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Navarro: Heart carries River past Boca

River Plate-Boca Juniors
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Five Boca-River questions

Boca Juniors-River Plate
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Nervy first leg hampers Boca

Boca Juniors-River Plate
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River draw on fighting spirit vs. Boca

Boca Juniors-River Plate
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Dana: Five keys for Boca vs. River

Boca Juniors-River Plate
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Boca-River Cup rivalry renews

Boca Juniors-River Plate
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 By Sam Kelly

Argentina braces itself for crazy new top flight season

Grondona's death at the age of 82 leaves Argentine football in a precarious position.
Julio Grondona passed away in July 2014, but his legacy lives on in many ways, including a reconfigured Argentine Primera Divsion, which gets underway Feb. 13.

"If I cannot inspire love, I will cause fear!" This often seemed the philosophy by which the former president of the Argentine Football Association, Julio Grondona, lived his life. Leading the organisation from 1979 to 2014, he was, until his death in July 2014, the last Argentine public figure in a position of power from the era of the country's last military dictatorship, and he often ruled Argentine football with an iron fist to match that legacy.

Of course, the quote isn't something Julio Grondona...

 By Sam Kelly

River Plate vs. Boca Juniors, a rivalry rooted in Argentine culture and history

Fernando Gago's bizarre red card proved that rarely can River and Boca meet without controversy.

In the first of an ESPN FC series which will feature eye-witness insights into some of the biggest derbies in world football, Sam Kelly recounts his experiences when River Plate hosted Boca Juniors in October.

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- The chant is audible from half a block away.

"Come on, champs, don't let your fans down! I'm not gutless, like an Independiente fan! This is how I am, and I love River! We're going to kill all the bosteros [Boca fans]!" There are hours still until the game...

 By Sam Kelly

Teo Gutierrez of River Plate crowned as South America's Player of the Year

Teo Gutierrez with the Copa Sudamericana trophy.

River Plate have once more been confirmed as a force to be reckoned with. South America's football writers underlined their return to greatness when Uruguayan newspaper El Pais announced the winners of their annual poll to find the best players on the continent.

The podium was completely dominated by River stars, and a further two made it into the Best XI.

The man crowned Rey de America ("King of [Latin] America"), the title given to the South American Footballer of the Year, was Colombia's World...

 By Sam Kelly

River Plate officially back from the depths with Copa Sudamericana win

Gabriel Mercado's thumping header proved to be the decisive goal in River Plate's Copa Sudamericana conquest.
Gabriel Mercado celebrates his goal vs. Nacional in the Copa Sudamericana final.

"In the good times, I'll be there, and in the bad times even more."

It's a popular chant in Argentine football stadiums. It is not, however, one that seemed all that relevant to River Plate when I first visited Buenos Aires in 2003 and even less so on my second trip here the following year. I was in attendance as they claimed their 33rd league title. Good times? For River fans, there had been plenty. But bad times had, up until then, been limited to a 17-year run without a league title from...

River Plate return to glory with practical, less heroic play

Gabriel Mercado's thumping header proved to be the decisive goal in River Plate's Copa Sudamericana conquest.
Gabriel Mercado's thumping header proved to be the decisive goal in River Plate's Copa Sudamericana conquest.

BUENOS AIRES -- With this long-awaited Copa Sudamericana victory, River Plate bring a couple dark chapters to a close. First, they've won their first international title in 17 years, and in addition, they've recovered their status as a big club on a national and international level -- following the ostracism of relegation and promotion -- with the symbolic pomp and circumstance that such an event produces.

River have just won a local title, that's true. But this is an important tournament, and...