Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Delem: The Departure of a River Idol

Vladem Lázaro Ruiz Quevedo, most commonly known as "Delem", has passed away at 71 years of age. Delem was a true River idol and piece of our history in several ways: he played the roles of a player, coach, and talent-finder for the team.

For those who don't know him, Delem was a Brazilian who played for River and his country's National team in the 1960s. He played a total of 98 games and scored 35 goals with "la banda". He later coached our club, as well as several other Argentine teams such as San Lorenzo, Huracan, and Argentinos Juniors. Despite being an important figure for the club, his most important role might have been the one he had in the 90's. During that era, Delem was a fundamental piece of River's youth program and was one of the main reasons we saw great players like Aimar, Saviola, Gallardo, Mascherano, Solari, Crespo, Ortega, D'Alessandro etc. The Brazilian was linked to all of them, and this was known. He was fired in 2001, when Aguilar assumed as our team's President. The reason for his departure is still a mystery: Why would anyone fire a legend who had brought us one of the best eras of our teams history? Nobody knows exactly why, but everyone knew that Delem wanted to return. His absense has been noticeable, since River's youth program's level has dropped within the last few years.

God bless you, Delem. Our prayers are with you.

In other news, we will be facing Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito tomorrow. The game will be for the Copa Libertadores 2007 and will take place in the Monumental. It will be shown live on Fox Sports en Espanol at 5:00 PM Pacific/8:00 PM Eastern Time.

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