The official representative of Argentina in Spain is Ambassador Ramón Puerta (Apostles, Misiones, 1951), engineer, yerba mate businessman, president of the Republic in the institutional chaos of 2001, and friend of the president's university, Mauricio Macri, with whom he played football in those early days of their friendship. These days leading up to the second leg of the final of the Libertadores Cup that will be played at the Santiago Bernabéu is also one of the most required men in Madrid.
Question. How many tickets have you requested for the Sunday final?
Answer. Countless, I would tell you. But they are being channeled through different sales models: Boca, River, Conmebol, Real Madrid … They asked me as soon as the news was given.
P. How many Argentines will come to Madrid for the final?
R. The airlines have all the tickets sold, not only from Buenos Aires, but from the capitals that are around Buenos Aires. They have scheduled new flights. One of them told me two more flights, I interpret that per day. We are many Argentines who are in Spain and there are many who will come. And there are Argentines who live in other places in Europe that will also be there.
P. Does a number shuffle?
R. How many are going to come? No, but we are 350,000 Argentines that the embassy has registered in Spain. To this we must add those that are not registered, so there are enough. It is difficult to estimate. All transportation capacity will come. The will to come see is incredible.
P. These days it has been said a lot in Argentina that they have stolen the final. What do you think?
"When the River thing happened, we were focused on the G20 and that distracted"
R. I am a great respectful of institutions. The Conmebol had to solve a problem; problem that occurs not only in Argentina. It has occurred in many places. There are countries that could solve it, like England, Spain even, and there are others who are in this fight to solve the somewhat irrational questions in terms of football passion, or violence if you want to use the harshest term.
P. At what point are they?
R. I am not a specialist in the field, but I am, like a good Argentine, a soccer fan. And I must admit that I would like that we have already solved it. It is a subject that has dragged on for several decades. Well, that's already happened. Today we are in a country that could make the most impeccable G20 in history. With a record that nobody had been able to do it. The last, in Hamburg, had problems that we have been able to solve in Buenos Aires. It means that if it is necessary, when we dedicate ourselves to things, we do it.
P. Are Argentine police coming to help in the operation?
R. I read that. Spanish intelligence is very strong, very efficient.
P. They say they have had very few days to prepare.
R. Yes, but machines today, cybernetics, quickly resolve what used to take months. And those who behave badly are not many, they are very few.
P. Are they going to enter the field?
R. I suppose they are not going to leave Argentina. I attribute what happened there to when the River thing happened we were all focused on the G20, which went very well, it had been planning for some time, and that distracted the eyes. Well, some oversight there was. Now, I am a supporter of that phrase: "There is no harm that does not come well". The evil has already happened. It should not have happened what happened. That already happened. What is coming forward is to show the Argentine football in a showcase of the highest level as is Madrid.
P. How do you interpret the appellation "Copa Conquistadores" that spread to know that it would be played in Madrid?
"Our great hero, San Martín, was Spanish, so we are not in such alien territory"
R. It is part of the Argentine ingenuity. The Argentines if we have something is that we are ingenious. We also entered into a historical discussion, that San Martín, our greatest hero, was Spanish, and today we have a huge socio-political, cultural space, called Ibero-America. We are not in such a territory, so alien. I would have liked to play where you had to play, but let's look at things also with a vision of this breadth.
P. What will it mean for the loser?
R. Always losing is a problem. In our culture, losing is very hard, not only in football. Passes in politics, happens in other disciplines. We are very passionate culture. The passion is very strong, which is one of the explanations of the parties that we find hard to solve: there is a very high dose of passion.
P. Does taking the match from there have reduced the tension?
R. No, not at all, out there feed more. The adrenaline is accumulating. But everything is going well.
P. And for the one who wins what will it mean?
R. That he will have to go to Abu Dhabi [ríe]. The winner has the satisfaction of having won the great rival of more than 100 years of history.
P. He is very content to be a soccer fan as he says.
"Sleepless nights are going to be a few for him to lose"
R. Today I am the ambassador.
P. Who is the ambassador with?
R. Everyone knows that I am from Boca. Now, I'm a friend of River too, and I have great friends on one and another team.
P. With everything that has already happened with this game, is it going to play for real?
R. Until yesterday there were friends who had reserved tickets, although they said that such a team is not going to travel or such a team does not want to play. The Conmebol reaffirmed and FIFA reaffirmed and tickets went on sale, and the tickets have been sold and say that tomorrow [por hoy] the two teams arrive.
P. We are in an environment where anything seems possible.
R. Yes, everything is possible. Argentina is an unpredictable country many times. It is not a country where you can plan things with a hundred percent security. The Argentine is talented. And the Argentine is changing too. Both humor and position. The imagination goes far.
P. Assuming that it is played, will the final end when the match is over?
R. [Toma aire] They are going to continue the discussions. Let's see how the game develops. But a Boca-River does not end in the 90th minute, that continues.
P. It is already said, for example, that if Boca loses it will go to TAS. And River feels hurt by not playing in his stadium. Are the story being made in case they lose?
R. But do not doubt it. We all do that. There is always a reinsurance. The celebration should be much more prepared, but if the opposite happens, arguments will quickly exist. This always happened. They are clubs that come from the beginning of the 20th century. They have a long history in this regard.
P. And that will comfort them?
R. Oh, no, no, no. These are arguments, nothing more. The heart beats strong and sleepless nights are going to be a few for the one who has to lose. How to enjoy for which you win. This has a very strong connotation. It is a matter of conversation many days, before and after.