Friday, May 25, 2007

106th Anniversary!

Happy birthday to River Plate! Today, May 25, 2007, the club reaches its 106th anniversary, after being created on the same date in the year 1901.
In the clubs long history, there have been both glorious and poor moments. River fans of all ages have been able to live great times. From the great "la maquina" team in the 1940s -considered by many to be the best River team ever-, to the 1986 acquisitions of the Copa Libertadores and the Copa Intercontinental with historic legends, to the 1996-97 glorious reign of Ramon Diaz: the club has lived it all. Fantastic players, such as Norberto Alonso, Enzo Francescoli, Alfredo Di Stefano, Jose Moreno, Angel Labruna, Bernabe Ferreyra, Reinaldo Merlo, Ubaldo Fillol, the Onega brothers, Oscar Mas, Daniel Passarella, Pablo Aimar, Javier Saviola, Andres D'Alessandro, Ramon Diaz, Nery Pumpido, Javier Mascherano, Marcelo Salas, Esteban Cambiasso, Fernando Cavenaghi, Roberto Ayala, Juan Pablo Sorin, Ariel Ortega, Marcelo Gallardo, Luis "Lucho" Gonzalez, Leonardo Astrada, Martin Demichelis, etc, etc. have passed by the club. Many of them, in fact, came from River Plate's lower divisions.

"Los Millonarios", a nickname the team gained for buying players at worldwide record transfer fees in the 1930s, are one of the most important clubs in the world based on tournament wins. River Plate are currently the holders of the most Argentine league championship wins, 32, a total of 10 more than Boca Juniors, who have the second most. They are also the club to have won the most games and scored the most goals in the Argentine Premier Division in history. Another record held is three tri-champeonships in the league, something rarely done (for example, Boca have never been able to accomplish this task). As for international tournaments, the team doesn't have such a rich history, but still holds two Copa Libertadores (1986 & 1996), one Intercontinental Cup (1996), one Interamerican Cup (1987), and one Supercopa -the old Copa Sudamericana- (1997).

Just like every other football/soccer team, River have lived poor moments as well. Our current situation, is a sad, yet real example of this. Despite that, there have been even worse moments in the team's history. Even though I (fortunately) wasn't able to live it, the club lived 18 years (1957-1975) without winning a single title. I was often told how the team had great players and played great football, yet always ended up being runner-ups. Our current situation is nothing like that, since it's been just 3 years since we last won something, yet it is already miserable. Now imagine that with another 15 years attached to it!

Today is a day all River fans should celebrate. It's been 106 years, and that's not just a number: it's the creation of an unexplainable passion that's in our hearts. It's the beginning of the cause of all those nights in which we couldn't stop celebrating, and in other ocassions couldn't stop crying. Without River Plate, my life would be completely different, and I know many others feel the same. So today, let's forget about our poor present, of Passarella's errors, of Aguilar's corruptness. Today, we can all thank River for being in our lives. "Amen!"

Note:Click on the picture to enlarge.

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