An Afternoon at El Monumental

Suffering a Western Hemispheric version of jet lag and still trying to realign my mind to the Global North (I drove my Subaru to an organic-foods market, for starters), I lack the fortitude to spiel about all things futbol argentino that I want to weigh in on after two weeks in the land of Union y Libertad. So here—without even going into the fact that, unbeknownst to me and my fellow tourists, mob violence at this very game would get CA River Plate banned from their own ground—are some Live-Action Colour Photos [patent pending] from this month’s River Plate v. Lanus match. It was Round One of the Torneo Clausura, the second half of Argentina’s quirky split-season championship, and the River faithful were up for it…well, in any case, they put on a much better show on the terraces than their team did on the pitch.

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El Monumental

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Inside the ground: Note the entrance to the club’s volleyball practice facility on the left. According to the matchday program, River Plate’s volleyball team had just won a big game against archrivals-in-everything Boca Juniors.

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The field view from the midfield “platea” seats—the relatively posh district for tourists, families, little kids and old men who’ve probably seen more football than I could in nine lifetimes.

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The away-support section, one hour before kick-off. Note the prudent use of barbed wire.

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A little pre-match hugger-mugger.

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River Plate’s hardcore support.

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Lanus’ supporters in full voice. Hey, your team’s from the middle of fuck-all suburbia and you know, deep down, that you haven’t got a prayer against the big boys. So just relax and enjoy it.

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Nil-nil in stoppage time? At home? Against Lanus?

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Well, Lanus managed to fuck up a golden chance to escape with a point, anyway. Here one of their fellas explains where it all went wrong.

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About zachdundas

Freelance journalist. Author of The Renegade Sportsman (Riverhead Books). Thank you.
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