River Wins Argentina First Division Title, Times Square Celebrates

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River Plate, one of the strongholds of football tradition in Buenos Aires, the other half of the city’s footballing identity, secured its 35th League title this past Sunday. They did so in resounding fashion, with a 5-0 bombarding of the weaker Quilmes side. Their victory was secured very early on. The third goal by club darling Christian Ledesma is perhaps the most worthy exclamation point to a very compelling season.

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Los Millonarios finished with 37 points in the end, five more than Gimnasia and Boca Juniors, who made a desperate push in the later stages of the tournament but were far behind and could not catch up. River’s title is all the more interesting and worthy of celebration given that only three years ago River was pitifully sent down to the Primera B, in what could be categorized as one of the lowest lows in the more than 110-year history of the club. (And who can forget the painfully hilarious screams of El Tano Pasman watching his team being relegated).

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Now, everything is forgotten. Everything is a celebration: in the locker room and in the Obelisco at the intersection of Corrientes and 9 de Julio. Leonard Cohen sang that we would first take Manhattan and then we would take Berlin. Well, that is what these enthusiastic Millonarios seem to be doing.

The New York chapter of River Plate fandom took to the streets on Sunday evening and paraded around Times Square chanting their traditional “Señores, yo soy del gallinero!..”