Club Atlético River Plate
|Full name||Club Atlético River Plate|
|Nickname(s)||Los Millonarios (The Millionaires)
La Banda (The Strip)
El Campeón del Siglo XX (The Champion of the 20th Century) 
|Founded||25 May 1901|
|Ground||Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti,
Belgrano, Buenos Aires
|Website||Club home page|
Club Atlético River Plate is a professional Argentine sports club based in the Nuñez neighborhood of Buenos Aires. Although many sports are practised at the club, River is best known for its professional football team, which has won many of the most important tournaments in the world, including Copa Libertadores, and Intercontinental Cup.
River is the most successful football team of Argentina, having won the Primera División title a record 35 times. River's last domestic title at the top division was the 2008 Clausura. Other domestic competitions won by River Plate were defuncts trophies Copa Dr. Carlos Ibarguren (four times) and Copa Adrián C. Escobar (once).
In addition, the club's international titles include two Copa Libertadores (both against the same rival, America de Cali of Colombia), one Intercontinental Cup, one Supercopa Sudamericana, one Copa Interamericana and one U-20 Copa Libertadores, apart from seven tournaments organized by AFA and AUF together: six Copa Dr. Ricardo Aldao, and one Tie Cup. River's success in the 1990s led IFFHS to name it ninth in its All-Time Club World Ranking (and first in the Americas). In 2011, River became the most successful Argentine club to have been relegated to the second division.
In 2010, the International Federation of Football History and Statistics placed River Plate in the 9th. place in a ranking that included the best teams of the world during the 1990 and 2000 decades. River was the South American club with the best position in the table.
The club was officially founded in 1901 and took its name from the common English name for the Río de la Plata. River has a fierce rivalry with Boca Juniors. Matches between them are known as Superclásico, and the two teams' rivalry is amongst the most heated in the sport, due to their local and global popularity. River's home stadium is Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti, known simply as "El Monumental", which is the largest stadium in the country.
- 1 History
- 1.1 The beginning
- 1.2 Amateur era
- 1.3 Professional era
- 1.3.1 1931–39: "Los Millonarios"
- 1.3.2 1940s: "La Máquina"
- 1.3.3 1950s: First treble
- 1.3.4 The 1960s: a decade without titles
- 1.3.5 1970s: Return to greatness
- 1.3.6 1980s: First Copa Libertadores
- 1.3.7 Decade of 1990s: the success continues
- 1.3.8 Decade of 2000s: ups and downs
- 1.3.9 Decade of 2010s: Starting all over
- 2 Uniform
- 3 Rivalry
- 4 Club nicknames
- 5 Stadium
- 6 Players
- 7 Notable managers
- 8 Notable Player
- 9 Honours
- 10 Other sports
- 11 See also
- 12 Notes
- 13 References
- 14 External links
River Plate was founded on 25 May 1901, close to the La Boca neighborhood (later the home of fierce rivals Boca Juniors). The institution was formed since the merge of two clubs, "Santa Rosa" and "La Rosales", with elected Leopoldo Bard being elected as its first president. The name was chosen because of an incident during the construction of Buenos Aires Port: one of the members had seen how the workers of Dique 3 left their duties for a while to play a football match. The boxes they were working with just said "The River Plate" (the name the English gave to the Río de la Plata) and that 'enigmatic' inscription was taken to name the new club.
River Plate affiliated to Argentine Football Association in 1905 and debuted in the third division against Facultad de Medicina. The team played many matches (including one of its worst defeats ever at the hands of Gimnasia y Esgrima de La Plata: 1–10) before promoting to the second division.
River Plate remained in the second division from 1906 to 1908. On 13 December 1908, the team promoted to first division after beating Racing Club 2–1. However, the match was declared null due to River supporters jumping onto the field to celebrate with the players, so a new match had to be played, River winning again (7–0) and achieving its promotion.
River debuted in the first division on 2 May 1909, against Argentino de Quilmes. Some highlights of that season was a 1–0 victory over legendary Alumni and another big defeat 1–10 against Belgrano Athletic.
River only won 1 title during the Amateur era in Argentine football, in 1920. River still had its stadium along the Riachuelo and the jersey in red, white and black vertical stripes. In 1923 River moved to Palermo neighborhood, over Avenida Alvear.
River's best campaigns in the rest of the amateurism were in 1921 and 1922, where the squad finished 2nd.
1931–39: "Los Millonarios"
With the establishment of the professionalism in 1931, River Plate acquired right wing Carlos Peucelle in 1931 for $10,000 and Bernabé Ferreyra for $35,000 (huge amounts of money in those years) in 1932. Because of that, River was nicknamed "Los Millonarios" ("The Millionaries"), which has remained since. Ferreyra was the top scorer with 43 goals. River and Independiente finished in the first position so both teams had to have a play-off match in order to declare a champion. River defeated Independiente 3–0 obtaining its first professional title.
River obtained its second title in 1936, defeating San Lorenzo in the final game. The following year River won the title again, totalling 58 points in 34 matches, having scored 106 goals and only conceding 43. José Manuel Moreno was the top scorer with 37 goals. Other notable players were Adolfo Pedernera, Renato Cesarini and José María Minella.
1940s: "La Máquina"
The decade of the 1940s is considered as one of the best eras in the history of the club, having won the titles of 1941 (44 points, 19 wins, 6 draws and 5 losses; 75 goals scored) and 1942 (46 points, 20–6–4, 79 goals). The team was also sub-champion in 1943 and 1944. River had a powerful attack nicknamed "La Máquina" ("The Machine"). The forwards were Juan Carlos Muñoz, José Manuel Moreno, Adolfo Pedernera, Ángel Labruna and Félix Loustau. That offensive line became a legend despite only playing 18 matches together. In 1945 River won another title, with Labruna being the top scorer with 25 goals. Moreno had left the club but other players (such as center-midfielder Néstor Rossi) had arrived.
In 1947 River won a new championship with 48 points, totaling 90 goals scored and only conceding 30. Some emerging players were goalkeeper Amadeo Carrizo and center-forward Alfredo Di Stéfano, which came from the youth categories. Di Stéfano was River top-scorer with 27 goals.
After a footballers strike in 1948 many footballers went to Colombia, "Pipo" Rossi and Di Stefano were among them. River finished the 1948 and 1949 tournaments in 2nd position.
1950s: First treble
River went to a European tour in 1951 and the next year the team was champion. River totalized 40 points, with 17 matches won, 6 draws and 7 losses. That team was nicknamed "La Máquina" ("The Machine") and had Labruna, Uruguayan Walter Gómez, Santiago Vernazza, Eliseo Prado, Lousteau and goalkeeper Carrizo as some of its most relevant players. In 1953 River won another title, with 60 goals scored and only conceding 36.
With the addition of "Pipo" Rossi (returned from Millonarios of Colombia), Federico Vairo (traded from Rosario Central) and the rise of Enrique Omar Sívori from the youth categories River won the 1955, 1956 and 1957 titles consecutively for the first time in the history of the club.
After the 1957 South American Championship held in Lima, Peru, Sívori was acquired by Juventus F.C. paying $10 million. That amount of money was used by the club to finish the Estadio Monumental grandstands.
After the demise of the Argentina national football team in the 1958 World Cup (where Labruna also played with #10) River would spend a long time without obtaining any title. On 12 October 1959, Angel Labruna retired from football at the age of 41. Labruna is still the all-time Argentine football top scorer (along with Independiente forward Arsenio Erico with 293 goals over 514 matches played. Moreover, Labruna was one of the greatest idols in River Plate's history.
The 1960s: a decade without titles
River could not win any championship during the 1960s, although the team had a bunch of talented players such as Ermindo Onega, José Ramos Delgado, scorer Luis Artime, Vladislao Cap and Oscar Más. This is considered the worst club's age ever, which would last until 1975, totalizing 18 years with no titles for the club.
River's best position during those years was the 2nd place. In 1962 the team lost the title at the hands of arch-rival Boca Juniors, with the famous penalty-shot stopped by Antonio Roma to Delem. Another chance lost was in 1968 when Vélez Sársfield finally got the championship in a mini-tournament organised in order to declare a champion (due to River, Vélez and Racing finished in equal first position at the end of the season). Another domestic title lost was the 1969 final against Chacarita Juniors, which beat River 4–1. River had left behind Boca Juniors in the semifinals by goal average after a 0–0 draw.
In 1966 River played the Copa Libertadores final against Uruguayan team Peñarol. River had finished the first half leading 2–0, but Peñarol scored two goals in the 2nd half so an extra time had to be played. Peñarol scored two goals more winning 4–2 and becoming the new South American champion. The team's performance in that match originated the pejorative nickname Gallinas ("Chicken") which has been used by rivals to refer to River's players and supporters and has remained since.
1970s: Return to greatness
In 1975 Angel Labruna became the team's coach. Under his command, River won a championship after 18 years without obtaining any title (in fact, River won two titles: 1975 Metropolitano and Nacional tournaments). Some of the most important players of that squad were goalkeeper Ubaldo Matildo "El Pato" Fillol, backs Roberto "El Mariscal" Perfumo and Daniel Alberto "El Kaiser" Passarella, midfielders Juan José "El Negro J.J.López" López, Reinaldo "Mostaza" Merlo and Norberto "El Beto" Alonso and strikers Carlos Morete and Oscar "Pinino" Más.
In 1976 River reached the Copa Libertadores finals, where had to play against Brazilian team Cruzeiro. After two matches ended with a victory per team, a third game had to be played in Santiago, Chile, and Cruzeiro defeated River 3–2.
River also won the 1977 Metropolitano championship, with the same player structure than earlier years with the addition of striker Leopoldo Jacinto Luque and left wing Oscar Ortiz. For the 1978 World Cup hosted in Argentina, River gave 5 players to the national team that would win the championship: Fillol, Luque, Passarella, Ortiz and Alonso.
In 1979 River achieved another treble, when winning the 1979 Metropolitano and Nacional and the 1980 Metropolitano tournaments. Some notable players during those seasons were Fillol, Alberto Tarantini, Luque, and Emilio Commisso.
Angel Labruna was not only River's all-time top scorer but he won 6 titles as coach of the first division team, which would be a record to date.
1980s: First Copa Libertadores
By 1981 Alfredo Di Stéfano replaced Labruna as the coach, Boca Juniors acquired Diego "Pelusa" Maradona, which caused a huge impact in Argentine football. To mitigate the effects of Boca's signing of Maradona, River hired national team top scorer and superstar Mario Alberto "El Matador" Kempes, apart from other players such as defender Julio "El Vasco" Olarticoechea and Américo "El Tolo" Gallego. With the addition of those players and based on a strong defensive line and an effective offensive with Kempes and a youth Ramón "El Pelado" Díaz, River became 1981 Torneo Nacional champion, defeating Ferro Carril Oeste in the finals with the same score in both matches: 1–0. Norberto Alonso, one of the greatest idols in the history of the club, did not take part of the first team because he had left behind by Di Stefano.
In 1982 some of River players that had contributed to the recent championship, left the club: Alonso was traded to Vélez Sarsfield due to his conflicts with Di Stefano and Kempes returned to Valencia CF. Moreover, Ramón Díaz and Daniel Passarella were sold to S.S.C. Napoli and Fiorentina respectively. River Plate was eliminated from the Copa Libertadores at the hands of Flamengo and Peñarol (which would be the champion). In 1983 Fillol left the club because of an economic conflict with the institution.
With the sale of Alonso, River acquired Uruguayan midfielder Enzo "El Príncipe" Francescoli to replace him as playmaker. 1983 would be one of the worst in club's history, finishing 18th of 19. Rules indicated that the two teams that finished the season in the last position would be relegated to Primera B, but a restructure of the Argentine football league system introduced at the beginning of the season saved River from being relegated to the second division.
In 1984 Héctor "El Bambino" Veira was hired as coach, with River finishing as the runner-up of the 1984 Torneo Nacional losing the final against Ferro Carril Oeste. In 1985 there was a restructure of the league system, and a new tournament was created, with a format similar to the European system. River won the first tournament, the 1985–86, being declared champion six games before the end of the season. The team won 23 games, with 10 draws and only 3 losses. Enzo Francescoli was the top-scorer.
In 1986 River won its first Copa Libertadores, defeating América de Cali in the finals (2–1 in Cali and 1–0 in Buenos Aires). River achieved its second international title, obtaining the Intercontinental Cup against Steaua București, which beat 1–0 in Tokyo. The team would close its most successful era in club's history winning in 1987 the Copa Interamericana against L.D. Alajuelense. After Veira's depparture, River appointed Carlos Timoteo Griguol for the 87/88 season, and César Menotti for the 1988/89 season as coaches. Although River acquired a bunch of renowned players such as Ángel Comizzo, Omar Palma, Claudio Borghi, Abel Balbo, Jorge da Silva and Daniel Passarella (who had returned from Italy), the team did not make a good performance.
Decade of 1990s: the success continues
In 1990 Daniel Passarella is named coach, winning the 1989–90 tournament and reaching the Copa Libertadores semi-finals, being eliminated against Barcelona de Guayaquil. 1991 was the year which started the longest period of no victories against Boca Juniors: 13 matches. That year Ramón Díaz returned to the club, after his career in Europe, and River obtained the 1991 Apertura with Díaz as top scorer with 14 goals.
But Ramón Díaz emigrated again (this time to Yokohama Marinos) in 1993, nevertheless River won the 1993 Apertura with a team formed by youth promises such as Ariel "El Burrito" Ortega, Marcelo "El Muñeco" Gallardo and Hernán Crespo.
In 1994 Enzo Francescoli returned to the club, winning another title that year with River Plate (the 1994 Apertura), along with Roberto Ayala and goalkeeper Germán "El Mono" Burgos (both acquired to Ferro) and being coached by former player Américo Gallego. River also remained unbeaten that season, for the first time in club's history.
After the brief Carlos Babington's run as coach, Ramón Díaz came to be his replacement in 1995. The following year River won its second Copa Libertadores, defeating América de Cali in the finals again ten years after. América won the first game 1–0 but River overcome 2–0 in Buenos Aires, winning the Cup by goal average. Hernán Crespo scored the two goals in the decisive match.
River would later win its second treble, obtaining the 1996 Apertura
and 1997 Clausura and the 1997 Apertura. Internationally, River won (also for the first time in club's history) the 1997 Supercopa Sudamericana defeating São Paulo in the finals, with great performances of Marcelo "El Chileno" Salas and Marcelo Gallardo. After the three championships and the Supercopa, Enzo Francéscoli retires, and River would overcome his missing two years later. The 1996/1997 River Plate team is considered among the best teams in South American football history, with stars like Francéscoli, Salas, Julio Ricardo "El Jardinero" Cruz, Ariel Ortega, Marcelo Gallardo, Juan Pablo "El Juanpi" Sorín, Germán Burgos, Celso "El Negro" Ayala, Matías "El Pelado" Almeyda, Sergio "La Bruja" Berti or Santiago "El Indio" Solari.
In 1999 River won the last title under the coaching of Ramón Díaz, the Apertura tournament, with Javier "El Conejo" Saviola as top-scorer with 15 goals. Saviola is also the youngest player to debut for River Plate, playing at the age of 16. Pablo "El Payaso" Aimar also was a key player and vital playmaker.
That same year, Argentine sports magazine El Gráfico #4172 named River Plate as "Champions of the Century" ("Campeón Del Siglo"), noting the clubs achievements, especially its then 28 Primera División titles against Boca Juniors' 19 and Independiente's 13.
Decade of 2000s: ups and downs
On 25 May 2001 River Plate celebrated its 100 years of existence with a march, called "Monumental Caravan" and a friendly match against Peñarol of Uruguay. This was a year without a title for River, being eliminated in the quarter-finals of the Libertadores against Cruz Azul of Mexico. That year were transferred Pablo Aimar and Javier Saviola to Valencia and Barcelona respectively.
In 2002, Ramón Díaz returned to the club to replace Gallego as coach. River also brought back Ariel Ortega and promoted to Primera youthful players such as Andrés D'Alessandro and Fernando Cavenaghi, winning the Clausura tournament and getting his seventh title with Ramón Díaz as coach, which included a 3:0 victory against Boca at the Bombonera. Ramón Díaz left River at the end of that year due to differences between him and the President José María Aguilar.
In 2003 River won the Clausura tournament, led by Chilean coach Manuel Pellegrini and a team of players like Leonardo Astrada (who retired at the end of the tournament), D'Alessandro, Fernando Cavenaghi, Javier Mascherano and Martín Demichelis.
In 2004, with Leonardo Astrada as manager, River achieved the Clausura tournament, this was its thirty-second domestic championship. The team also returned to the semi-finals of Copa Libertadores facing Boca Juniors. Boca won 1–0 the first game, where there were incidents between players from both clubs, and River won 2–1 in the Monumental although the team left out in the penalty shootout. After the Copa América and Olympic Games (where Argentina national team won its first gold medal with Mascherano and Lucho González as part of the team), River sold most of its figures, so Cavenaghi, Lucho González, Javier Mascherano, Marcelo Salas and Maximiliano López left the club that same year.
In 2008, Diego Simeone was appointed manager of the club, in his first season he led them to their first league title in four years, winning the Clausura championship. The following season the club suffered a poor run of form resulting in Simeone's resignation mid-season. The club went on to finish in last place in the Apertura 2008, the first time River had ever finished bottom of a league in 107 years.
Decade of 2010s: Starting all over
In 2011, River Plate was facing both an institutional and sports crisis. José María Aguilar left the presidency of the club with a debt of over 75 million dollars, being replaced by Daniel Passarella. The team ended the 2008 Apertura tournament at the bottom of the table, and River's poor form followed through the 2011 Clausura tournament. As a result, River played the Promoción, a two-legged play-off against Belgrano de Córdoba, the fourth placed team of the 2010–11 Primera B Nacional. Belgrano won the first leg 2–0 at Córdoba, and held on for a 1–1 draw at El Monumental. With the defeat, River Plate was relegated to Nacional B for the first time in its history. The second match was interrupted during injury time by rioting in the stadium and its surroundings which continued after the match was called, despite a substantial police presence. Almost immediately following River's relegation, Juan José López resigned as manager.
Almeyda retired as player when River was relegated to become the team's coach, while Fernando Cavenaghi and Alejandro Domínguez returned to the club to play at the second division. In January 2012, David Trezeguet and Leonardo Ponzio arrived to the club to play the second half of Nacional. On June 2012, River won the title after defeating Almirante Brown by 2–0 in the last fixture and therefore returned to Primera División to play the 2012–13 season. Just a week later, the reserve team of River coached by Cesar Laraignee won the U-20 Copa Libertadores in Lima, Perú, after defeating Defensor Sporting of Uruguay 1–0 in the final.
After some conflicts with the President, manager Matías Almeyda was eventually fired by the club on 28 November 2012, only two rounds before the end of the Torneo Inicial. The following day it was announced that Ramón Díaz would become River's coach for third time in history.
(1) This jersey, worn as the home kit during the amateur era, has remained (with few exceptions) as the away kit since the professional era began.
(2) Worn only in four matches in club's history: 1969 (vs. Deportivo Morón), 1971 (vs. Gimnasia y Esgrima La Plata), 1975 (vs. Banfield) and 2008 (vs. Huracán).
(3) Host club Barcelona loaned River Plate its away jerseys to play the 1980 Joan Gamper Trophy match against PSV Eindhoven that wore white shirts.
(4) Worn just once in 1985.
(5) Worn in the 1999-00, 2002–03 and 2009–10 seasons, being the first time River wore a black jersey.
Sponsors and manufacturers
|Period||Kit Manufacturer||Shirt Sponsors|
|2009–10||Petrobras and Pokerstars.net|
|2010–12||Petrobras and Tramontina|
|2012–||BBVA and Tramontina|
River Plate and Boca Juniors are the two largest football clubs in Argentina, with more than half the country's football fans supporting the clubs. Due to the rivalry between them, the Boca Juniors vs River Plate Superclásico local derby match was listed by the BBC as one of the most famous derbies in the world., and also as number one of the Fifty sporting things you must do before you die by The Observer newspaper.
The "River Plate" name was chosen in 1901, when the team was still located at the La Boca neighbourhood, next to the Río de la Plata ("River Plate" in some English sources). Proposed names as "Club Atlético Forward", "Juventud Boquense" or "La Rosales" had been rejected. Pedro Martínez saw the name "The River Plate" written at ship containers, and proposed it as a name, which was finally accepted as the official name.
River fans and the press are fond of the nickname Los Millonarios. This name derives from the 1930s after some expensive transfers of players from other clubs, including Carlos Peucelle from Sportivo Buenos Aires in 1931 and Bernabé Ferreyra from Tigre in 1932. Between 1979 and 1981, the River squad was reputed to be amongst the most expensive in the world.
When Hugo Santilli become chairman in 1984, he soon called to a competition where a new emblem would be chosen. The main objective of this new image was to eradicate the nickname Gallinas (Chicken) that River's rivals (Boca Juniors fans mainly) used to mock them. Some of the most important artists from Argentina took part in that competition so the club finally chose a logo designed by the famous artist Caloi. This emblem showed the figure of a lion (wearing a River jersey) raising from the Monumental stadium. The lion logo was immediately added to the uniforms (on the field and training clothes) having River Plate won the Copa Libertadores and Intercontinental Cup using the lion logo. In 1989, when Santilli left the club so the lion went with him and has not been reestablished since.
Due to the red band in their shirt, it is also common to refer to River as El Equipo de la Banda (the team with the band) or simply La Banda (which also means "the band" -both as in "gang" and "musical group"). Some famous River teams earned nicknames, notably La Máquina (the machine), the team that astonished Argentine football between 1941 and 1945.
In 1996 and 1997, during a run of title wins (three Argentine titles, one Copa Libertadores and one Supercopa), River were sometimes called La Maquinita ("The Little Machine") by the press. That team featured Francescoli and younger players such as Juan Pablo Sorín, Hernán Crespo, Ariel Ortega, Marcelo Salas and Marcelo Gallardo.
El Monumental is River's home stadium in the Belgrano neighborhood of Buenos Aires. With a capacity of 65,645, the stadium was inaugurated on 25 May 1938. It is also used in matches by the Argentina national football team.
Manager: Ramón Díaz
Out on loan
Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
|4||José Manuel Moreno||180||320|
|9||Carlos Manuel Morete||103||195|
|4||Juan José López||466|
Bernabé Ferreyra was an implacable scorer: 187 goals in 185 matches.
Norberto Yácono made 393 appearances, playing 16 consecutive years.
Ángel Labruna is the all-time top scorer of Argentine football, with 293 goals.
José Manuel Moreno is considered one of the best River's players ever.
Uruguayan striker Walter Gómez, a notable player of the 1950s.
Alfredo Di Stéfano played for River before his outstanding career in Spain.
Amadeo Carrizo, whose style revolutioned the goalkeeper position.
Ermindo Onega, maybe the most notable player in the 1960s.
Norberto Alonso, one of the greatest idols of all-time.
The following managers have all won at least one championship or, in the case of Reinaldo Merlo, coached many games in a championship that was ultimately won.