Madness and magic from Maradona’s motherland
With only seven days to go until the beginning of the season, it's surely time to hit the big red panic button on the River Plate chairman's desk.
Morale in the camp is at an all-time low. Having finished bottom of the table last season, River have lost most of their summer friendlies – including two defeats against hated rivals Boca Juniors.
The latest loss, against a Boca team so young and inexperienced they were known as los Pibes ('the kids'), was a disaster. In the blazing sun of Mendoza, Argentina's wine-growing region, River's team were not so much vintage as vinegar. There was no urgency and no leadership.
Boca: Kicking rivals River while they're down
The contrast with Boca's 'kids' couldn't have been more acute: they were there to have fun. A confident B team humiliated Argentina's other supposed powerhouse. Like a children's team who were winning by a vast margin, they almost decided to take it in turns to shoot.
Under the circumstances it was quite amazing they only managed to get two past the keeper, via Pablo Mouche and Facundo Roncaglia.
River looked on, without emotion. Boca sat back and admired their next generation.
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