversial – first match for River in the newly expanded Estadio Monumental, which is now the largest stadium in South America.
This week Sam, English Dan and Andrés look back on the second round of action in the Liga Profesional, which saw a remarkable coincidence: Pablo Vegetti, who was the first person to score against Marcelo Gallardo's River Plate back in 2014, became the first person to score against Martín Demichelis's River Plate, as Belgrano beat River 2–1 in Córdoba. Lanús are among the early leaders as their attempt to escape relegation gets off to a promising start, and the match we told you not to watch on episode 449 saw one goal that was disallowed, eight that were allowed and a red card. Just in case you were starting to think we sound like people who know what we're talking about after 450 episodes ...
This week, Sam, English Dan and Andrés look back on the first weekend of action in the 2023 Liga Profesional season and discuss Enzo Fernández's big-money transfer to Chelsea (including what it means for River Plate's finances). When we started, it didn't feel like there'd be much to say, but we managed somehow ...
It's a new year on Hand Of Pod, and Sam, English Dan and Andrés are here to preview the 2023 domestic season for you, as we come down from the high of Argentina's World Cup win last month. Boca Juniors, Racing and River Plate have probably had the best transfer windows, but who else should we look out for? And what's the relegation struggle going to look like this year?
This is it: the episode we've been building up to for twelve years. In the four hundred and forty-seventh HOP, Sam, English Dan, Santi, Julián and Chris take in, and try to dissect, the fact that Lionel Messi's Argentina have finally won the World Cup. This is our longest episode ever by a distance, and we make no apologies for that. Enjoy whichever holidays you're celebrating (if you are), and we'll see you in the new year.
In a bumper episode this week, Sam, English Dan, Santi, Andrés and Remi (remember Remi?!) look back on Argentina's false start but eventually encouraging qualification from Group C at the 2022 World Cup, and we have a bit of a chat with Remi about the Netherlands, who Argentina MIGHT meet in the quarter-final.
This week Sam, English Dan and Andrés run the rule over Argentina's World Cup squad and their chances. We've sprinkled a little bit of club football talk in as well, but mostly it's a bumper chat about Argentina and just how little Sam knows about any of the other teams involved.
In the final CLUB football HOP of 2022, Sam, English Dan and Andrés look back on two weeks that have seen Boca Juniors clinch the league title after a deciding day on which neither of the title contenders managed to win and, far more historically, Patronato de la Juventud Católica become the first non-directly affiliated club in Argentine football history to win a top-level national trophy by beating Talleres in the Copa Argentina final, meaning they'll play in the 2023 Copa Libertadores from the second division.
This week Sam, English Dan, Santi and Andrés gather to discuss three rounds of Liga Profesional action and preview Sunday's two title-deciding Big Five clásicos – will Boca Juniors lift the trophy as expected, or can Independiente get a result in the Bombonera which could put Racing's title hopes in their own hands as they host River Plate? We also look at the Independiente presidential elections of a couple of weeks ago with Santi's wisdom, and discuss the news that Marcelo Gallardo is stepping down as River manager.
Atlético Tucumán remain top of the league by the skin of their teeth: this week Sam and Dan review two rounds of matches in which the leaders lost one and won one, but currently sit atop the table due to Gimnasia v Boca, which kicked off just after we finished recording, having to be called off due to heavy-handed policing (seemingly after too many tickets were sold). We look back on bucketloads of goals in Racing's matches and give an explanation of the relegation system for anyone who's joined us in the last couple of years (i.e. since it was last used).
This week Sam and English Dan look back on Atlético Tucumán once again rising to the challenge of maintaining their league leadership, wonder which players have made a case for inclusion in Lionel Scaloni's World Cup squad during Argentina's 3–0 wins over Honduras and Jamaica, and review the Copa Argentina quarter-finals, which we didn't want to turn into just talking about River and Boca's matches ... but which did anyway because those two were really good and the other two frankly weren't.
This week, Sam and Andrés are joined by English Dan, who's back from holiday. We fill him in on what he's missed – including several changes of leadership in the league, even though Atlético Tucumán currently lead the title race just as they did when he left. We also give a preview of Argentina's chances in their friendlies in the United States against Honduras and Jamaica (we're sticking our necks out and predicting two victories).
This week Sam and Santi look back on both Copa Libertadores semi-finals, one of which was rather more dramatic and closely fought than the other, and preview Sunday's superclásico at the Bombonera. We also discuss a tightening title race, as Atlético Tucumán have picked up just one point from two games since we last recorded, allowing Gimnasia to go dead level with them at the top of the table.
This week, Sam, English Dan and Andrés look back at last weekend's matches – which included a 4–0 win with two golazos included for league leaders Atlético Tucumán – and ask how much sense it really makes for the AFA to (reportedly) be considering remodelling Mar Del Plata's Estadio José María Minella to use as a home ground for the national team.
This week Sam, English Dan and Santi look back on not one but two weeks of Liga Profesional action, with Atlético Tucumán still leading the way, Gimnasia giving chase and River Plate looking like they'd sparked into life before falling back to Earth again against Arsenal. There's also a look at the possible structure of the top flight during 2023, which is set to be discussed in an AFA board meeting on Friday morning.
This week Sam, English Dan, Andrés and Tony are visited by listener Tommy to discuss a week of action that's seen Atlético Tucumán remain top of the table with an unlikely chasing pack, and Vélez Sarsfield emerge as the only Argentine (and indeed non-Brazilian) semifinalists in this year's Copa Libertadores, after they beat Talleres pretty comfortably over two legs and Estudiantes got hit by the mother of all sucker punches from Athletico Paranaense.
This week, Sam and Dan look back on a weekend which saw Atlético Tucumán remain four points clear at the top of the league, a six-goal thriller in Avellaneda and both River and Boca lose. In the Copa Libertadores, the first leg of Vélez Sarsfield v Talleres was an absolute humdinger, and our listeners' questions include one about the chances of Ricardo Caruso Lombardi catching monkeypox.
It's only been a week since our last episode, but this week felt particular packed, with plenty of stuff to discuss both on and off the pitch in the league and Tigre being shocked in the Copa Argentina by Deportivo Madryn, as well as a Copa América Femenina update. Sam, English Dan and Andrés talk you through it all.
This week, Sam, English Dan and Andrés look back on almost two full rounds of action that included Carlos Tevez's Rosario Central winning the clásico rosarino against Newell's Old Boys, and reflect on a top five that currently includes exactly no teams we'd have predicted would be in the top five after nine matches. We also ask whether Rodrigo De Paul's place in Argentina's World Cup squad could be endangered by his divorce proceedings, and because that apparently isn't quite WTF enough, we discuss the news that Maxi López is (one of) the new owner(s) of Birmingham City?!
This week, Sam and English Dan look back on last week's league games, including a whole load of 3–2s and a 1–0 win for Racing over Independiente, consider the main runners in the title race and more bad results for River Plate and Boca Juniors. The title is already out of date, because thanks to a 1–0 win over Aldosivi on Friday night, at the time of uploading this episode Atlético Tucumán(!) were top of the league.
This week, Sam, English Dan, Santi and Andrés catch you up with last weekend's league action but spend the bulk of the podcast talking Libertadores, and in particular going over the eliminations of Boca Juniors, who reacted by firing Sebastián Battaglia, and River Plate, who (unsurprisingly) did not react by firing Marcelo Gallardo. Vélez Sarsfield, Talleres(!) and – confirmed after we finished recording – Estudiantes are Argentina's three representatives in the last eight, but they'll have to fight their ways past five Brazilian sides to taste glory.
After a planned week off followed by an unplanned bout of COVID for Sam which forced a second week off (hard to record a podcast when you've got a slight fever and your throat hurts too much to talk), Sam, Santi and English Dan are back – over Zoom – to look back on the four rounds of Liga Profesional action we've missed and the start of the rounds of sixteen in the Copas Libertadores and Sudamericana.
This week Sam, English Dan, Santi and Andrés look back on the opening weekend of the 2022 Liga Profesional and Racing's shocking (but not really that shocking, perhaps) Copa Argentina exit against Agropecuario Argentino. We also talk about Santi's experience last week at Wembley for Argentina v Italy and look back on Argentina's 5–0 win over Estonia, in which Lionel Messi scored all five goals, going past Ferenc Puskás in the all-time international goals list and Pelé in the all-time goals in official matches list in the process.
This week, Sam and English Dan look back on South American champions Argentina playing European champions Italy off the Wembley pitch on Wednesday night in the revived Artemio Franchi trophy match, look at the last sixteen draws of the Copas Libertadores and Sudamericana, and celebrate the fact that the long Argentine winter break is over after all of twelve days since the Copa de la Liga ended, because the Liga Profesional started a few hours before this episode was uploaded!
This week, Sam and English Dan look back on the semis and the final of the Copa de la Liga, which saw Boca Juniors lift the trophy but NOT, after all the fuss at the start of the competition about how it would count as a league title, being crowned the champions of Argentina for some very AFA reasons. We also look back (and into the present, as we were recording) on the final round of matches in the group stages of the Copas Libertadores and Sudamericana, and if you don't know how Boca did on Thursday night and whether or not they've qualified you'll want to keep listening after the end theme music.
The Copa de la Liga knockout stage has begun, and after Tuesday's two matches brought the expected home wins for Racing and Boca Juniors, who'll meet in the first semifinal on Saturday, Wednesday saw two shock results, as Argentinos Juniors outplayed Estudiantes before putting them out on spot kicks and Tigre took advantage of a howling defensive error to beat River Plate, in spite of a Puskás Award contender from Enzo Fernández. Sam, English Dan, Santi and Andrés are on hand to talk you through it all.
This week, Sam and English Dan look back on last week's action and (most of) the midweek Sudamericana and Libertadores results, as well as looking forward to this weekend's last group stage matches in the Copa de la Liga.
This week's HOP sees the return of a prodigal son, as Sam, English Dan and Andrés welcome Seba back to the studio, and it's an epic chat taking in Racing's fine form, the Estudiantes machine, racism in Argentina (including a very brief history lesson on the colonisation of Patagonia) and more.
We've got plenty of catching up to do now Sam and Dan are back from their (separate) holidays, and they're joined by Andrés, Tony and Santi to dive deep into the waters of the Copa de la Liga, including Racing's magnificent form, a surprising win for Talleres against River Plate and Independiente's deep, abiding, lustful love of a sweet, sweet draw.
This week, Sam and English Dan review the weekend of clásicos, which saw away wins for ... well, quite a lot of teams actually, including Boca Juniors over River Plate and Racing over Independiente. We then switch our attention to Thursday night's upcoming CONMEBOL WORLD CUP QUALIFYING FIGHT TO THE DEATH which, erm, actually probably won't finalise things, but Uruguay v Peru should be tremendously entertaining for the neutral all the same.
This week on HOP, Sam, English Dan and Andrés discuss last weekend's matches and look forward to this weekend's glut of clásicos, including most notably Saturday's clásico de Avellaneda and Sunday's superclásico.
In this week's episode Sam, English Dan, Santi and Andrés are back in the same room. We look back on last weekend's Copa de la Liga action, with Estudiantes dropping points for the first time. It's hard not to admire Lionel Scaloni trolling Italy and (especially) Spain by calling up a plethora of dual nationals for Argentina's final two World Cup qualifiers, too.
On this week's Hand Of Pod, Sam, English Dan, Andrés and Santi look back on a weekend which saw two all-Big Five clásicos both end 2–2: Independiente v Boca Juniors, which was played in a deluge of Biblical proportions (and saw some atrocious refereeing) and River Plate v Racing, which was a classic game of two halves. There's plenty of love for Defensa y Justicia and Estudiantes, as well, as their good starts to the season continue (Estudiantes made it through to the Libertadores third qualifying round shortly after we finished recording), and some Argentina travel tips for one of our listeners!
This week's HOP is the first since the 2022 domestic Argentine season began, so Sam, English Dan and Tony look back on the first three rounds of the Copa de la Liga. Unión, Platense and Estudiantes have started well, Racing aren't looking terrible and most importantly for everyone who likes sexy football, Juan Fernando Quintero is BACK.
Domestic Argentine football is back! In this week's HOP Sam, Andrés and Tony look back on the main transfer moves (and one big transfer remaining-in-place-for-now) and ask which clubs, if any, will be able to keep up with River Plate this year.
We're back! In the first HOP of 2022 Sam and Santi preview Argentina's World Cup qualifying double header, which will see a trip to Chile followed by a home match against Colombia. Lionel Messi isn't involved, and nor are various others (even manager Lionel Scaloni will be missing against Chile due to COVID), but the team will have a familiar look all the same.
There are still a couple of matches left in Argentine football this year, but recording seems unlikely next week so Sam, English Dan, Andrés and Santi got together on Friday to look back on 2021. Which clubs enjoyed the year the most, which individuals stood out in the league campaign that's just finished and, of course, do we think it was a successful year for the national team?
On this week's Hand Of Pod Sam, English Dan and Tony discuss a couple of weeks of action which included Boca Juniors lifting the Copa Argentina after a shootout win over Talleres, River Plate's long unbeaten run finally coming to an end in a thrilling game against Defensa y Justicia and the highest scoring clásico platense ever, as Gimnasia and Estudiantes drew 4–4.
This week's Hand Of Pod was recorded late in the week, because it made little sense to record before Thursday night, when River Plate did just about enough to scrape the result they needed at home to Racing to claim their thirty-seventh Argentine league title. Sam, Andrés and English Dan look back on a thoroughly convincing title win, ask what comes next for Marcelo Gallardo and tell you about Argentina's National Monument to the Football, which Sam unexpectedly saw on holiday last month as a result of a car breakdown.
This week, Sam's voice sounds ridiculous for the first half of the episode because Santi and Andrés didn't say anything about it until the half-time break. The three of them discuss Argentina's two recent World Cup qualifiers – a 1–0 win away to Uruguay and a 0–0 draw at home to Brazil – which (together with Ecuador claiming a 2–0 win away to Chile on Tuesday night) confirmed Argentina's place at the 2022 World Cup.
This week Sam and Santi look back on three weeks of action (due to Sam first being on holiday and then being very busy) during which the title race seems to have swung decisively in River Plate's favour. We wax lyrical about Julián Álvarez (Independiente fan Santi even compares him to a young Sergio Agüero) and answer some listeners' questions. We also preview Friday and Tuesday's World Cup qualifying double header, in which Argentina have their two biggest clásicos: first they travel across the Río de la Plata to face Uruguay, then they head to San Juan, where they'll host Brazil.
Allow us one indulgent episode title about ourselves rather than the football we're covering, because this week's episode was the first since March 2020 to be recorded with all of us in the same living room. Sam, English Dan and Andrés get reacquainted with one another and discuss Argentina's World Cup qualifying draw with Paraguay and wins over Uruguay and Peru before going over the last couple of rounds of action in the Liga Profesional.