As River Plate's head motivator, Daniel Passarella has a duty to get his team up for Sunday's Superclasico. River is only four points back of Boca Juniors and could make a big statement with a victory in front of their home fans. So besides rallying the team around the strange absence of Ariel Ortega, why not make note of the other team's neighborhood.
After yesterday's training session, Passarella talked to the press on the way out of the club's Ezeiza facility. "Obviously, playing at home is a big benefit to us. The sightlines are better and you breathe a different kind of air." Bulletin board stuff, expect a reply from Diego Maradona within 24 hours.
Meanwhile, Ricardo La Volpe held a news conference yesterday and talked about his thoughts going into the biggest match of his short Boca career. "My players know what to do," La Volpe said. He continued, "We have to win because by doing so you practically eliminate a direct rival for the title. I would like to see my team show up in the most difficult of circumstances and demonstrate why we're in first place." Lastly, the ex-Mexican boss gave a nod to the country's Boca fans by saying that support for Boca is in "more than 51% of the country. We could very well be supported by 80%."
As Bob over at The Offside has noted, there was quite a mess yesterday outside of the Estadio Monumental. The Nunez neighborhood of Buenos Aires was overrun by River fans trying to buy up the last available seats to Sunday's match. The scenes from this future police training video can be seen here, here, here, here, here, and here. And really, isn't this what being a soccer fan is all about?
The last available tickets in the visitor's section, some three thousand, will be sold in a matter of minutes this morning to Boca supporters. If it's anything like what was seen in Nunez, the odds are in favor of a full blown riot.
Quotes and ticket information (in Spanish) [TyC Sports]
Superclasico: River Plate vs. Boca Juniors [The Offside]