River Plate’s Copa Libertadores star Gonzalo Martinez confirms January departure


The eyes of the world will be on Madrid on Sunday night for the meeting of River Plate and Boca Juniors in the Copa Libertadores final.

Boca went ahead in the first half thanks to a brilliant Dario Benedetto goal, but Lucas Pratto levelled for an improved River in the second period, ultimately forcing extra time.

River Plate defender Jonatan Maidana is eyeing a meeting with Real Madrid after his team's Copa Libertadores success on Sunday.

But there were doubts the happy ending at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium would prompt many changes after one of the greatest debacles in South American soccer history.

On Nov. 24, fans of River Plate attacked Boca's team bus with stones, shattering windows. "It seems that if this final happens again in a few years, we won't be able to play it again".

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Back in Argentina, La Nacion newspaper reported that a violent and inebriated group of people caused damage to shops, attacked bystanders and threw objects at police, forcing officers to use tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowds.

After a 2-2 draw in the first leg at La Bombonera, River prevailed 3-1 after extra time in Madrid. This final is over, but a lot of things still need to be solved.

The club are expected to fly directly to the Middle East but striker Lucas Pratto said the players would take some time to celebrate before their first match on December 18.

The Copa Libertadores in South America is the equivalent of Europe's Champions League. But this provided the opportunity for the European-based players of other clubs to turn out in force. "I think I've given people what they deserve, and that is everything for those who supported me".