River Plate is a name known around the world as one of the biggest football clubs ever. Based around the Nunez neighbourhood in Buenos Aires, River Plate, or simply River, plays its football at the largest stadium in Argentina, the Estadio Monumental Antonio Vespucio Liberti. The club has been ranked as the topmost club in America (North, Central and South America) by the official International Federation of Football History and Statistics rankings. It is also said to be the 9th-most successful club, in the history of World Football, in FIFA’s official standings.
The club has been named after Rio de la Plata, the river on which Buenos Aires rests. When translated into English, the river’s name literally means River Plate. The name, however, came when the founder of the club, Martinez, observed some sailors playing a pick-up game in the port of Buenos Aires amidst the massive crates. The crates had the name “The River Plate” written on them. The club was perilously close to their fiercest rivals for every title, Boca Juniors. The team later shifted their home base from La Boca to Nunez in the Northern part of the city but the rivalry between the two teams still stays as intense as it was since its early days.
The club came to be known as Los Millonarios or The Millionaires after they paid Tigre for Bernabe Ferreyra in Gold. The transfer amount was unheard of in the 1930 era and since then, the club has always been known to have big names who were sold to bigger European clubs. Their attacking style of play in the early ’40s is said to be the predecessor to the “Total Football” style displayed by Holland in the ’70s.
The team’s home stadium, the Estadio Monumental is also the home stadium for the Argentine National Team and has a capacity of 65,645.
River Plate won their first Second division title in 1908 and their first Primera division title in 1920. Since those days, the team has never looked back. Their trophy cabinet holds 33 Primera Division titles, One Copa Competencia Jockey Club title (1914), One Cup Tie Competition title (1914), One Competition Cup in 1932 and one Gold Cup in 1936.
River have always been dominant in most competitions and four Copa Dr. Carlos Ibarquren titles showed their domination of the sport. In 1941, along with the Copa Dr. Carlos Ibarquren title, River also won the Copa Adrian C. Escobar trophy.
At the international level, River have had a few successes as well. In 1986, River achieved an enormous feat when the won the league title, the Copa Libertadores, the InterAmerican Cup, the Intercontinental cup and saw some of their players win the 1986 FIFA World Cup held in Mexico.
River have another Copa Libertadores title to their name in 1996. In 1997, they won the SuperCopa as well as the Copa InterAmericana.
River Plate have had countless stars who have been part of their line-ups. Some of these greats were/are:
• Enrique Omar Sivori• Alfredo Di Stefano• Angel Labruna• Felix Loustau• Nestor Rossi• Norberto Alonso• Ubaldo Fillol• Carlos Morete• Daniel Passarella• Americo Gallego• Mario Kempes• Claudio Caniggia• Eduardo Berizzo• Roberto Ayala• Sergio Berti• Hernan Crespo • Marcelo Salas• Pablo Aimar• Juan Pablo Sorin• Santiago Solari• Andres D’Alessandro