River Plate Profile
|Major Honours||Primera Division (36), Copa Libertadores (4), Intercontinental Cup (1), Supercopa Sudamericana (1) Copa Sudamericana (1), Recopa Sudamericana (1), Copa Interamericana (3), Suruga Bank Championship (1)|
The Argentine powerhouses are known as much for their fierce rivalry with Boca Juniors as they are for their domestic and international success.
Club Atletico River Plate are a sports club from the Nunez neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina, best known for their soccer team. Known widely simply as River Plate, they are one of Argentina's most famous teams, alongside fierce rivals Boca Juniors.
River Plate are the overall historical leaders of the Argentine top flight with the most games won, most points accumulated, most goals scored and best goal difference.
River Plate's early history
River Plate were founded on May 25, 1901, near the La Boca neighbourhood which later became home to their main rivals, Boca Juniors. Soccer clubs Santa Rosa and La Rosales merged for River Plate to be founded, with Leopoldo Bard elected the club's first president.
After their Third Division debut in 1905, River Plate rose up the Argentine soccer ranks and earned promotion to the top flight in 1908.
River Plate enjoyed some success in the 1910s and 1920s, but it was in the 1930s that they made their name as one of Argentina's most feared sides.
Carlos Peucelle was signed in 1931 for $10,000 and Bernabe Ferreyra for $35,000 the following year. This was significant money to spend at the time and River Plate earned the nickname 'Los Millonarios'. This perception of being an upper class club would stick, even though River Plate have supporters from all walks of life.
River Plate and the Primera Division River Plate have gone on to maintain the legacy of their early triumphs. Their 2014 Superfinal win over San Lorenzo was their 36th Primera Division title.
The 1950s was a particularly successful era for River Plate as they shone under the guidance of Jose Maria Minella, winning seven league titles.
Ramon Diaz later won six over the course of three spells (1995-2000, 2001-02 and 2012-14). Diaz was a fearsome striker for the club during his playing career and also played for Napoli, Inter Milan, Monaco and Fiorentina.
Marcelo Gallardo, a former River Plate player himself, was appointed manager in 2014 and embarked on another tremendous run of success. However, he has yet to lead them to the league title, with his triumphs coming largely in international competitions.
Gallardo has won 11 titles with River Plate and is widely regarded as the club's finest head coach of all time.
River Plate suffered a shock relegation from Argentina's top flight in 2011 but were immediately promoted the following year.
River Plate have won 18 international titles, including four Copa Libertadores triumphs.
The first came in 1986, when they beat Colombia's America de Cali 3-1 on aggregate in the final.
A decade later, in 1996, River Plate beat the same opponents 2-1 on aggregate having lost the first leg 1-0, to claim their second Copa Libertadores crown. Ramon Diaz was their head coach, with future coach Marcelo Gallardo part of his side.
The third and fourth Copa Libertadores titles both came during Gallardo's managerial spell.
In 2015, River Plate beat Mexico's Tigres UANL 3-0 on aggregate.
Then, in 2018, they beat fierce rivals Boca Juniors 5-3 overall in a hot-tempered encounter, drawing the first leg 2-2 and winning the second 3-1. The second leg was played at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid due to a combination of repeated fan violence and bad weather.
River Plate and Superclasico
Boca Juniors are River Plate's most famous rivals, with the two teams contesting the Superclasico.
Boca Juniors have produced Diego Maradona and Carlos Tevez, while River Plate's iconic players have included Alfredo di Stefano, Hernan Crespo and Pablo Aimar.
Radamel Falcao and Gonzalo Higuain have also donned the River Plate colours before going on to success in Europe.
River Plate have won 36 Argentine top-flight titles to Boca's 34. Boca, however, have won six Copa Libertadores crowns to River Plate's four.
After former Boca player Oscar Ruggeri joined River Plate in 1985, he was on the receiving end of a vicious knee-high challenge from former team-mate Roberto Passucci in a Superclasico. Passucci's house was subsequently set on fire by Boca supporters.
River Plate and Boca first met in 1913 and a newspaper report referred to "pugilistic scenes" at the game.
Both River Plate and Boca were founded in the neighborhood of Boca, but River Plate later moved to Nunez.
River Plate's big money signings created the perception of an upper class club, while Boca were nicknamed 'the Manure Handlers' due to their stadium being next to a factory with a smell similar to dung.
Historically, River Plate are known for a flashy style of play, while Boca are known for being more gritty.
Boca fans rejoiced at River's relegation in 2011 and even created a song to celebrate it.
River Plate and their fanbase
A Bundesliga survey published in 2018 found that River Plate had 146,000 members, the most in South America. However, Boca claimed to have 193,000 members. The two teams are locked in perennial debate over who the most widely supported club in Argentina is.
Their fans have often been involved in violent clashes related to the rivalry. In 2015, four River Plate players were taken to hospital following a pepper spray attack from Boca Juniors supporters. Leonardo Ponzio, Leonel Vangioni, MatÃas Kranevitter and Ramiro Funes Mori were taken to hospital with what was reported in the Argentine media to be burns.
The Boca team bus was also ambushed by River Plate fans on the way to the 2018 Copa Libertadores final.
River Plate and finances
According to Statista, Club Atletico de River Plate are worth $113.8million, making them the second most valuable team in the 2020 Copa Libertadores behind Club de Regatas do Flamengo.
Financial troubles were reportedly at the heart of the club's underachievement from 2008 to 2011, three dark years for River Plate on the field which culminated in their relegation.