Los Diablos Rojos wear blue jersey

For all those who support Club Atletico Independiente from Avellaneda, Greater Buenos Aires, the red color is a cornerstone of the club’s history and pride. Two of the most used nicknames of Independiente have to do with the red color: They’re either El Rojo (The Red) or Los Diablos Rojos (The Red Devils). For more than 110 years or the clubs existence red is the main color even in the away jersey.

The Saturday’s December 7th match vs. Banfield for the Argentine league will be a historical exception. Independiente officials have announced that they’ll appear wearing a dark blue jersey, bearing a Scottish flag as the main emblem. This gesture is a honorable one: Independiente hasn’t forgot neither their roots, nor their history.

The club was founded on August 4th, 1904 from a group of disappointed youngsters, who were members of a small Avellaneda team called Maipu FC. The young members of the team (based on the employees of a shoe store) were only allowed to watch the matches and not compete. So, they decided to cut off from Maipu FC and form a new club. They named it “Independiente” to signify their independence from all other clubs of the city.

The club was affiliated in Associacion de Futbol Argentino (AFA) at January 1st, 1905, with Aristides Langone as first president. He proposed to adopt blue and white as the club’s official colors. Why was that? Langone was inspired by St.Andrew’s football team, a club of Scottish immigrants bearing the Scottish flag. St.Andrew’s was the first football champions in Argentina back in 1891 season, where the vast majority of teams competing were staffed mainly by immigrants from the British Isles.

So, what happened and the team adopted the red color instead? Rumor has it that president Langone was shocked during English side’s Nottingham Forest 1908 tour in Buenos Aires. Langone watched Forest thrash Alumni FC by the impressive score 6-0. Alumni was the leading Argentinian club of the era and was considered invincible, so the president was so shocked from the quality of football the English showed, that he decided to imitate them, firstly in the colors and secondly in the style of play.

Independiente played for the first time wearing the red jersey on May 10th, 1908. There’s no coincidence that Banfield was the opponent. The match ended in a triumph: a 9-2 victory convinced everyone that the new jersey was a lucky one and was going to bring success.

There’s plenty of silverware to the Independiente hall of fame, including 7 Copa Libertadores, 2 Copa Sudamericana, 16 Primera Division titles and 7 national cups. In all these successful moments, the red color appeared in every celebrating photo. For the first time after 110 years Independiente will try to connect with their history.

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