Best Argentina Pro Football Team – River Plate
The most famous, the most watched, the teams that attract the most fans. Here is a breakdown of the top teams in Argentina.
Founded 1901 in La Boca, River Plate now plays in the Estadio Antonio Vespucio Liberti, better known as the Estadio Monumental, in the neighborhood Núñez. El Monumental is also the traditional home stadium for the Argentinean national team and was the famous venue for the 1978 World Cup final when Argentina beat the Netherlands 3-1 to claim their first world crown. Known as the “Millonarios”, either for high transfer fees paid in the 1940s and ’50s, or for having rich fans, depending who you listen to. Disparagingly River Plate are called gallinas (‘chickens’) by opposing fans.
River are the most successful side in domestic Argentine football, with 33 league titles, as well as 2 Copas Libertadores and a number of other trophies. They suffered relegation for the first time in their history in June 2011, but an immediate return to the top flight in 2012 is the expectation from both fans and journalists. Former greats include 1980s hero and Uruguayan legend Enzo Francescoli – after whom French World Cup-winner Zinedine Zidane’s son is named – and Adolfo Pedernera, a member of the great ‘La Máquina’ attack at the club in the 1940s and early ’50s. Their biggest rivals, as you’re probably aware, are Boca Juniors, but the other members of the ‘Big Five’ – Racing, Independiente and San Lorenzo – also play clásicos (classic match ups) with River. Needless to say, they’ll play none of them in the league during the 2011-12 season.