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The Greatest Players To Play For Boca Juniors and River Plate

The Greatest Players To Play For Boca Juniors and River Plate

Article by: Mickey

Tue, Sep 14.21

The Greatest Players To Play For Boca Juniors and River Plate
Boca Juniors and River Plate are two of the most iconic football clubs in the world. They've had some incredible players wear their famous jerseys over the years. We're going to look at 5 of the best Boca and River players of all time. Some you'll know, some you may not!
 

Boca Juniors

Hugo Ibarra
 
Kicking things off for Boca is Hugo Ibarra. Ibarra is one of the biggest icons in the History of Boca Juniors and played over 200 games. These games came across three seperate stints at the club, the longest being from 2005 - 2010.
 
At the end of his career Ibarra had amassed an absolute stack of trophies. 15 at that. Everything you could possibly win at Boca - he won. Throughout his career he referred to Boca as his home and still resides there as interim manager of Boca Juniors II.

 
Martin Palermo
 
Boca Juniors all-time top scorer with 236 goals - Martin Palermo's two nicknames sum him up. Loco (crazy) and Titan. There's more talented players on this list no doubt, but what Palermo lacked in talent he made up for in other areas. No one worked harder and was more loyal to Boca Juniors than 'El Titan' and the fans adored him for it.
 
What we love about Palermo is the passion he showed in every game and when he scored goals that passion boiled over. What a guy.


 
Diego Maradona
 
A player that needs no introduction. We couldn't leave Diego Maradona off this list. While his time at the club was short - he lit up the stadium both on the pitch and in the stands after his career ended. Right up until the end of his life you could see him in his box watching with pride. Passion levels off the scales.
 
The biggest milestone in his Boca career was winning the league title back in 1981. After lighting up the world he ended up at Boca from 1995 - 97. His tearful farewell to the fans is one of the greatest send offs you'll ever see.
 
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Carlos Tevez
 
It might be a bit of recency bias given how many other players could be on this list but we had to have Carlos Tevez on here. From his immense goals and celebrations you could see how much the club meant to him. We also have to tell the incredible story of 2020 for those who don't know it too.
 
Boca jumped River Plate on the final day of the season to win the Superliga Argentina. That in itself conjures up all sorts of holy shit thoughts - but when you look at the detail its even better.
 
River Plate was sitting in first place on 46 points, with Boca on 45. Los Millonarios could only manage a 1-1 draw against lowly Atletic Tucuman which gave Boca life. Tevez lashed home a strike in the 72nd minute to win the title for Boca. His pre-game kiss with Diego Maradona providing some diving intervention.

Carlos Tevez Boca Juniors
 
Juan Roman Riquelme
 
When you think of Boca Juniors, it's hard not to think of Juan Roman Riquelme. The guy was incredible. Control, vision, passing ability - he was the total package. If it wasn't for Diego he would definitely be looked at as the most naturally gifted talent Boca had ever seen.
 
Riquelme wasn't overly fast but his football intelligence and the fact he had all the tools meant he was unstoppable. His legacy cannot be topped at the club after winning three Copa Libertadores and five Argentinian titles. He's so loved by Boca fans he was voted the greatest player in Boca's history.


 

River Plate

Angel Amadeo Labruna
 
Where else to start the Los Millonarios list that Angel Amadeo Labruna. Labruna is the top scorer in Argentine football history with 293 goals from 515 appearances. He formed part of the iconic River Plate attack, La Maquina (The Machine).
 
During his club career Labruna won 9 league titles. You know you're a club legend when you then go and win six more titles as manger. 15 titles as player/manager is beyond words. What an legacy!

Angel Amadeo Labruna
 
Enzo Francescoli
 
Iconic, influential and simply one of the best players to ever play in South America. So good we had to create the Enzo T-Shirt to go with the Diego T-Shirt. 'El Principe' (The Prince) was so immense he even had Zidane and Pele as loyal fans who sung his praises. Zidane even credited a lot of his game to him and used to watch him in training religiously at Marseille.
 
Francescoli's technical ability was off the charts. In 1985, he became the first non-Argentinian to win best player in Argentina honours. After leaving River Plate to play in Europe for 7 seasons he came back and truly left his legacy. In his final four years he picked up four domestic league titles and a Copa Libertadores trophy. His impact on the next-gen stars like Hernan Crespo and Marcelo Salas was legendary.


 
Ariel Ortega
 
Ariel Ortega is one of the most loved players in River Plate history and one of the games biggest enigmas. He joined River Plate as a 17-year-old back in 1991. It wasn't long before he broke into the first team with his immense talent and character. During his debut match he set up the match winning goal which set the tone for his career.
 
Ortega finished his time at River Plate with three titles. He played at the club in three different spells mainly down to the fact he couldn't settle in Europe. Valencia, Parma and Fenerbahce couldn't manage to tame his wildcard character. He loved to party and didn't have the best time following instructions on the pitch. He knew what his creative strengths were and did what he thought was best. While it didn't work overseas, River Plate knew how to deal with him and that lead to some scintillating form. Highlighted by the fact he won something every time he came home.

Ariel Ortega
 
Alfredo di Stefano
 
The term immortal can be thrown around pretty loosely these days - but Alfredo di Stefano is one. Without doubt one of the greatest players of all time. Much like Diego Maradona, it's impossible to keep him off this list.
 
Di Stefano wasn't at River Plate for long but managed to score 49 goals in only 65 games. This incredible record caught the attention of Real Madrid and the rest is history. A player we all wish we could have seen live - in the realm of Pele, Maradona, Messi and Cristiano. If social media was around back then we'd be seeing Di Stefano (goat emoji) flat out.

Alfredo Di Stefano River Plate
 
Hernan Crespo
 
One player that readers will remember on pitch is Hernan Crespo. Crespo began his illustrious career at River Plate back in 1993. Crespo scored 24 goals for the club before his move to the Serie A.
 
Parma were the team who picked up the young striker and it was an incredible bit of business. His signing helped propel the club to the pinnacle of their success. Parma won the Coppa Italia, Supercoppa Italiana and UEFA Cup with Crespo leading the line in the late 90s. He's now manager of Sao Paulo and is widely regarded as one of the best strikers of his generation.
 
10 stellar players. Who would win a 5 v 5 scratch match with mini goals? Let us know in the comments. One things for sure - there would be some outrageous goals scored.



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