Milan-Estudiantes: Football's "most violent game" turns 50
AC Milan won their first Intercontinental Cup against Estudiantes in a match that will also be remembered for the level of violence and several arrests.
On 22 October, 1969, AC Milan lifted the Intercontinental Cup at the expense of Estudiantes in a game that redefined the old cliché “leaving it all on the pitch.”
The Serie A side arrived in Argentina with a healthy first-leg lead courtesy of goals from Angelo Sormani (2) and Nestor Combin and when Milan captain Gianni Rivera made it 4-0 on aggregate in La Bombonera, Estudiantes began to send the tackles flying in with any part of the body that was available.
The game would end with Combin’s face black and blue, which did not stop the Argentinean police from arresting the Las Rosas-born Frenchman for “draft-dodging” while he was being stretchered off, Rivera floored from a punch by Estudiantes keeper Alberto Poletti and three of the home side in jail.
Poletti was handed a lifetime ban from football while Ramón Suárez, who had broken Combin’s nose, was banned for five years.
Combin: "I was lucky... I thought I was going to die in La Bombonera"
“I was lucky… I thought I was going to die in La Bombonera,” Combin told AS 50 years after the event. “My nose was destroyed. It was a month before I could play again.”
Of his arrest, Combin explains: “I spent the night in jail. It was the worst night of my life. I left Argentina before I was 18 years old and completed my military service in France.”