The Libertadores Cup 2001 is remembered by every soccer fan in Mexico, as it was the season in which Blue Cross came to the great end of the tournament to face a historical Boca Juniors, commanded by Juan Román Riquelme, Martín Palermo and Carlos Bianchi on the bench.
The way of Machine It was not easy, because in the final phase they had to pass over Cerro Porteño, River Plate and Rosario Central to be able to measure the current champion Xeneize in the end.
After an extraordinary participation of the celestial team, despite falling on penalties in the Candy box from Mouth, the Cruzazulina performance is highly remembered; However, for the Mexican commentator, Christian Martinoli, that Libertadores meant hell, at least during the round of 16 of the tournament.
It was exactly to cover the first leg of the round of 16 Come in Cerro Porteño and Blue Cross, which was played in the General Pablo Rojas Stadium, located in Asunción, the capital of Paraguay, on Thursday, May 10, 2001.
Due to television restrictions that Panamerican Sports Network (PSN) had at the time for Mexico, in which the rights of the Libertadores Cup they were exclusive and not shared, Aztec TV decided to send a young man Christian martinoli, barely 25 years old, for coverage, interviews and images of the meeting.
As a direct order from David faitelson and with the pressure to comply for the sports section headed by Jose Ramon Fernandez, Martinoli undertook the trip with his cameraman, whom he nicknamed “La Vaquita Loca.”
The two of them were the only ones sent from Aztec TV and they had the challenge of managing the trip, so absolutely all the logistics passed through their hands, without waiting for the unforeseen events that the trip had prepared for them.
Martinoli and his cameraman traveled first to Buenos Aires to make a stopover, as there were no direct flights to Paraguay. After spending a night in the capital of Argentina, on the day of the match they started their way again to arrive early to Assumption and carry out some interviews and shots to the stadium, which would have to be sent at night through a rented satellite to be transmitted in the program of The protagonists.
Unfortunately for the two characters, when they were at the airport they were notified that for Mexican people a visa was required to enter Paraguay, a service that could not be performed in the immediate vicinity, so they would have to return to a Guarani consulate in Argentina and process it quickly.
This mishap caused them to miss the flight, so they had to reschedule with airline personnel directly. They were assigned a trip a couple of hours later and after returning with the visa processed, they were notified that that supposed re-scheduled flight did not exist and that there were no more trips during that day to Paraguay.
The news caused nervousness between the two involved and they searched by all possible means for a solution, since the game was that same day and he was obliged to send the images of the game.
After several minutes of fighting, planning and searching for transport, they found a flight from another airport in Buenos Aires towards the Argentine city of Formosa, which is border with Assumption, where the game would take place that same night.
Martinoli and “La Vaquita” They traveled to Formosa and there they paid for a taxi to take them to the border with Paraguay, minutes before the long-awaited match began, of which they had to have images with the most important actions.
According to the anecdote told by himself Christian martinoli on the Youtube channel of Dr. GarciaWhen they crossed the border on foot, due to the rush and desperation they showed on their faces, no passports were stamped nor did they take a record of their data, something that he himself did not realize due to the anxiety of arriving on time.
Even though they made it to the stadium from Cerro Porteño belatedly, they were able to take the necessary shots and got the video of the goal of Sergio Almaguer, who had been lost a few meters from reaching the property; However, when they wanted to leave Paraguay, the authorities told him that he did not have a registered entry and that they were in Paraguayan territory as illegal persons.
After the officer in charge of checking their passport threatened to stop and process them, the commentator who was already desperate for the adventure that it meant to get there, decided to put a ticket for 200 dollars inside the passport and ask the security element to check it again.
This is how Christian martinoli and his cameraman bypassed the Paraguayan jail, traveled to Mexico and wrote one of the most surreal anecdotes that have been known by the voice of Aztec TV, who lived an ordeal in that coverage, but that demonstrated his ability to solve problems.
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The day Christian Martinoli was almost jailed during a coverage