With the match that Central and Argentinos will play this Friday in Rosario from 7:15 p.m.; and the one that Defense and Justice will animate against Huracán, in Varela, at 9:30 p.m., the 2023 season of the Professional Football League (LPF) will begin, with Boca Juniors as the defending champion, and the novelty of a third relegation in order to year.
For the second consecutive year, the Argentine soccer First Division contest will feature 28 teams, of which two will be the promoted Belgrano and Instituto from Cordoba, who will take the place of the relegated Aldosivi and Patronato, who for being the current champion of the Argentine Cup will play the Copa Libertadores. This will be the last tournament with this amount, since the intention of the AFA, in principle, is that for the 2028 season there will be 22 teams. That is why in this 2023 there will be three declines that will take place at the end of the year.
The criteria was also modified since two relegations will be by averages and the other will correspond to the last one in the annual table, which will count the 41 games that the teams will play during the season: 27 dates of the tournament that begins tomorrow, and 14 of the Copa de La Liga, not counting the final stages.
Unlike 2022, the year will begin with the League tournament with the format of 27 dates all against all, while in the second semester the League Cup will be played with two groups of fourteen teams and an interzonal date for the classics. .
This rotation of the calendar generated a new change in the structure of the First Division, which had eleven different formats in the last nine years. The last time the format was repeated was in the 2012/13 and 2013/14 seasons, when two short tournaments (Initial and Final) were held with 20 teams.
The soccer of the world champion country will begin with a series of controversies and untidiness such as the “exceptional measure” of qualifying the players who finished last season with lesser sanctions than three suspension dates.
In addition, at the last meeting of the Executive Committee, it was decided to extend the pass market for one week until Thursday, February 2.
Although the recess began on October 22 and the draw for the championships was held on November 4, the LPF had to change the schedule for the first date since the match between Vélez Sarsfield and Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata went from Friday to Monday, due to work on the field of play at the José Amalfitani stadium.
In June it will be ten years since the decision to prohibit the attendance of the visiting public, and beyond the zero progress to reverse it, now the opening of the stadiums for local fans is also being questioned, as it happens -for example – to Racing Club for the inside of his barrabrava.
This 2023 tournament will also coincide with the start of the international cups that will be played by eleven of the participating teams. The champion Boca Juniors, River Plate, Racing Club, Argentinos Juniors and Huracán (starts in the previous phase) will play the Copa Libertadores de América, together with the Patronato, of the First National. While the South American Cup will be played by San Lorenzo, Gimnasia, Estudiantes, Defensa y Justicia, Newell’s and Tigre. Both tournaments organized by Conmebol will be drawn on March 22 and the start of the group stage is scheduled for the first week of April, between the 8th and 10th dates of the LPF tournament.
The transfer market moved more in the part of casualties than of signings, and with a week to go until the closing of the book, almost 200 signings were registered. Central Córdoba de Santiago del Estero was the one that added the most with 18 reinforcements, followed by Barracas Central and Instituto, with 13 each.
Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata, involved in a serious economic crisis, could not add new faces and could not retain coach Néstor Gorosito or the figures that led the team to fight for a large part of the last tournament.
In terms of quality, River appears as the team that was reinforced the most and best with the returns of Matías Kranevitter (he was injured in the preseason) and Ignacio Fernández plus the arrivals of Enzo Díaz and the Venezuelan Salomón Rondón.
Estudiantes, in turn, resorted to the sense of belonging and repatriated striker Guido Carrillo and midfielder Santiago Ascacíbar.
Boca, on the other hand, added Paraguayan defender Bruno Valdez for the moment and suffered a significant loss with the departure of one of the figures of the champion team: goalkeeper Agustín Rossi.
Racing and Independiente were active in the market but with different realities because the “Academy” opted for the experience and weight of the names of Maximiliano Moralez and the Peruvian Paolo Guerrero plus the arrival of the Chilean Oscar Opazo to replace the loss of Eugenio Mena.
The “Red”, on the other hand, had to rearm the squad before a large number of departures and closed eleven incorporations before being inhibited by an old debt with América de México, with the goalkeeper Rodrigo Rey -the least defeated fence of the last tournament- as the most prominent of the reinforcements.
And San Lorenzo was reinforced with two Colombians of hierarchy like Rafael Pérez and Carlos Sánchez, plus the goalkeeper Facundo Altamirano to replace the retired Sebastián Torrico.
Argentine soccer continues to be an exporter and during the break there were important departures that paid off well for the clubs.
Racing sold its top scorer Enzo Copetti (to the United States MLS) and the young Carlos Alcaraz (to the Premier League) for around 20 million dollars.
Vélez and Rosario Central transferred the youngsters Máximo Perrone and Facundo Buonanotte to the Premier League for a similar sum between the two transfers.
And Banfield got rid of Ramiro Enrique (also to the United States) for almost 4 million dollars for a part of the pass.
Important values from the last championship also left, such as the Colombian Juan Fernando Quintero (River), Franco Cristaldo (Huracán), the Uruguayan Renzo López (Central Córdoba), Martín Ojeda (Godoy Cruz), Leandro Fernández (Independiente), Carlos Lampe, Augusto Lotti and Ramiro Carrera (Atlético Tucumán) and Facundo Kruspzky (Arsenal).