San Lorenzo's squad consisted of several ex-River Plate players and even a River idol as coach. Even though it may sound like it, this post was not necessarily written to congratulate or praise them. Of course I am a bit proud of their success (and the fact that they took away any possibilites Boca had of winning the championship), but most of all I am angry at our institution for the errors they committed. If it wasn't for us, who knows if San Lorenzo would have even won this tournament! Take a look at the following ex-River members that integrated part of the winning team:
- Ramon Diaz: A huge River idol, both as a player and a coach. As our manager, he won 7 titles -including 2 international tournaments- and was always loved and adored by our fans. Unfortunately, he was fired by our President Jose Maria Aguilar after winning the 2002 Clausura. The team played great football and was a step above every other Argentine club, but that didn't seem to matter to our corrupt President. Ramon had been waiting to return to River, but his bad relationship with Aguilar stopped any possible return. After 5 years of being inactive, he could not stand it anymore and became San Lorenzo's new coach. This was his first semester there, and barely had any reinforcements. Still, he managed to somehow make a squad that lost 7-1 to Boca and 5-0 to River last semester win the tournament this time around. He had nothing to prove before, but this championship has just contributed more to his positive reputation.
- Gaston "la Gata" Fernandez: An ex-River player. In the past, he had won a tournament with River and had had great campaigns with Monterrey of Mexico and Racing of Argentina. In early January, he returned to the club from his loan with the Mexican side, but Aguilar seemed to be thinking more about the cash than the quality. He sold him for a very low price of $1,200,000 to San Lorenzo, while Ramon Diaz's side laughed of enjoyment at his mistake: the foward ended up being the key player of the team, as well as the top scorer, with 9 goals. Not only has he been a star, but he played many of the games as a playmaker, something we need tremendously at the moment.
- Cristian Tula: Another ex-River player. The defender is the captain of the team and has been a very valuable member of the squad. Not only has he been solid throughout the tournament, but he has been multifunctional and has played in every position in the defence atleast once. Seems like something we need in River. Cristian could still return to the club, since he is on loan and is still owned by "los Millonarios", but everything seems to indicate that he won't: his importance has made San Lorenzo's directives willing to pay the transfer option listed on the loan agreement.
- Osmar "Malevo" Ferreyra: A left midfielder who played only one season in River. He was a very promising player, not only because of his performances with River's jersey, but also with the Argentine National youth teams. He was quickly sold to CSKA Moscow of Russia, and had joined San Lorenzo on loan a year ago. Interestingly enough, what River needs right now is a reliable left-defender and left-midfielder, and that is exactly what Ferreyra is. Why let him go so easily?
So what do these four have in common? Our horrible President (Jose Maria Aguilar) let them all go, usually without a good reason or for a cheap price, and they all ended up being icons in the champions of the Torneo Clausura 2007 of Argentina. While we are underperforming, our ex-players (and coach) are triumphing elsewhere, all thanks to Aguilar. How great!