Friday, August 2, 2013

River Plate and Boca Juniors making moves

New Manchester City manager, Manuel Pellegrini, summed it up last month in an interview when he was asked about his thoughts on the Manchester derby with United --- it'll be a walk in the park compared with the clasico in Argentina.

The Chilean master was boss at River Plate and described how the city shut down, how he had to be trapped at home because of his own fans' wrath if results didn't go their way and the intensity felt inside of River's and Boca Junior's respective stadiums during derbies.

The Inicial part of the campaign (first of two) kicks off today with Boca and River making headlines with some moves.

David Trezeguet, who signed on with River after they were relegated and helped them to promotion, didn't want to leave Argentina and is now at reigning champions Newell's Old Boys. River also brought in Colombian forward Teofilo Gutierrez, who pulled out what was later discovered to be a toy gun on teammates while at Racing Club. It also looks like Uruguayan Rodrigo Mora has reached a verbal agreement to leave Benfica and go to River as well but international slots may be a problem now. In any case, River is looking to build up a credible team to help it forget its descent into the second division just a couple of years ago.

Meanwhile, Boca inked Fernando Gago from Valencia in Spain. Gago played with Velez Sarsfield on loan last year and was average but Boca decided he's a piece to their ongoing puzzle to regain competitiveness after a disastrous campaign last year. Also returning to Boca is Daniel 'Cata' Diaz to help with their defending but supporters are still reeling from the losses of Uruguayan marksman Santiago Silva, who left for Lanus, a side managed by Boca legend Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Walter Erviti, who took off to Mexico.

One side that won't be participating in first-division action is Independiente, known as the "king of cups," after they were relegated last year.

While Brazilian football has recently attracted stars to its league, which has gotten stronger, Argentina has seen its share of mismanagement and financial debacles lead to distractions that has affected play on the pitch. But the competition has never lost its passion and purity and every supporter should keep up with Argentina's Primera as much as possible.

-Tio Pelotas