Club Atlético Rosario Central (usually simply Central) is a football club in Rosario, Argentina. It is the 6th. most popular team in the country Central plays the Rosario derby against Newell's Old Boys, club which has with a huge historical rivalry.
The original jersey colors were red and white; later, the club would change to a checkered blue and white, and finally settle on the blue and gold vertical stripes design used to this day.
The team played in the local Rosario league until it joined the Argentine league in 1939 together with rivals Newell's Old Boys. Rosario Central was relegated in 1942 and again in 1951; both times, it was promoted on the very next season.
For the 1974 season, Central acquired striker Mario Kempes from Instituto Atlético Central Córdoba (Kempes and Instituto mate Osvaldo Ardiles were to be reunited in the national team that won the 1978 World Cup).
Even though the winning of the Campeonato Argentino 1974 was not considered official by the AFA, it is considered by Central's supporters to be their "sixth" championship.
After seven years whitout titles, Central won the 1980 Nacional with veteran Ángel Tulio Zof on the bench. That team was called "La Sinfónica" (the symphony orchestra) because they played very good, beautiful football.
After a few years with bad seasons, the team was relegated in 1985, but returned to first division the following year, and won the 1986/87 Championship. This was a first in Argentine football (oddly, Central Español performed a similar feat in Uruguay in the years 1983/84, also a first).
Even though the badge shows 6 stars, Rosario Central has only won 5 official championships (4 national and one international). The sixth one (the Argentino 1974 achievement) was added in the 115 anniversary of the institution, two weeks after their biggest rival, Newell's Old Boys, won their fifth championship in 2004.
It has an official capacity of 41,654, but crowds of 45,000 have been accommodated after it underwent major conditioning for the 1978 World Cup held in Argentina.
In that tournament, all three second-round games of the Argentine squad were played in the Gigante. Local hero Kempes enjoyed the support of the fans and went on to become the top scorer of the tournament.
In a January 2007 press conference presenting the new jersey, Rosario native Roberto Fontanarrosa revised the definition and spelling of Central's nickname. The new spelling he gave was canaya, because according to him, people from the city of Rosario don't use the Spanish word canalla for any other reason than referring to the club.
Central are also known as La Academia (like the Argentine team Racing Club) due to the amount of players that become professional from their youth teams, and to the amount of consecutive Rosario's League titles that the club won in the amateur era, in comparison to Racing Club (called La Academia), that won a lot of championships in the Buenos Aires´ League at the same time too.
As of September 14, 2008