The 'Kiricocho' derby

Bono used the little word against Haaland at Sevilla and Cousillas, Pellegrini's assistant at Betis, uses a superstition that may have been key in the green-and-white improvement.


Sevilla and Betis face tonight in a derby of the most even a priori in recent years (follow the game live on Imperial until just a few days ago, when it was eliminated consecutively in the Cup and Champions League and has lost two League games in a row, Lopetegui's team is now just six points (with one less duel, yes) of its eternal rival. By contrast, Betis is riding a winning series of four consecutive victories and no less than 22 out of 29 possible points during this 2021. Tremendous streak that has raised him to sixth place in the table, as one of the main contenders for at least to play the Europe or Conference League next year, but also dreaming of the Champions League if their eternal rival does not wake up. And especially if he does not do it today, in the heat of a match of maximum rivalry that the pandemic will once again leave without an audience in the stands.

The Kiricocho derby is played. The word has become fashionable again this week because the Sevilla goalkeeper Bono shouted it to Erling Haaland before stopping a penalty and the Norwegian forward returned it after repeating the launch of the maximum penalty, this time with a goal. Kiricocho: a word whose history originally belongs to Carlos Salvador Bilardo, who took advantage of the jinx of his own supporter, called Kiricocho, to proclaim himself champion of Argentina with Estudiantes de la Plata. He presented it to rivals and it worked for him. In Seville there are some very similar mufas.

Bilardo also used the little word when he signed for Sevilla years later ... and Bono uses it now because surely it has been taught to him by one of the many Argentines who play for the Nervión club (Ocampos, Acuña, Mudo or Papu). But it is that, the superstitious will think and among them the assistant of Pellegrini Rubén Cousillas, Kiricocho may have also become one of the weapons of the miraculous improvement of this Betis.

They say that Cousillas constantly uses it on the Betis bench at key moments in matches. And the reality is that the Verdiblancos do not stop winning in connection, many times, with some power that seems supernatural: they were awarded two penalties in the last minutes against Getafe, they defeated Cádiz with a header from Juanmi or, less than one week, he beat Alavés 0-2 during a last half hour of sheer madness at Benito Villamarín.

The game against the babazorros once again raised the figure of Borja Iglesias, a bigoleador after leaving the bench and who is possibly one of the Betic novelties in the eleven with the recovered central Víctor Ruiz. That is if superstition does not continue to be able to Pellegrini and he prefers to pull the Galician forward again from the bench.

In Sevilla yesterday an important last minute question appeared, Lucas Ocampos, who did not exercise with his teammates in the training session before the duel. The Argentine winger, yes, follows a particular treatment on his left ankle, the one that Getafense Gené annoyed him two months ago. In the absence of knowing if Ocampos is to play finally, Lopetegui only doubted with the companion of Fernando and Joan Jordán in the center of the field. Rakitic, Óliver Torres, Papu Gómez and Óscar Rodríguez, all of them were good in Dortmund, they are opposing that vacant place.

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