César Luis Menotti (Rosario, Argentina, 1938) at the age of 80 still remembers most of the games he played or trained. The coach who gave Argentina his first World Cup in 1978, trained both the Boca Juniors and the River Plate. Always critical of those who send in the world of football, Menotti has risen as one of the most critical voices against seeing the end of the Libertadores in Madrid.
What a man who played the Mouth was like and trained the River, when he saw the end of the Libertadores in the Santiago Bernabéu?
The fact that it is in Madrid does not matter to me. What matters to me is to watch this game outside of Argentina. Once they take him out, in Miami, Qatar … he does so much. Almost better in Madrid, which many Argentines live there. But the fact of seeing how the most beautiful game turned into a product sold thus, for four rals … It was an opportunity to do it well and has become a cause for shame for the Argentines.
After the away game without serious incidents, the return could not be played in the field of the River Plate for incidents outside the field. What would you have done?
Play it at the River Plate Stadium. The trip to La Bombonera and the return to the Monumental, to have an end to the history of the clubs. I would have played the same day that I had to play, since the responsibility of the River Plate was security within the stadium. Security outside the stadium was something of the politicians, the police … and they were the ones who did it badly, passing the Boca bus through a zone full of fans of the River. Look that the Boca does this route each year, and the year that organizes it worse is exactly the day of the most important game. Disaster. But River enthusiasts who were in the field are not at fault. Or the directive. He had to play in the River Plate field.
He says he would have played the same day. But the bus with the Boca players had been stoned and the gas of the police affected some players …
They have stoned me so many times, in a bus … It's not right, we must fight against the violent, but, unfortunately, these things happen. It had happened to me when I came to Espanyol when I was in Barça. You arrived and pan, come rocks and broken glass. In the Champions League he went to the City in Liverpool. And he played. In Greece this week saw Molotovs in a stadium … and he continued playing. The problem is not only from Argentina, eh? What happens is that when you punish four criminals punish 60,000 people. We must act against the violent without breaking the dream of those who go to a stadium without causing disturbances.
Therefore, it does not attach importance to the fact that the Boca players had problems due to gas …
Yes, I do not say it was a lie. I say that those people who had taken planes, who came from many places in Argentina, were not respected to see a game that was not played. If a doctor determines that day that players are affected, as the game is played on December 9 in the River, with well-organized security. Sending the game out is a way of admitting that we do not know how to organize it. The offer image is pathetic.
The problem of violence is global, we agree. But Argentine football does not get bored.
The worst possible image. First, everything badly organized. And then, see how it is not just Argentine soccer, but all South American, with the executives of the Conmebol (the South American Confederation of Soccer) selling the party to whom it pays. Hopefully Madrid can enjoy a party, for the Argentines it will not be. Businesses keep everything. Money has always been sent, but I did not think that it would come to this end. The sport of people is moving away, they can only say that they have achieved great economic benefits. It would have been nice to see both clubs, the big rivals, united, refusing to play in Madrid.