Pablo Aimar, Gabriel Batistuta, Claudio Caniggia, Hernan Crespo, Ariel Ortega and Javier Saviola all played for River Plate. Combine that fact with their beautiful home jersey and you’ll understand I had no choice but to see a game in Estadio Monumental.In 2005 I visited Argentina for the first time. When I visited San Carlos de Bariloche I met two sisters, Anna and Mariela, from Buenos Aires. As a visitor from the Netherlands most people start talking about football. Johan Cruijff and Marco van Basten are players well known in this South American country. Where in other countries only men talk about football, here women were just as passionate about this game. So were Anna and Mariela. They are both big fans of River Plate. When I returned a year later to this fascinating country we agreed to see a game.
Another skitrip brought me to Las Lenas, the legendary freeriders’ paradise in the Andes just south of Mendoza. On one of the many offpiste runs this place has to offer I met three guys from Aspen. They were originally from England and Scotland but all moved to the skitown in Colorado. They were on a bachelor trip because Adrian was about to get married. Can you imagine a better bachelor trip? No, me neither!
We skied the next days and had a good time. We decided to meet again in Buenos Aires and so we did. I met my friends from the capital as well and they took us to a game of their favourite club. We took the local bus which got us into the right atmosphere straight away. The busride took about an hour and the bus was full of River fans. Once arrived at the stadium we bought our tickets and went inside Estadio Monumental. Instead of all the luxury stadiums I’m used to back home, this stadium was full of nostalgia. No fancy restaurants and skyboxes, just concrete, fans and a few sellers of drinks and snacks making their way through the stands. The fans were all dressed in red and white, the colours of the club. It wasn’t the most exciting match against Argentinos Juniors but they were singing the whole time. We enjoyed every single minute of it, also because River Plate won the game 3-1!